I saw the worst exhibition of year this week at Pigment Gallery: “small works”, an exhibition of affordable art. I’ve seen some disappointing exhibitions this year, I’ve seen some boring exhibitions this year but this was awful. I felt that I’d wandered into some high school exhibition. I tried to look around to see if I could spot something that was worth looking at but I couldn’t leave soon enough. I don’t want to pick on any of the obviously amateur artists in the exhibition but hung together in a gallery the weakest work dragged the rest down.
Pigment Gallery, a gallery for hire on the second floor of the Nicolas Building, a great location in the city. It has three gallery rooms, two white walled rooms and one small space with black walls, that works well for works on paper or photographs. I wasn’t surprised by the exhibition it is kind of un-curated, group exhibition something that rental space galleries do to pay their rent (see my post about Rental Spaces). And it is not as if all the exhibitions at Pigment Gallery are that awful; I have seen some decent exhibitions there. Earlier this year I saw an exhibition there but I didn’t get far in writing up my notes about the exhibition.
Earlier this year in Pigment’s Gallery 1 and the Black Gallery I saw an attractive exhibition by Tasmanian artist and RMIT Masters of Fine Arts graduate, Carol Batchelor. I preferred her small paintings in the Black Gallery to the large colour field oil paintings in Gallery 1 because of the variety of forms and the movement and interaction of the wet ink meeting a different dilution of wet ink.
At the same time in Pigment’s Gallery 2 a Monash Masters of Fine Arts graduate, Erica Tandori (aka Erica Peril) was exhibiting “Landscape and Desire”, a series of digital photographs about her Hungarian Australian background. The digital montage of images mixed Australian landscapes with Hungarian elements like Hungarian dancers or the long horn cattle. Some of images seemed a bit obvious: “Budapest exit 15544.44km” on road sign along an Australian highway, many were more obscure, like all the Hungarian grey cows. The digital montages were not slick, they were obvious on close inspection, but digital perfection wasn’t the point of the images.