John Meade Show Business

5 June –
4 July 2009
Show Business
John Meade

Show Business

, 2009

Sutton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Show Business, an exhibition of new sculptural works by John Meade. The exhibition’s title forms an overarching theme, emphasising the works’ striking physicality and material presence, while also referring to the act of ‘showing’ artworks in the public sphere as an essential trigger for creating cultural dialogue.

Show Business is Meade’s first sculptural exhibition in Melbourne for four years, during which time the artist’s work has developed a significant refinement of form. The work in the exhibition achieves a compelling balance of sculptural form, material enterprise and synthesised cultural observation; which is at times complemented by traces of humour.

The exhibition comprises of two wall works, and two vertical floor works. The latter subtly allude to figurative forms – with Double Pin with Heide Plait referencing a female figure and Psychopomp suggesting a stool and orthodox Jewish Shtreimel hat. The utilisation of materials such as real fur and stockings, along with their evocative formal references creates a theatrical sense of showiness. Bad Infinity and Sabrina, the two wall pieces utilise a more organic, abstract
language, provoking a strong physical response from the viewer. Bad Infinity makes a nod to the sculptural works of Franz West through its use of open, biomorphic lines. These abstract forms create a playful formal tension with the more figurative floor works

Alongside regular solo and group exhibitions held in Australia and internationally, Meade has also completed a number of public commissions. These include Mean Yellow at the Victorian Arts Centre forecourt, for the Melbourne Festival, 2000; and Progeny, which features prominently at Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2003. The highly evocative Aqualung was installed at Victoria Harbour, Docklands, Melbourne in 2006. In 2004 Meade spent 12 months undertaking research
in New York City, as a recipient of the highly prestigious Anne and Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship. In 2005 he held a solo show at Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, and in 2006 he featured in the group exhibition 21st Century Modern, held as part of the Adelaide Biennial at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. Next year, Objects to Live By, The Art of John Meade curated by Zara Stanhope, will be held at Latrobe Regional Gallery early 2010, and tour Victoria and interstate.

With special thanks to The Australia Council, Kristin Wursthorn, Jethro Harcourt, Fiona Abicare, Michael Sibel, Fredrick White, Janelle Cummins, Robert Hook

Artist’s profile