It might still be winter but SPRING is here. With a full program of contemporary art staged in Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor, here's what you shouldn't miss.
Minerva: James Deutsher, “The Godfather Pt. 3 (parts one – three)”, 2014. Fayen d’Evie, “12-Step Programme”, engraved text, two crystal decanters, eight crystal low-balls, Laphroaig and Tallisker whiskeys.
From Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th August SPRING1883 will see over 27 independent galleries present works in suites sprawled across four levels of the Hotel Windsor. For four days the Windsor's bathtubs, closets, kingsized beds and minibars will all be transformed into curated living spaces from the gallery's diverse rosters of early, mid-career and senior contemporary artists.
A is for Alaska Projects
Located in Room 318 this year, Alaska Projects is a young artist run initiative based in Sydney. Born out of two disused spaces in a Kings Cross car park ALASKA's rotating program incorporates visual arts, dance, performance, music and film. At SPRING Alaska's suite will feature work from Adam John Cullen, Catherine Clayton-Smith, Kate Scardifield, Nova Milne, Tarik Ahli and Samuel Hodge's mixed media 'false histories'.
B is for Backyard Art
A preoccupation with Australian suburbia is at the heart of painter, singer, lecturer and Melbourne treasure, Jon Campbell's art practise. His work draws on his childhood growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, with language and lexicon serving as the basis for his paintings and show titles including, 'Stacks on', 'Dunno' and 'Up Shit Creek'. Look out for Campbell IRL in Darren Knight Gallery's suite.
C is for Constanze Zikos
The art of Constanze Zikos luxuriates in the excessive and the phoney, lifting patterns and motifs from pop culture and his Greek heritage creating and dissecting contemporary cultural identities. Look out for his wild things in the Murray White Room #307.
D is for Deutsher, James
James Deutsher will be presenting an introduction to his upcoming solo show, 'i Fucked Babylon', a conceptual proposal for a science fiction script. The work featured in Minerva's suite this year will operate as the cover page for the September 16th exhibition in Sydney.
E is for Esther Stewart
i-D favourite and House of Valentino collaborator, Esther Stewart, will present new paintings in Sarah Cottier Gallery's space in room 424. Stewart's lush work springs from the contrasting of form and colour, shifted and repositioned to produce clashes and illusory effects.
F is for Fort Delta
Fort Delta is one of the youngest galleries participating in Spring fair. Based out of the Capitol Theatre Building and opened in 2013, Fort Delta has forged a reputation for their ability to challenge traditional gallery conventions while engaging a diverse audience. For SPRING1883 they will present work by Adam Stone, Simon Gardam, Nyah Cornish and Aiden Morse.
G is for Gag Projects
The nebulous and experimental project born out of Greenaway Art Gallery will take this opportunity to present a rare group show, including the defiant and always bombastic mastered expression of David Griggs.
H is for Hamish McKay Gallery
After well over 20 years in the art game, Wellington's Hamish McKay Gallery, remains committed to pushing the boundaries of possibility for exhibition models. McKay says,"The exhibition model is very 20th century, (exhibition) space is becoming less and less relevant." On offer this year is Ronnie Van Hout's mastery of the hilariously existential, alongside painters Anoushka Akel, Robin Neate, Tony de Lautour, Saskia Leek, Séraphine Pick & Diena Georgetti.
I is for Instagram
Literally internet art, art fairs such as SPRING more than encourage guests to snap and tag photos with artists and gallery handles and hashtags... they are making these images to live on across your 'gram after all #SPRING1883.
J is for Juan Davila
Presenting a selection of brand new paintings in Kalli Rolfe Contemporary's suite, Juan Davila's prolific and fecund paintings have been a staple highlight of every incarnation of Spring Fair.
K is for KANSAS
Pat Foster and Jen Berean work within the realm of social and architectural upheaval through their practice and will present works alongside Ethan Greenbaum and Martin Basher in KANSAS' suite all the way from New York.
L is for Love Letters
A romantic project created especially for SPRING by Peter Atkins and presented by Tolarno Galleries, Love Letters engages with the romance of the Hotel Windsor's Victorian Suits writing desk. Atkins says, "I've been looking at the writing desk in the Victorian suite, a spectacular, obsolete object that conjures so many things: travelling, homesickness, loneliness and hours of writing/thinking/remembering. Such a beautiful remnant from the past, loaded with nostalgic references ..."
M is for Miss Spring
Look out for Anastasia Klose AKA "Miss Spring" at the Windsor throughout the fair. Klose explains that her Miss Spring project, "is a performance wherein I wear a glamorous dress, with a sash titled 'Miss Spring1883' and I attend the opening of the art fair.
A beauty queen or Miss World is a smiling and non-threatening presence, and when people approach me and ask me what I am doing, and why I am Miss Spring, I will say something to the effect of "I am Miss Spring because I am here representing all the female artists that could not be here today because they are not commercially represented and have no avenue to show their work in a commercial context. As Miss Spring, I am also representing midcareer artists who are disposed of by collectors and galleries as they are no longer new."
