An incomplete world features paintings and photographs by leading international artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Sarah Morris, Damien Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Ed Ruscha, Lucian Freud, Gerhard Richter and Cindy Sherman.
Selected from The UBS Art Collection, one of the finest international corporate art collections, An incomplete world will open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before travelling to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Exhibitions curated from The UBS Art Collection have previously been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Modern, London.
An incomplete world will highlight artworks that consider how we have shaped the world and our vision of it, and how the world we have created shapes us. The exhibition has three linked thematic groups: natural and built environments; portraits and people; transforming places. Over 50 works have been selected by 31 artists to represent these themes.
The selection was made by Wayne Tunnicliffe, curator contemporary art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, and Jason Smith, curator contemporary art, National Gallery of Victoria.
Wayne Tunnicliffe says, “This exhibition brings together great works of art from the last thirty years, the majority of which have not been seen in Australia before. UBS’s three year commitment to supporting the Gallery’s contemporary collection programs and this exhibition are together the most important sponsorship of contemporary art that the gallery has received.”
The exhibition opens at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, on 19 May and is on display until 29 July 2007 and then tours to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, from 28 September 2007 to 6 January 2008.
Brad Orgill, Country Head, UBS, Australasia, added, “We are delighted that we can bring to Australia for the first time a selection of our contemporary art for pubic viewing. The curators have selected works that provide an insight into the variety and depth of The UBS Art Collection.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
American pop artist Andy Warhol’s unique early work Cagney,1963, depicts the film actor famous for his gangster roles. This dates from when Warhol first began to make silkscreen paintings and to concentrate on movie stars and film-making. Another Warhol in the exhibition is his iconic portrait of German artist Joseph Beuys from 1984.
British artist Lucian Freud’s Head of a naked girl, 1999, is a searingly intimate close-up portrait, while Double portrait¸1988-90, depicts a woman lying with a hound. As Freud has said, "I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be."
Damien Hirst, one of the highest profile contemporary British artists, is represented with a large painting of coloured dots on a white ground. Entitled Albumin, Human, Glycated, 1992, it is from his series of randomly arranged spot paintings with titles that refer to pharmaceuticals. Hirst has described this series as happy paintings, and yet that joy has a chemical reference.
A substantial group of influential recent European photography includes such luminaries as Thomas Ruff with enigmatic large-scale colour portraits, Andreas Gursky with his spectacular digitally altered store interior 99 cent, 1999, and sublime image of a glacier, Aletschgelscher, 1993, and a series of Candida Hofer’s enigmatic, empty, public rooms.
Japanese photographers Miyamoto and Hatakeyama have ominous but impressive works. Miyamoto’s black and white photographs document the damage inflicted on buildings in Kobe after the earthquake in 1995 and Hatekeyama’s abstract, violently beautiful images are of exploding rocks and soil.
A broad public program of film, tours, talks and events for families including an on-line education kit for students and teachers will accompany the exhibition.
An incomplete world is part of the commitment that UBS has made to the Art Gallery. In addition UBS is sponsoring the contemporary galleries for three years. This support is enabling the Gallery to present the contemporary collection in a new dynamic way.