Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Living On Luck: Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom

29 June – 4 August May 2007

Living On Luck: Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom examines the connections between these two artists who share many aesthetic and conceptual concerns though their work is separated by form and material. The exhibition, which will consist of paintings and drawings by Milsom and an installation work incorporating sculpture, video, sound and drawings by Hanrahan aims to demonstrate how our understanding of each artists’ practice is enriched in proximity to the other.

Living on Luck combines the work of Hanrahan, a former National Art School student, with one of his artistic peers. Working concurrently critiquing and occasionally collaborating, Hanrahan and Milsom’s material differences have served to feed their continued artistic conversation. Their shared interest and ongoing communications about process and the thematic presence of portraiture in their work stimulated the idea of staging this collaborative project. The works are made individually by the artists, however the collaborative aspect is experienced through questions of representation, metaphor, the use of materials, and the use of the gallery space to create narrative structures.

The exhibition examines conventions of portraiture and its engagement with literal and non-literal representations of the self and subject. Part psychological, part expressive Hanrahan and Milsom propose a series of questions that elucidate the dichotomies inherent within representation. Their work considers the complex mechanisms through which our personal and public identities are constructed.

Hanrahan’s practice focuses on a type of self-portraiture that mines his personal archive utilising drawings, prints, sculpture, text and video. Hanrahan’s displays place an emphasis on proliferation and incorporating materials that are generally perceived to have little or no value such as plywood and household lamps. Christopher Hanrahan attended the National Art School in 2002 receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2003 he received a BFA (Honours, First Class) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

Working as a figurative painter and drawer, Milsom is not unaware of the history he is working from. The challenges of painting today are a vital area of exploration for the artist. The paintings are often tightly cropped, expressionist in style and composed with a limited colour palette. The images emerge out of dark backgrounds and are muted and distorted creating psychologically powerful portraits. The drawings also focus on a singular subject, but portray buildings that represent physical spaces that have had a profound impact on the artist. Nigel Milsom received a Master of Fine Arts in 2002 from College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.
Public Programs

Artist Floor Talk 7 July, 2pm
Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom’s conversation around painting, drawing, sculpture and video continues in this forum providing audiences with the opportunity to discuss aspects of the exhibition with the artists.

Exhibition Talk, 21 July, 2pm
Organised in connection with The Capitals exhibition on view in Gallery One, Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, will consider the various modes of contemporary portraiture that are articulated in these two exhibitions.