ARC ONE Gallery is delighted to present Transformer, a major new exhibition by one of Australia’s foremost artist collaborations, Lyndell Brown & Charles Green. An opening reception will be held on Thursday 14 April, 6-8pm.
Brown and Green’s extensive practice has long been informed by currents of the past, whether (art) historical, cultural or geo-political. Their latest exhibition of large-scale paintings – alluringly titled Transformer – emerges from the intersection of the hippie, countercultural movement of the 1970s with their established visual language of cultural ‘mapping’ across continents and centuries.
The paintings in Transformer show contemporary and historical images mapped together like pictures of the subconscious, with overlaid, blurred, juxtaposed and exquisitely-rendered Tibetan, Nepalese and Australian landscapes. Transformer traces a genealogy in which, first, the pair’s autobiography and, second, their cry against the environmental catastrophe of climate change and ecological loss, is interwoven with 19th century yogis, Earth art, performances and the Beat Generation’s founding father, William S. Burroughs, all encountered in the form of newspaper fragments, found images, the authors’ own photographs and archival documents. The shapeshifting across themes is achieved through a meticulously painted trompe l’oeil. We are presented with clusters of information in constant flux, encouraging a navigational experience that is simultaneously thrilling and disorienting. This exhilaration was encapsulated in Swedish daily newspaper, Goteborgs Posten, which wrote that Brown and Green “are stupendously skilful painters … they pitch our modern society against ancient tradition and knowledge … Their art is difficult to grasp but exciting to experience.
In Transformer, Brown and Green – themselves remarkable foragers, transformers and conduits of knowledge – draw on the capacity of painting to create new resonances between images and meanings. Transformer’s maps of the mind resemble night skies, with ideas forming, fading and finally resolving into their own and also each viewer’s histories.
Lyndell Brown and Charles Green have worked as a collaborative team since 1989. Since then, all their art has always been made together. They have held more than 40 solo exhibitions and have been included in more than 50 curated exhibitions.
In 2007, they were Australia’s Official War Artists, deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and between 2011 and 2014 worked on a follow-up collaboration with artist Jon Cattapan (assisted by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant) about the aftermath of Australia’s wars since Vietnam, which the three artists exhibited in Melbourne across two galleries in late 2014, accompanied by a book (Framing Conflict: Contemporary War and Aftermath, Macmillan, 2014).
Brown’s and Green’s works have been extensively written about, and have been included in a number of museum surveys and are in the collections of most of Australia’s public art collections and institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Australian War Memorial and the National Gallery of Victoria, as well as in many major private collections in Australia and overseas. Charles Green is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Melbourne and Lyndell Brown is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. They are based in regional Victoria.
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.