As we all hunker down into some necessary social distancing, here at Perimeter we’re endeavouring to keep our customers, supporters and pals as enriched as possible. Among some other new kinds of content, over the next few weeks we’ll be curating some great Isolation Station Reading Capsulations to keep you informed about what we’re reading at Perimeter HQ, and hopefully provide some new sources of interest and entertainment in these very strange times!
For our eighth capsule, we've selected some of our favourite publications from artists working with paint. Including both Australian and international artists, this capsule contains small-scale samples of work alongside more expansive publications spanning many years of artistic practice.
Each of these titles are available for individual purchase through the web store, or as a specially priced bundle ($499 with free domestic shipping).
These phallic drawings by New York City based artist Judith Bernstein represent, in her words "an amalgamation of anti-war, feminism and sexuality" sentiment. Beginning in the 60's, as a graduate student at Yale, Bernstein used the phallus in her work as a symbol for male posturing and as a form of protest to the treatment of women in the art sphere. Initially Bernstein pulled her inspiration from graffiti in men's bathrooms. The drawings in Dicks of Death span from 1966 - 2016. (Edition Patrick Frey – Zurich)
Noel McKenna’s paintings do a lot with a little. The senior Australian artist’s suburban interiors, solitary male inhabitants, and the various domesticated animals that keep them company, fit adroitly into the wider motif of the poetics of the banal. But it’s via his work’s quiet humour, tenderness and workaday melancholy that McKenna has fashioned such a unique, likeable and subtly emotive visual language. Put simply, his paintings just are.
Spanning various decades, the works that populate End Street – McKenna’s first book for Perimeter Editions – speak in the same humble, meandering cadence as the best of his output. Unimposing in their scale and spare in their information, these paintings, drawings, painted ceramic tiles and sculptures offer vantages on a life lived alone (bar the cat or the dog). (Perimeter Editions – Melbourne)
Angela Brennan: 19 Desires and One Belief is an artist-driven publication edited by Angela Brennan, a non-exhaustive slice of practice, spanning around thirty years. The monograph includes an essay by Jan Bryant, a poem by Justin Clemens and contributions by Mitch Cairns, Mel Deerson, Michael Graf, Elizabeth Newman, Lisa Radford, and Georgina Sambell. The texts have been dispersed amongst an array of images, arranged non-periodically, sequenced to reflect a circuitous approach to practice. The book decontextualizes artworks, liberating them from previous frameworks in which they have been presented, opening space for new readings and atemporal crosscurrents. (3-Ply – Melbourne)
Since the early 1970s Billy Sullivan has accompanied New York’s underground, art and fashion scenes with his camera, using the resultant photographic material as templates for oil paintings, pastel drawings and elaborate multi-part slideshow installations. Sullivan shows his friends, family, lovers and muses, as well as the worlds and demimondes in which they move: clubs, ateliers, rumpled hotel rooms and elegant beach houses. In Sullivan’s imagery, which dispenses with any chronological order, the underground scene, the cultural elite and high society are always very close together, as are surface and abyss, the lust for life and the transience of youth. This distillation of Sullivan’s photographs, paintings and drawings showcases an ongoing dialogue between camera and paintbrush that characterises his work. (Edition Patrick Frey – Zurich)
Drawing on a body of work made whilst on residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, in 2016, the debut book from Sydney artist Tom Polo says much about his distinctive, mildly idiosyncratic approach to drawing, painting and the portrait. The 48 imaginary portraits in Paris Drawings: The Most Elaborate Disguise ooze with both personality and character, their often impish visages revealing a language that proves both playful and pointed, leaning on the qualities of the naive and untaught, while also displaying an astute painterly syntax and sensibility. Featuring an essay by Justin Paton – Head Curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – this book offers a lively vantage one of Australia's most intriguing young painters. Here, as with much of his broader practice, Polo subtly and poetically withholds as much as he reveals. (Perimeter Editions – Melbourne)
Paintings and drawings are the main focus of Harold Ancart’s practice. Distinctly graphic, his high contrast forms are illuminated by delicate accents, intoxicating colours, and his unique oil stick application. In this book, the second volume of Soft Places, Harold Ancart continues his journey through psychedelic, colourful landscapes. (Triangle Books – Brussels)
The title of this small volume by New York artist Elizabeth Peyton, The Age of Innocence, is taken from the early 20th century novel of the same name by Edith Wharton. It describes the claustrophobic, repressed, hypocritical atmosphere of New York society in the 1870's. In the novel passion is shown as the force that would make that highly ritualised world implode.
Peyton is a leading contemporary painter, best known for her portraits of artists, musicians, historical figures, and a few athletes. Her later portraits of particular artists, musicians, and other cultural figures have been hailed for their expert use of colour and design, and for their evocative, descriptive qualities. (Nieves – Zurich)
Inspired by filmic imagery, theatre sets and period interiors, Mamma Andersson's compositions are often dreamlike and expressive. While stylistic references include turn-of-the-century Nordic figurative painting, folk art and local or contemporary vernacular imagery, her evocative use of pictorial space and her juxtapositions of thick paint and textured washes is uniquely her own. Her subject matter revolves around evocative, melancholic landscapes and nondescript, private interiors. (Nieves – Zurich)
Now in its second printing, Warm Ties accompanied the first public solo exhibition of Australian artist Helen Johnson. The artist weaves and overlays historical and contemporary signifiers creating points of tension and reflection through the medium of painting. In this exhibition, the complex colonial relationship between Australia and Britain is dealt with on the level of the body, using large-scale paintings that have become purposefully disassembled installations throughout the space. With texts by Stephen Gilchrist and Helen Hughes. (Institute of Contemporary Arts – London x Artspace – Sydney)