Noel McKenna, Quiet room, 2013 oil on canvas 160 x 160cm
Noel McKenna is an important and unique figure in Australian art. In this exhibition, McKenna presents twenty four paired paintings tracing the development of his ideas over time.
The subject matter in his works appears to be modest, yet they alert us to the poetry and wonder that is all around us, especially in the small and commonplace. In Twelve old: Twelve new, he reminds us ever so quietly that he has been doing this for quite a long time now. The subject matter includes beloved pets and horses and the slightly dark events that befall humanity from time to time, as well as some of our follies.
Noel's work is also being celebrated in an intriguing new exhibition at MCA in Sydney. South of No North exhibits photographs and video by influential American artist, William Eggleston and New Zealand photographer, Laurence Aberhart, alongside Noel McKenna paintings and ceramic tiles. Curator, Glenn Barkley, has carefully selected these three artists known for choosing subject matter that is easily overlooked. The works are carefully clustered and juxtaposed so that relationships can be seen and wondered at. All three artists have an eye for the awkward angle and realise the power of the apparently modest and simple.
A fully illustrated catalogue of Twelve old: Twelve new is available for $11 plus postage and handling. Contact the gallery for your copy.