Cover image of the review

I can see Russia from here

24 Jun 2017
TCB art inc. 7 Jun - 24 Jun 2017

I walk along grimy Waratah Place in downtown Melbourne. The walls of the buildings are black from use, a chef from a nearby Chinese restaurant crouches on the pavement playing on his iPhone. I climb a flight of rickety wooden stairs and enter the gallery. Two young volunteers sit huddled together in front of a computer screen ignoring me, the only person in the gallery, at least as long as I was there and maybe for much of the day.

“I can see Russia from here”, installation view.

It's a modest show of small, often nondescript-looking objects, spaced evenly around the first of the gallery's two rooms. Perhaps the most immediately recognisable is John Nixon's Black and Brown Cross of 1988, which is really nothing more than four squares of black enamel paint applied to the corners of a sheet of knotted plywood to produce a replica of one of Malevich's famous crosses. But we also see something of Malevich in Gordon Bennett and Eugene Carchesio's Untitled of 1992, which is an aerial watercolour of the globe looked on upon from the intersecting triangles, squares and rectangles of Russian Suprematism, and Bennett's Self-Portrait No. 22 of 2003, which overlays a photo of Bennett with the white female mannequin of Malevich's Girl with a Comb in Her Hair of 1933.

To read for free enter your email address.

Log in with your registered email address.

Memo can continue to publish free, quality, and independent weekly art criticism with the support of our readers. Consider becoming a Patreon supporter or making a donation.