In this issue, we celebrate the artists and designers whose extraordinary visions and astute perceptions of the world have helped shaped the way we perceive culture, society or the environment, long after the initial artworks were made. Dr Petra Kayser, NGV Curator of Prints and Drawings, looks to Spanish artist Francisco Goya with an essay that reveals how Goya’s observations of society and human nature are as relevant today as they were in his own time. We also share the work of French-born contemporary artist Camille Henrot whose art guides us through the sometimes complex territories of relationships, authority and dependency, parenthood, and trust, and academic Dr Fran Edmonds takes us behind the scenes of artist and designer Maree Clarke’s exhibition Maree Clarke: Ancestral Memories.
‘In acerbic satirical observations, confronting depictions of violence and trauma, and surreal flights of fantasy, Goya presents a vision of humanity that had no equivalent in the art of his day.’
By Dr Petra Kayser
‘In all Maree’s work, there are stories that go beyond the installed/exhibited objects. These comprise Ancestral memories and contemporary collaborative encounters – from stories that have persisted throughout millennia, to those that reflect Maree’s personal ambitions to embrace and continue her storytelling and culture-making through art.’
By Dr Fran Edmonds
NGV KIDSOlaf Breuning
‘Executed with lead pencil on white paper, the drawings capture complex ideas about contemporary issues with a sense of humour, and reveal insights into humankind’s absurd and often short-sighted behaviours.’
By Kate Ryan
EXHIBITION We Change the World
‘Many works embody a powerful ability to change the way we might perceive or feel about something, even who we are.’
By Elisha Buttler and Michelle Stockley with Myf Doughty, Hannah Presley and Katharina Prugger
‘I think there’s so much we need to unlearn about the gendered categories of caregiving; motherhood, fatherhood, parenting and early childhood.’
Camille Henrot interviewed by Pip Wallis
DEEP READVagabonding in the more-than-human world
‘Cai Guo-Qiang’s Murmuration (Landscape), 2019, was a crowd favourite of the 2019 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, presented with Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality‘.