Linda Marrinon “Figure Sculpture” is a new hardcover monograph published on the occasion of the major survey exhibition of the same name held at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art), 11 July – 19 September 2015, curated by Charlotte Day.
A key figure in Australian art since the mid-1980s, Linda Marrinon has developed an idiosyncratic language of painting and drawing steeped in postmodernist irony and feminist wit. Over the last decade, Marrinon has concentrated her attention on a significant body of entrancing and enigmatic figurative sculptures, forty-eight of which are brought together from public and private collections around Australia at the Monash University Museum of Art for Linda Marrinon: Figure Sculpture 2005-2015.
Like many of her peers who established their reputations in the 1980s, Marrinon draws her references from both ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, presenting a series of archetypes, intermingling soldiers, maids, matrons, ingénues, twins, travellers, intellectuals, performers, peasants and the privileged with a handful of identities ranging from Voltaire to Field Marshal Montgomery to Dame Joan Sutherland to MC Hammer. Marrinon casually pulls these subjects from a floating archive of objects, people, places and histories.
The texture of Marrinon’s artworks, laden with traces of the artist’s hand and sculpture tools, is reminiscent of the sculptures of Edgar Degas or Auguste Rodin, while their subjects evoke the mannerisms of the Regency, Victorian or Edwardian periods. Marrinon redeploys nineteenth-century studio practices, and the historical association of plaster casts with the serious study of classical antiquities, in her own whimsical subversion of the genre. Like characters from archaic forms of popular theatre, her figures are equipped with stage properties or articles of clothing by which they can be identified, sometimes simply by high-waisted pants or long sleeves, or more obscurely with a postiche or a shillelagh. The figures are dressed up but perhaps not for the music hall stage; Marrinon reinterprets the ideas, contemporaneous with Impressionism, of the new visibility of urban life and the flâneur into a contemporary sea of selfies and self-performance with which her audience is familiar.
ALongside colour reproductions of her sculptural works in the exhibition, the catalogue features texts by Charlotte Day, Robyn McKenzie and Julie Ewington.
- Linda Marrinon: Figure Sculpture 2005-2015
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