Museum of Contemporary Art Australia opens Ken Whisson. As If

. September 28, 2012 . 0 Comments

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia presents Ken Whisson. As If, aa major retrospective of Ken Whisson’s work, produced in collaboration with the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne. On view 28 September – 25 November 2012.

Ken Whisson, Imaginary America 1974–75 (detail), oil on composition board. Courtesy Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Victoria. Gift of Eva and Marc Besen 2001. © the artist.

As If comprises more than 200 portraits, landscapes and sketches tracing the evolution of Whisson’s practice over the past six decades. The artist is renowned for his unique vision and independent style. He is recognised as one of the most important painters in Australia, with a presence in many public and private collections.

The title of the exhibition derives from Immanuel Kant’s dictum: ‘May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law’, and the Paris surrealists’ declaration: ‘Let us live as if the world really exists’.

The Holocaust, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War, the threat of nuclear annihilation, the end of Communism, the domination of global capitalism, the collapse of colonisation and European hegemony, 9/11, and the war on terror form the backdrop against which Whisson’s numerous drawings and paintings have been created.

Ken Whisson (born in Lilydale, outside Melbourne in 1927) trained as a painter in Melbourne during the 1940s under Russian émigré artist, Danila Vassilieff.

Since the late 1970s, he has been based in the Italian city of Perugia, during which time his interests in displacement and memory have joined his enduring themes of landscape, identity and politics.

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
140 George Street
The Rocks
Sydney, Australia
T +61 2 9245 2400

Category: Fine Art

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