Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, was the the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining disparities and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over 10 months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence.This anti-Chinese sentiment had swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s had reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public opinion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.
Through a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites, Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today.
Olsen Gruin has been featured in the latest issue of The New York Times.
The New York Times
Martha Schwendener, Jason Farago, Will Heinrich and Jillian Steinhauer
June 20, 2018
Extract: ‘Beyond the Veil’
Through July 8. Olsen Gruin, 30 Orchard St., Manhattan; 646-613-7011, olsengruin.com
Who gets to narrate history? Who gets to represent whom? These questions have been roiling the American art world lately, but they are nothing new in Australia — especially in regard to its indigenous population, who faced official efforts to erase their culture well into the 20th century through forced assimilation. Visual art has provided a crucial tool to help redress these erasures, and at this New York outpost of a Sydney gallery, the paintings by five women from central Australia, and one collaborative group, testify to the vibrancy of Aboriginal Australian art and the necessity of speaking for yourself.
View the full article here.
The next exhibition to be held in our New York gallery – Olsen Gruin is ‘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.
– Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine
Read the full article here.
Artworks are available at Olsen Gruin.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Synthetic polymer paints on Belgian linen
23.6 x 35 inches
(59.9 x 88.9 cm)
Experience Dramartistry with Mclean Edwards as presented by the Sydney Art Quartet at Yellow House.
Deep, rich & stormy music fuses with psychological portraiture when Mclean Edwards joins the Art Quartet.
Sink deep into sound while McLean Edwards depicts an inner world – all in his darkly humorous & magnetic style.
Your own sketch kit is welcome to add to the drama for these unique concert experiences.
Yellow House Sydney
57–59 Macleay St
Potts Point NSW 2011
See more about the event here.
Olsen Gallery would like to congratulate Fiona McMonagle for being selected as a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Womens Art Prize for her work ‘Competition’ 2018.
The winner will be announced on the 15th of June, with the exhibition running until the 24th of June at Ravenswood school for girls in Sydney.
oil on linen
123.5 x 80.5 cm