Miss Spring is a cipher of everything the art world refuses, ignores, neglects and deems to be of no value.
N is for Neon Parc
In addition to participating as a gallerist, Neon Parc Director, Geoff Newton, is also one of the founders of SPRING1883. He is likely to be making the Windsor home for the duration of the fair telling Vogue, "I prefer to have the interaction with people and the art. Yes, it's very old fashioned, very simple, but I believe that it's the only way to experience the work."
This year Neon Parc will present work by Dan Arps, Damiano Bertoli, Dale Frank, Irene Hanenbergh, Janet Burchill & Jennifer McCamley, Josey Kidd Crowe, Fiona MacDonald, Stuart Ringholt and Darren Sylvester.
O is for Outsider Art
A rare and important opportunity will be presented by Robert Heald Gallery with drawings from the mid 1970's by outsider artist, Susan Te Kahurangi King. This runs concurrently with her first museum survey exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami.
P is for Performance Suite
An evolving program of encounters curated by Gertrude Contemporary's Mark Feary, Performance Suite, located in Room 301 will bring attention the work of dancers, choreographers and artists working within participation-oriented practices. Be sure to drop by 301 to see The Telepathy Project, a critical practise by Sean Peoples and Veronica Kent based on the possibilities of alternate forms of communication.
Q is for Queens
Beloved queens, princesses and other monarchy will have their faces obliterated by the shiny black enamel of Tony Garifalakis on the walls of room Sarah Scout Presents.
R is for Room 428
Minerva gallery opened in Sydney in early 2014 as a space presenting exhibitions of selected Australian and New Zealand artists, alongside their International contemporaries. In that short time Minerva has become 'kinda a big deal' primarily because of it's high degree of collaboration between its represented artists, invited artists, curators, film makers, and writers. This year room 428 will show works from Dan Arps, James Deutsher, Josh Petherick, Kate Newby and Signe Rose amongst others.
S is for Simon Denny
Presenting a suite of new work with Michael Lett Gallery of Auckland, Simon Denny's art applies critique and logical deconstruction to contemporary technology and start-up management ecosystems producing insanely abstract yet concise assemblages.
T is for TarraWarra
SPRING1883 team have joined forces with Melbourne arts organisations ACCA, Gertrude Contemporary and TarraWarra to offer a comprehensive program for visiting art fair audiences. The TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation opens on Friday, be sure to take out a trip out to the scenic grounds after your SPRING hotel room hopping!
U is for Unified Practise
Always a highlight of the fair is work from Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley who collectively stand as one of Australia's most enduring artistic partnerships. The pair began collaborating together in the mid-1980s, a time when two female artists working together was largely seen as risky and viewed with skepticism. As a singular collaborative duo Burchill and McCamley's projects cannot be reduced to a signature style but fans of the pair can always decipher ongoing motifs and interests.
V is for Visit
With Melbourne Art Fair postponed until further notice SPRING1883 has truly stepped up to fill the void for art lovers and collectors. Best of all the entire four day fair is open to all to view with free admission and a chic Pommery Pop-Up Bar, serving Champagne as well as food by The Windsor's Executive Chef, Joel Alderson.
W is for Windsor
It's good to be back where SPRING1883 began, at Melbourne's grand Hotel Windsor, located at the very fitting address; 111 Spring Street. After 2015 saw the fair relocate to the modern surrounds of Sydney's Establishment hotel, the old glamour of the Windsor plays host once more and we're excited, not only for the art in the suites, but the buffet breakfast in the hotel's dining room. It is a must for those planning a full day to explore the fair!
X is for Xie, Lantian
Lantian Xie was born in China and raised between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. He will present, as a part of Grey Noise Dubai, a series of responses and interventions into their suite through sound, image and performance.
Y is for You..
...might want to ask Geoff Newton of Neon Parc what time he will be performing his 'dry ice in the bath' trick... it's the ultimate dreamy photo op at SPRING!
Z if for Zilverster
An ongoing collaborative project between Melbourne artists, Sharon Goodwin and Irene Hanenbergh, Zilverster began as a problem solving exercise, a rather beautiful one made up of an original series of fantastical drawings that remain compelling in their strangeness. Zilverster will round out the presentation by Sarah Scout Presents.
SPRING 1883 offers free admission during its public opening hours.
Text Courtney DeWitt
Lead image (Minerva: James Deutsher,"The Godfather Pt. 3 (parts one – three)", 2014, oil on linen, gilt frame, 660 × 1074 mm each. Fayen d'Evie, "12-Step Programme", engraved text, two crystal decanters, eight crystal low-balls, Laphroaig and Tallisker whiskeys, dimensions variable)