Melbourne, Australia: Anna Schwartz Gallery today announced it will unveil a new first-floor gallery space, Gallery 02, on 18 November to be launched with an exhibition of new works by celebrated Australian artist Stephen Bram. The new gallery space underwent a transformative renovation overseen by the gallery's original architect Denton Corker Marshall, that reflects the ground floor architecture and creates a cohesive space.
The exhibition of Stephen Bram works will be presented from 18 November until 19 December 2020 in Gallery 02, alongside the recently reopened John Nixon exhibition Groups + Pairs 2016 – 2020 in Gallery 01. Groups + Pairs 2016 – 2020 represents the final exhibition the seminal artist produced in his lifetime. John Nixon passed away earlier this year.
The renovated Gallery 02 space will enable concurrent exhibition programs to be presented in both levels of Anna Schwartz Gallery, whilst creating a place for discussions and events. It will be inaugurated by a new series of large-scale black and white abstract paintings by Stephen Bram.
Anna Schwartz, Founder and Director of Anna Schwartz Gallery, said: "With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne, we're delighted to reopen our Gallery to the public, including our revitalised first-floor gallery. During the virus restrictions, we chose, rather than to present artists' exhibitions as online experiences, to wait until there could be a proper engagement between artists' works and their audiences. This new space will provide the opportunity to show more current exhibitions and projects to our diverse audiences, starting with Stephen Bram's black and white paintings."
Beginning in 2014, Bram's imaging expanded from the strict, hard-edged, abstraction that had been the defining premise for all works in two and three dimensions. The new black and white series that emerged comprised paintings made with small, organic paint gestures, resembling a conflation of pointillism, finger painting and extreme macro views of organic matter, blown up to the point of abstraction. This exhibition brings together the most recent and largest scale works from this evolving series.
Stephen Bram is known for his paintings, large-scale wall drawings and three-dimensional, room-size installations, which have been executed in galleries and museums around the world. He was one of a small group of artists who established Store 5 in 1989, an artist-run exhibition space in Melbourne, which reinvigorated abstract painting in Australia.
Bram's work engages perspective and architecture, constructing spaces where hard-edged abstract shapes collide. His paintings reveal the flatness of the canvas and at the same time its potential to create spatial depth. The artist is engaged in a deep and long-lasting conversation regarding abstraction, illusion, representation, idealism, architecture, modernism and postmodernism.
Bram's works are in important public and corporate collections including, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Daimler Collection, Berlin; B.H.P., Melbourne; Monash University, Melbourne; University of Queensland, Brisbane; Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.