The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art
Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018
The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist, Gail Hastings, pp. 48-62.
Artist’s Project: Space Practising Tools, Gail Hastings, pp. 63-75.
Gail Hastings notes that sometimes artworks seem to be reticent teachers, “muttering a lesson,” which we have to pry out of them. As both an artist and scholar reading the material and spatial in Donald Judd’s sculpture Untitled (DSS 33), Hastings rejects this metaphor, stating …Rebecca M. Brown, ’In This Issue: Muttering and Listening‘, editorial, Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018.
… with and through Judd’s work and words that “The knowledge we therefore seek of Dss 33’s space cannot be found as a critically apt, well-packaged utterance detachable from the work. It is found, instead, in the reciprocal movement of the work’s self-determination, the ‘living force of its existence,’ forever in process of creating space while perpetually wading through the ‘natural confusion’ of life this embroils.” (A pause, here, to agree whole-heartedly with Hastings’s formulation while reconizing it as, indeed, a well-packaged utterance of the highest calibre, one that does not deliver a didactic lesson.)
Rebecca M. Brown, ’In This Issue: Muttering and Listening‘, editorial, Art Journal, College Art Association, New York, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018.
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Shared Background: Family Portrait – a new edition I’ve been making. The figure in each of the three individual blue portraits on the window sill, the cut-out, shares the same background as the other two or, rather, IS OF the same background. A family portrait. It’s a looped space, a loopedosity.
8 Easey Pieces
8 Easey Pieces is the inaugurating group exhibition at FUTURES, a new contemporary art gallery about to set sail in Collingwood with co-directors Steven Stewart and Zara Sigglekow at the helm.
The work of mine in the exhibition, and pictured in the Art Guide ad above, is Shared Background: Family Portrait in Naples (Yellow), 2020. The sculptuation (sculptural situation) comprises four components: the three family portraits as typically seen on one’s desk, bookshelf or fireplace mantelshelf, and the background space. The background space materialises as the figures pictured in the family portraits.
8 Easey Pieces consists of work by artists Nathan Beard, Tim Bučković, Lara Chamas, Matilda Davis, Matthew Harris, Gail Hastings, Sylvan Lionni, and Tama Sharman.
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, like a good dinner party, is a symbiotic arrangement of handshakes and tensions. Purchases and receipts. Winks and nods. A beautiful congregation of weirdos! A smattering of paintings, works on paper and sculptural objects reveal aesthetic somersaults, conceptual trigonometry and otherwise wild desires. These works do what artists do best – reconfigure what is inward, what is material, and what is felt, into the magically strange; take an object, do something to it, then do something else to it.Steven Stewart and Zara Sigglekow
21 Easey Street, Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia
+61 449 011 404
This somersault was just for fun.
But since you are here and, again, from the Directors:
‘8 Easey Pieces’ opens 15 July
Come celebrate our inauguration on Saturday 17 July, 2-5pm
Space Practising Tools
Thank you Margaret Roberts for purchasing Space Practising Tools. Margaret Roberts is a wonderful artist.
Just a note: The two bookends in the book, itself, are the image of Donald Judd’s in acknowledgements at the front, and Space Practising Tools Number 5.
This parenthesis holds the remaining Space Practising Tools.
National Assistance Program for the Arts
Biggest thanks to the National Assistance Program for the Arts for the one-off payment I received in May.
I spent lockdown writing in-depth applications for assistance from federal, state, local and subscriber arts agencies, to be continually rejected one after the other. At one stage I submitted my name, only — frustrated by the time, thought, hope and expectation each application extracted — to see that rejected too.
Nothing worse than spending time on an activity that generates continual rejection during a pandemic lockdown that has caused most to ride its various waves of panic. Governmental safety nets were stoically put in place to avoid this type of degenerating despair for many in society — except for artists.
My time would have been better spent focussing on my Space Practising Tools project, a part of which is pictured above. Arts agencies do not generally see my art as art, since it consists of the space we look ‘through’ everyday, rather than ‘at’.
For example, while you’ve no doubt spotted the three boxes on the table in the photo above, these are not the point of this particular Space Practising Tool. The point is the scoop of space at the front of each, which is not dissimilar to the scoop of space of the adjacent windowsill.
The similarity forces the first to be treated not unlike the second — ignored as just a part of the room.
This is the situation this particular Space Practising Tool has somehow to solve, where it is pictured here in midway development.
In writing this I hope to emphasise why I am thankful to the National Assistance Program for the Arts for the payment they provided. For in their distribution letter they wrote:
This initiative was created and supported by the below named-group to provide some support to Australia’s arts industry through the COVID-19 crisis. The arts are a critical part of our culture, community and national identity. We see you and we value your contribution to life in Australia.
The last sentence of the letter from the National Assistance Program for the Arts still makes me emotional: ‘We see you and we value your contribution to life in Australia’.
