In the fourth issue of the Allens Art Journal, we acknowledge some of those artists in the Collection such as Michael Narozny, James Gleeson, Selwyn Rodda, Pennie Pomroy, and Margot Hutcheson who present the surreal, the whimsical, the absurd, the bizarre, the ridiculous, and the uncanny: a set of propositions that ask the viewer to suspend their disbelief and allow themselves to be swept up in realms beyond reality.
The genre of landscape is much maligned in the contemporary art canon. It is regarded in turn as sentimental, imperialist, out-dated, irrelevant, or worst of all, the folly of much disparaged amateurs. However this scornful reputation is undeserved. Perhaps there is no longer a place in contemporary art for landscape painting celebrating the subliminal and picturesque beauty of nature, and the hour of colonial fantasies has certainly past, but landscape paintings persist and crop up in the works of numerous contemporary artists.
Allens has a long history of working throughout Asia and, as a way of establishing connections and creating dialogue, selections of paintings from the Allens Art Collection are displayed in offices in Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. In the second issue of the Allens Art Journal, we acknowledge some of those artists in the Collection whose cultural backgrounds lie in the rich legacies and diverse artistic traditions of this vast geographic region.
Issue 1: Re-presenting the self
The first edition of the Allens art journal reflects on a critical, albeit under-represented, period in recent Australian art history, the late 1970s to 1990s. A radical moment characterised by post-modernist/post-structuralist theoretical dialogue and debate, these decades saw the development of complex forms of figurative art in Australia, which served to reshape contemporary art practice and wider cultural discourse. Presented here are works from the Allens collection including paintings, etchings and photo-based images by Peter Blayney, Lindy Lee, Simon Blau, Micky Allan, Fiona MacDonald, Graham Fransella and emerging artist, Liam O'Brien to name a few.