Amelia Winata
Tiny Miners: Nicholas Mangan, Termite Economies

Nicholas Mangan, Termite Economies

Sutton Gallery, 4 August 2018 -- 1 September 2018

By Amelia Winata

I noticed when researching for this review that Nicholas Mangan was born in Geelong, where I, too, was born. And, presuming that Mangan grew up there, I wonder whether he ever encountered the bizarre CSIRO Animal Health Laboratory that I lived near. Crowned with an enormous tower that, in hindsight, might have been a colossal chimney (perhaps for releasing the smoke and vapour from biolog...

Giles Fielke
Philadelphia Wireman

Philadelphia Wireman

World Food Books, August 3 – September 1, 2018

By Giles Fielke

There is an overwhelming temptation to fill in the constitutive blanks where an artist’s life should be, but here there is no artist, only the artworks remain. The evidence of the so-called Philadelphia Wireman’s life is patchy, effectively non-existent. Enough facts remain, however, to establish a scene. Twelve of the some 1200 small, meticulously bound-in-wire sculptures and drawings found dumped in a lan...

David Wlazlo
Melbourne Art Fair & Spring 1883

Melbourne Art Fair & Spring 1883

This week Memo Review travels through two art fairs currently open as part of Melbourne Art Week: David Wlazlo and Amelia Winata review the reborn Melbourne Art Fair at Southbank Arts Precinct, and Vicki Perin reviews the third Spring 1883 at The Hotel Windsor on Spring Street.


Melbourne Art Fair

Southbank Arts Precinct, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, 2–5 August

By David Wlazlo

Maybe it isn’t the best way to approach it, but Melbourne Art Fair (...

Anna Parlane
A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness

A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 7 July – 16 September 2018.

By Anna Parlane

The current exhibition at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness, is very welcome. This is in part because it is the inaugural product of an institutional and governmental investment in not only Indigenous artists but also Indigenous curators. A partnership between Creative Victoria, ACCA and Ta...

Memo Review
Best and Overlooked of 2018

Best and Overlooked of 2018

Memo Review asked three of our contributors to write on a show they have especially liked but that we haven't had a chance to review. As a special issue we publish these reviews from Tiarney Miekus, Amelia Winata and Giles Fielke.


Ella Sowinska 80 Ways

recess, Friday 30 March – 30 April 2018

By Tiarney Miekus

Considering the amount of things that can be streamed online (i.e., entire lives), it's peculiar how art is a thing that supposedly doesn't h...

Shelley McSpedden
Auto Body Works

Auto Body Works

Arts Project Australia, 16 June – 21 July 2018, guest curated by Patrice Sharkey, Director of West Space

By Shelley McSpedden

I recently made a rather modest foray into the world of body augmentation. After ninety minutes of being subjected to intense buffering, sharp prods and eye-watering fumes, I emerged transformed; a once recalcitrant nail-biter revamped into someone just presentable enough for inclusion in my sister's bridal party. This alarmingly visceral experience...

Rex Butler
Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars

Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars

Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria. Colony: Australia 1770–1861 until 15 July | Colony: Frontier Wars until 30 September

By Rex Butler

Colony is undoubtedly the best show the NGV has put on since Australian Impressionists in France in 2013. And I’d even say that the two shows are connected. Seriously. Both shake up our conception of what “Australia” is and perhaps even more profoundly where “Australia” is. Certainly, a number...

Paris Lettau
Andrew Browne, Spill

Andrew Browne, Spill

Tolarno Galleries, Level 4/104 Exhibition Street, 7 June – 7 July 2018

By Paris Lettau

In the final chapter of his 1931 book, An Account of French Painting, Clive Bell attempts to explain what he calls 19th century French painting's (i.e., modernism's) 'momentous lapse in taste'. Of course, he meant a lapse from the perspective of those trained in the 19th century Academy's tradition of taste, and all the standards of painting it sought to uphold. For Bell's generat...