UOW Art Collection Curator conducting major Sydney exhibition

Oct 20, 2006

Curator of the University of Wollongong's Art Collection, Mr Glenn Barkley, is currently the curator of an exhibition of prints and multiples at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney.

The exhibition, Multiplicity, explores the development of prints and multiples from the 1960s to the current day, tracking the rise of an art form that lies at the core of contemporary art practice. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong, Professor Gerard Sutton, was among guests at the recent launch of Multiplicity.

Drawing on the permanent collections of the MCA and University of Wollongong, Multiplicity offers visitors the chance to see the evolution of this influential medium across four decades, from its emergence out of the pop art and conceptual art movements of the 1950s and 1960s.

"Until the 1960s prints and multiples had primarily been viewed as an adjunct activity to the more 'important' mediums such as painting and sculpture. However, following the development of conceptual art in the 1960s - and the experimentation with process and institutional critique that came with it - there was a major shift in this hierarchy," Mr Barkley said.

The diversity of approaches to prints and multiples is evident in the range of works on display including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein prints, 'ready-mades' by Joseph Beuys, limited editions by Ed Ruscha and Jenny Holzer, politically charged prints by Redback Graphix, works by International collectives Fluxus and General Idea, and more recent work by Australian artists David Noonan, Deborah Kelly and Ricky Swallow.

Multiplicity is divided into three distinct areas, corresponding to different periods in time -- 1960s to 1970s and the reinvigoration of the print medium; 1970s to 1980s and the move to work outside gallery or art making systems and the rise of printmaking collectives; and 1990s to the present day which has seen new reproduction technologies allow a plethora of approaches to prints and multiples.

"Other themes include the notion of the unique work of art; the incorporation of the vernacular into artistic production, the individual and the collective production of art work, the role of 'political' or activist art and the concept of mass-production," Mr Barkley said.

Multiplicity is the second exhibition to be sponsored by MCA supporter National Australia Bank. After showing at the MCA, Multiplicity will tour to regional galleries in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia throughout 2007 and 2008.

Mr Barkley, teamed up with another guest curator, Aaron Seeto, to present a curatorial discussion at the MCA. Both Glenn and Aaron are graduates of the University of Wollongong. They discussed differences in curatorial practice and explored how work is exhibited and collected within the contemporary museum. Aaron is guest curator of Primavera 2006: Exhibition by Young Australian Artists now running at the MCA until 19 November 2006.



Curator of the University of Wollongong's Art Collection, Mr Glenn Barkley

Pictured is one of the screenprints on display at the exhibition - Colin Lanceley
Some Are More Equal Than Others 1969. University of Wollongong Art Collection donated by Dr Douglas Kagi through the Cultural Gifts Program, 2006. Copyright Colin Lanceley. Licensed by Viscopy Australia, 2006.

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