Participating Philanthropists and Philanthropic Entities:
|Andrew Myer AM & Kerry Gardner AM|
Ann & Warwick Johnson
Berwyn Roberts & Jennifer Mackenzie
Carrillo Gantner AC and Ziyin Gantner
Creative Partnerships Australia
Darin Cooper Foundation
Day Family Foundation
Doc Ross Foundation
Inner North Community Foundation
James and Diana Ramsay Foundation
Kate and Stephen Shelmerdine Family Foundation
Kathryn Fagg AO
Kim Williams AM
|Mandy and Edward Yencken & Family|
Mark and Louise Nelson
Nunn Dimos Foundation
Sarah Myer and Baillieu Myer AC
Sidney Myer Fund
Simon Mordant AM and Catriona Mordant AM
Tim Fairfax AC
The Skrzynski Family Sky Foundation
Art Journal’s Fall Issue out soon
Art Journal Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018
Gail Hastings The Power of Inclusion in Donald Judd’s Art: Observations by an Artist
Gail Hastings Artist’s Project: Space Practising Tools
Rebecca M. Brown writes:
Editorial work involves listening, opening one’s sense to silenced voices, to the quiet whispering at the porous edges of our consciousness. Gail Hastings notes that sometimes artworks seem to be reticent teachers, “muttering a lesson,” which we have to pry out of them. As both an artist and scholar reading the material and spatial in Donald Judd’s sculpture Untitled (DSS 33), Hastings rejects this metaphor,
stating with and through Judd’s works and words that “The knowledge we therefore seek of DSS 33’s space cannot be found as a critically apt, well-packaged utterance detachable from the work. It is found, instead, in the reciprocal movement of the work’s self-determination, the ‘living force of its existence,’ forever in process of creating space while perpetually wading through the ‘natural confusion’ of life this embroils.” (A pause, here, to agree wholeheartedly with Hastings’s formulation while recognising it as, indeed, a well-packaged utterance of the highest caliber, one that does not deliver a didactic lesson.)
See Art Journal, ed. Rebecca M. Brown, Vol. 77, no. 3 Fall 2018, p. 5.
Winner of this years Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize
Gail Hastings and Adrian McDonald awarded 2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize
The judges for this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize – Natasha Bullock (MCA Senior Curator), Judith Blackall (NAS Gallery Curator), Mark Harpley (Visual Arts Coordinator, Redlands School) and Fabian Byrne (Visual Arts Teacher, Redlands School) – announced the award at the opening of the exhibition of finalist works presented at the National Art School Gallery in Sydney.
Natasha Bullock said: “Gail Hastings’ work is playful and inventive, and distinguished by its aesthetic rigour. It is an exquisitely-made object, which questions the definition of minimalism, and the movement of everyday space.”
Mark Harpley, Head of Visual Arts at Redlands School, added: “Gail Hastings’ colour circle: four colour scheme for a room (2018) will be an important addition to the Redlands Collection. Hasting’s assiduous engagement and comprehensive investigations with art practice are reflected in this five-part work. For teaching and learning, the work has an immediate reference to the colour wheel, a tool used by all art students. It allows them to undertake their own investigations into Hastings’ interpretation of space and the stories in a broader context.”
Gail Hastings has been working and exhibiting since 1989. Her rigorous and deeply-committed practice is informed by a complex spatial investigation from the 1960s that the artist and others believe has been miscalled ‘minimalism’. Her works, which she describes as ‘sculptural situations’, or ‘sculptuations’, call our attention to a real space made active through its co-extension with an aesthetic space of objects and form, with colour and text that engage the viewers’ imagination. Her ‘sculptuations’ are like ‘passages’ of thought that meander through rooms with walls, where we find ‘ourselves’ physically wandering, while wondering. The viewer’s ‘engagement’ becomes an unfolding plot that turns back on itself: her work is poetic, witty and always visually accomplished.
2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize at the National Art School Gallery
The prize exhibition will be held at the National Art School Gallery in Sydney from 15 March until 12 May 2018.
Nike Savvas writes, ‘I have selected artists whose practices evidence discriminating, uncompromising and highly individualist approaches to art making. In a cultural climate beset by hype, hits, corporatisation and swinging social agency, the next iteration of this exhibition titled Extreme Prejudice seeks to highlight the personal and critical imperatives that belie and drive such single-minded work’.
Fellow participating artists include Richard Bell, Vivienne Binns, Vicente Butron, Richard Dunn, Sarah Goffman, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Tim Johnson, Lindy Lee, Stephen Little, Hilarie Mais, Jonny Niesche, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Kerrie Poliness, Elizabeth Pulie, Huseyin Sami, David Serisier and Jenny Watson.
In addition to the main prize, each artist nominates a younger artist to participate in the emerging prize. Harking back to her WA roots, Gail Hastings nominates Dan McCabe — a Fremantle based artist.
Thanks go to Nike Savvas for her invitation to participate in the exhibition.