Press release | The Commercial: Missing

The Commercial

Gail Hastings


an eBook comprising four new sculptuations by Gail Hastings

Foreword by Richard Shiff

pre-release now available on iBooks

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“Interaction with art can be an occasion for hilariously multi-directional anxiety. The artist, observing someone observing her work, feels an unbearable cocktail of solicitude and vulnerability. The observer, knowing she is observed, frets that she’s missing something.[…] Gail Hastings’ work achieves quite a remarkable state of grace. Taut control in design and execution, coupled with an exhilarating and generous capacity to turn things over, at exactly the right time, to the viewer.”

Annabel Crabb

Excerpt from book review of Missing.

full review

For over twenty-five years, Gail Hastings has been making art that creates space. Her steadfast productivity has not been an output of arbitrary aesthetic objects but rather the building of a socially and ethically-driven awareness—intelligence—of space through an articulation of our relations to and amongst physical objects and our relations to each other.

Hastings locates us in the physical place we happen to be through its manifestation as a serif-faced formation in slow watercolour on absorbent rag paper. The watercolour is a meta-depiction of the spatial configuration with floor plans plotted in lead pencil in the tradition of architectural drawing.

Each of Hastings’ sculptuations is a social contract of sorts between the viewer and the art object, where the viewer is supported by the navigational-linguistics of a spatial system in which the art object participates. In return we are rewarded with the lucidity and intelligence of her work, its humour and ironies, its generosity and its hospitality.

With her latest work, Missing, Hastings presents us with four new sculptuations available through the (relatively) democratic medium of the eBook. With this the artist has introduced a new physical interface, placing the viewer in a new spatial relation to the work with the added aspect of tactility. Where previously we moved within the artwork with the aid of our feet and movement of the whole body, now we hold the space of the artwork in our hands and swipe the face of it as it appears illuminated on the screen of an iPad—the artwork’s new vehicle. Via the screen, with its supportive-protective housing, we enter and go through the space of the work as participants completing (our understanding of) each work. And then we exit.

With Missing, Hastings makes her work broadly accessible in this new medium for the first time and the eBook purchaser becomes art collector.

Gail Hastings’ solo exhibitions (non-commercial) 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); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (1994); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 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 Martin Boyce, Philippe Parreno, Charlotte Perriand, Charlotte Posenenske and Jean Prouvé (2010); To make a work of timeless art – MCA Primavera Acquisitions, curated by 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).

Commercially, she has exhibited with Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco; The Commercial Gallery, Sydney; Galerie Köstring/Maier, Munich; Galerie Mark Müller, Zürich; David Pestorious Gallery, Brisbane; and Ausstellungsraum Thomas Taubert, Düsseldorf.

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 are 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.


A special rate of AU$ 14.99 for Missing is available during the iBooks pre-release period.

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This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.