BEYOND THE VEIL
CURATED BY ADAM KNIGHT
May 16 – July 8, 2018
OLSEN GRUIN NY
211 Elizabeth St
New York, NY, 10012
+1 646 525 6213
Hours Tue to Sat 11-6PM, Sun 12-6PM
Please read this review by Pulitzer Prize Winning New York art critic Jerry Saltz
Beyond the Veil
Curated by Adam Knight
No doubt many of the bigwigs in town for all the art stars, megagalleries and super-auctions, missed maybe the best secret show in New York at the moment, this six-artist exhibition of Australian Aboriginal women painters curated by the president of the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia — a show that gives us a breathtaking small survey of what critic Robert Hughes (who in almost every case except this I disagreed with) called “the last great art movement of the twentieth century.” Start with the tremendous late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who started painting in her 70s, but whose strangely structured, still amorphous compositions of smears, dots, daubs, and squiggles create rippling worlds, undergrowth, river scenes, and complex cosmic interior space; and contrast her Rothko-like ruminations to the more detailed, pictorial, and symbolic images created by Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, and then to a mind-blowing group effort made by a collective of women that looks like a magic-carpet quilt for the spirit. It’s time for these artists and many others to be shown in and collected by museums, placed in context, installed for good in permanent collections along with other such “outsider” and “self-taught” artists, and to finally scrap our sick, desolated, apartheid-like systematic exclusion of any but “insider” artists.
Curator Statement by Adam Knight
Beyond the Veil celebrates the divine use of dots by Australian Aboriginal artists. It honors the unique method of layering and the shimmering presence of dots throughout the whole of each canvas by the true inventors of this now praised artistic style. As Aboriginal art further secures its place as a significant movement in the international art world, it is undeniable that non-indigenous artists from around the globe will find inspiration within these prized works.
It is widely accepted that Australian Aboriginals have the oldest continuous culture on the planet. The rise of contemporary Australian Aboriginal art was described by art critic and writer Robert Hughes, as “the last great art movement of the twentieth century.” Whilst the works are considered contemporary, they are derived from a cultural awareness and sacred knowledge that remains preserved by artists such as those exhibited here.
Beyond the Veil aims to remind viewers of the cultural narrative that celebrates the presence of the dot and acknowledges the genius of its use by its originators: the artists from Australia’s first people.
The Exhibition is presented by the OLSEN GRUIN Gallery.
Olsen Gruin Gallery is co owned by Tim Olsen, one of Australia’s most recognised and respected art identities and arts industry dynamo and New York resident, Emerald Gruin.