Pub­lic works

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Visual Arts - Bron­wyn Wat­son

Pat Larter, Ta­nia (1995). Col­lec­tion Na­tional Gallery of Vic­to­ria. Pur­chased 1997. On dis­play in Ev­ery Bril­liant Eye: Aus­tralian Art of the 1990s, NGV Aus­tralia, Fed­er­a­tion Square, Mel­bourne, un­til Oc­to­ber 1. Over the years Pat Larter’s work has been var­i­ously de­scribed as porno­graphic, tacky and voyeuris­tic. Larter knew her work was con­fronting; as she said, she aimed to give view­ers “men­tal heart­burn”.

At the 1996 Ade­laide Bi­en­nale, for in­stance, her Marty with Plant Life, fea­tur­ing a pho­to­graph of a nude man in a yoga pose, caused con­ster­na­tion. Crit­ics were scathing and the lo­cal news­pa­per pub­lished it with the gen­i­talia blacked out.

Marty with Plant Life also caused anx­i­ety in 2014 when cu­ra­tor Gemma We­ston in­cluded it in her ex­hi­bi­tion Glit­ter at Perth’s Lawrence Wil­son Art Gallery. Such was the con­cern that Marty might of­fend vis­i­tors, it was rec­om­mended a new wall be built to hide him.

Larter pro­duced nu­mer­ous images of Marty, and one of them is on dis­play in Ev­ery Bril­liant Eye: Aus­tralian Art of the 1990s at the Na­tional Ta­nia, Ta­nia

Coloured inks, syn­thetic poly­mer paint, plas­tic and glit­ter on can­vas; 132cm x 85.4cm

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