Lost in the layered, labyrinthine story behind Riet Wijnen’s Sculptuur Sixteen Conversations on Abstraction?

Let’s attempt to uncode it’s connected concept: a conversation.
The conversation’s script is imagined.
But it’s existence is very real.
You’d have discovered this by attending a related event, a Performative Reading at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The Performative Reading was quite literally Conversations with Abstraction. You see, one character in ‘Sixteen Conversations of Abstraction’ is Australian modernist painter Grace Crowley. As you might imagine, from such a deeply thoughtful artist as Wijnen, conducting the performative conversation in the space showing her own work is too basic, simply too obvious I suppose. Instead, it took place in the 20th & 21st C Australian Art Gallery on entry floor of Art Gallery of NSW where Crowley’s elegant Portrait of Lucie Beynis is on show.
So, there you are at the Reading, with art of various eras, artists and mediums all simultaneously in one space. The connections roll out like falling dominoes.

I imagine an unscripted, real life conversation with Wijnen would also be as endlessly meaningful as her art, with topics of conversation journeying to another and another. Until, at 3am you realise you have been talking 12 hours! And not only would you have discovered one another’s history, but surely collaborated to reimagine the history of anyone from Robert Mapplethorpe to Captain Cook.
Speaking of Cook, I’d like to tell her she was born on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788,  and the artwork The English Channel which is a depiction of Cook is in Art Gallery of NSW’s same space that held her Performative Reading. Cook is also keeping company with Crowley’s Artwork in this space

Why not explore the layers of this story yourself, across the storeys of The Art Gallery of NSW. Enter the foyer and turn left to encounter The English Channel and Grace Crowley. Then head downstairs to see Wijnen’s work on lower level 2 of The Art Gallery of NSW

Enjoy making memories of the Biennale


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