Press Release: The Commercial Gallery – September 2013

It is with great pleasure that The Commercial Gallery announces it now represents Gail Hastings and will present a solo exhibition of her work at the inaugural Sydney Contemporary art fair between 19 and 22 September at Carriageworks, Sydney (Booth PC102). It is exciting to be showing new work by this important mid-career Australian artist at what will be the first presentation for the gallery at an art fair. Hastings (b. 1965) has been exhibiting for over twenty-five years with an international exhibition history of significance since the mid-1990s. 

Hastings’ work is deeply invested in a reassessment of the history of Minimalism – Donald Judd, Lee Bontecou– but also points back to the beginning of the 20th century to the work of Russian Constructivists – Varvara Stepanova; and Modernist Architecture – Walter Burley Griffin, Marion Mahony Griffin. Her work articulates real space through aesthetic space via architectural floorplans (watercolour pencil drawings) that physically locate a colourful geometry of objects – a particular language, history and medium with which Hastings works. Her tools.

Hastings’ work is both subject and object. It expounds itself. At the same time as being itself, it explains itself. Within this spatial circuit a viewer finds themself — both spatially and in narrative — as an intelligent agent, bringing about the work’s completion. This is its politics, its participatory democratic dimension. Its utopianism. Meaningful participation is the opportunity Hastings creates by way of demonstrating the potential strength of a viewer. It is also the interpersonal space of the work, between the subject and object, between the I and the you.

For Sydney Contemporary, Hastings has created a new group of sculptural situations. Designs borrowed from the Russian Constructivist Stepanova form the background of this work.

Solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of New South Wales Level 2 Contemporary Projects (2007) – from which major works were acquired by the AGNSW, Sydney, and the Daimler Contemporary Art Collection, Berlin, the exhibition travelled to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, curated by Melissa Keys (2008); Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, curated by Zara Stanhope (2003); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, curated by Stuart Koop (2001); University of Queensland Art Museum (1999); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (1998); Bahnwärterhaus, Galerie der Stadt, Esslingen (1998); Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco (1998); David Pestorius Gallery, Brisbane (1998); Ausstellungsraum Thomas Taubert, Düsseldorf (1997); Galerie Mark Müller, Zürich (1997); Galerie Köstring/Maier, Munich (1997); Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (1997); Ausstellungsraum Thomas Taubert, Düsseldorf (1995); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (1994); Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (1994); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (1993); Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (1993); Store 5, Melbourne (1991, 1990, 1989).

Group exhibitions include JANIS II, curated by Kelly Doley and Amanda Rowell, MCLEMOI Gallery and The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2013); Direct Democracy, curated by Geraldine Barlow, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2013); Less is More – Minimal and Post-Minimal Art in Australia, curated by Sue Cramer, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2012); Minimalism and Applied IIDialogues of contemporary art with aspects of 20th century design and architecture, curated by Renate Wiehager, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin which included artists such as Martin Boyce, Philippe Parreno, Charlotte Perriand, Charlotte Posenenske and Jean Prouvé (2010); To make a work of timeless art – MCA Primavera Acquisitions, curated by Isabel Finch and Clare Lewis, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2008); Pitch your own Tent: Art Projects | Store 5 | 1st Floor, curated by Max Delany, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2005); The Daimler Art Collection – 100 artists out of more than 60 Years, Museum für Neue Kunst ZKM, Karlsruhe (2003); Kunst Nuch Kunst (Art after Art), curated by Peter Friese, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Bremen (2002); Minimalism and After – New Acquisitions, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin (2002); Geometrical Affairs, various galleries, Berlin (2001); The Space Here is Everywhereart with architecture, curated by Renate Weihager, (other artists included Daniel Buren, Liam Gillick, Gordon Matta-Clark, Steve McQueen, Julian Opie, Andreas Reiter Raabe, Gregor Schneider) Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany (1999); Strolling: the art of arcades, boulevards and barricades, publicity, curated by Max Delany, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (1998); All This and Heaven Too: The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 1998, curated by Juliana Engberg and Ewen McDonaldthe Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (1998);On Dialogue, curated by Anne Marie Freybourg, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin (1997); Lovers, curated by Juliana Engberg, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (1995); Store 5,curated by Gary Wilson Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (1994); Primavera: The Belinda Jackson Exhibition of Young Artists, curated by Linda Michael, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1992 – inaugural); 1991 Perspecta, curated by Victoria Lynn, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1991).

Australian public holdings include the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, the Cruthers Collection at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia, Perth, the Gallery of Modern Art | Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Griffith University Art Collection, Brisbane, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

The most significant holdings of Hastings’ work to date is in the Daimler Art Collection, Berlin (with major acquisitions made in 2010 and 1998) where Hastings has also exhibited in important group exhibitions. Other international holdings include the Citibank Collection, New York, and the GAP Art Collection, Los Angeles.

Hastings is based in Sydney. For over a decade, she has actively represented herself, including the creation and thoughtful direction of Gail Hastings Exhibition Studio, a commercial enterprise with an extensive online presence established to facilitate the exhibition and sale of her work. Having exhibited in art fairs in Basel, Berlin, Chicago and Los Angeles, Sydney Contemporary is the first time that Hasting’s work has been presented at an art fair in Australia. She will have her first solo exhibition at The Commercial Gallery, Sydney in mid-2014.

Gail Hastings will be giving an artist talk at Sydney Contemporary in Booth PC102 on Friday September 20 at 2.30pm.

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