Stephen Bush, Helen Johnson, Nicholas Mangan, Peter Robinson Sutton Gallery @ Depot Gallery, Sydney

15 – 26 April 2008
Stephen Bush


, 2007
Oil and enamel on linen
198.5 x 234cm

Sutton Gallery will present new works by Stephen Bush, Peter Robinson, Nick Mangan and Helen Johnson at Depot Gallery, Sydney, in April of this year. The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity for Sydneysiders to explore the works of these highly respected artists.

With a well-established reputation in Australia, Stephen Bush has enjoyed critical success internationally through regular exhibitions in New York, LA, and a major survey at SITE Santa Fe, curated by Laura Heon in 2007. Known best for his intriguing landscapes depicting disparate subjects, including potatoes, farm equipment, out dated computers, rubbish bins and antiquated stoves, his surreal world is an exploration of the unconscious. Moving from lurid abstraction to figurative realism, he creates guttural juxtapositions of the visceral and the sublime. Important solo exhibitions include Stephen Bush at SITE, Santa Fe, USA in 2007; Blackwood Skyline at The Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne in 2003; and Claiming: An Installation of paintings by Stephen Bush, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, which toured to Adelaide and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA. Awarded the prestigious Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, 2007, his work is widely collected by major public and private collections in Australia and in the USA.

New Zealand artist Peter Robinson’s work is historically known for its critical exploration on issues of identity and ethnicity. Originally trained as a sculptor, Robinson’s work expands beyond sculpture into drawing, painting and other media. He has continually shifted tack throughout his career in his use of materials and techniques and the content he addresses. Robinson’s early works were concerned with personal and racial issues as he analysed and responded to his part-Maori heritage. His more recent work has shifted from this rhetoric, becoming increasingly abstracted; exploring the materiality of the mediums he works with. Robinson has exhibited extensively internationally, exhibition highlights includes representing New Zealand at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001; Three Colours (with Gordon Bennett) at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia in 2004; and more recently Ack at Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand in 2006.

Nick Mangan is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most promising young artists. Having graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drawing) from the Victorian College of the Arts, his practice has moved outside that of strictly 2-dimensional into one of hand-tooled objects, which become 3-dimensional articulations of space. He employs interesting materials, coupled with readymade, everyday objects, to extend his drawing language into a spatial one. Mangan held a studio at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces from 2001-2002, exhibiting two separate bodies of work at Studio 12 during this time. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at Sutton Gallery, Melbourne. Significant group exhibitions include 2004 : Australian Culture Now, A Collaboration Between the National Gallery of Victoria and Australian Centre of the Moving Image, Melbourne in 2004; he was included in Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2004; in 2006 he showed as part of Adventures with form in space: the fourth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and Uncanny Nature at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Mangan was the recipient of an Anne and Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarships in 2007. He is currently completing post graduate studies at UDK in Berlin as part of this scholarship. Mangan will exhibit as part of the seventh SITE Santa Fe International Biennial, in the US, later in the year.

Helen Johnson graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) majoring in painting at RMIT University, Melbourne in 2002 and is rapidly establishing herself as an artist of note. Johnson’s practice deals with the complex relationships between personal ideology and the broader sociopolitical ideals which underpin a society. Scale shifts between large scale tableaux which enfold the audience and smaller works on paper that draw viewers in to decipher their delicate details. Johnson completed a studio residency at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in 2005. Johnson has presented multiple solo exhibitions both here and overseas, as well as contributing to a number of important group exhibitions, including Octopus 6, curated by Zara Stanhope at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in 2006; The Independent Project, curated by Alexie Glass and exhibited at Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, in 2007; and New 06, curated by Juliana Engberg for the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art, Melbourne, in 2006. In 2007 she was one of only eleven international emerging artists featured in Present Future, a curated section of Artissima,
Turin, Italy.