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Primavera 2002: Young Australian Artists

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


16 Oct 2002 to 08 Dec 2002


Roderick Bunter, James Dodd, Ben Frost, Starlie Geikie, Nat & Ali, Sarah Ryan, Tim Silver, Arlene TextaQueen

Guest curator:

David Broker

about the exhibition

Primavera 2002: Young Australian Artists focused on how the social, political and cultural issues tackled by baby boomers in the 1960s continued to gnaw at the fabric of society, reverberating in the work of contemporary artists at the turn of the millenium. The exhibition addressed how a lineage of international sub-cultural, ‘underground’ and street activity has impacted upon the works of young contemporary Australian artists and the ways in which street arts have been adapted for the art gallery. Individual works took a critical and often satirical look at consumerism, politics, popular youth activities and lifestyle issues. Subject matter was variously drawn from the fashion industry, art, contemporary music and film.

‘Culture jamming’ – the modification and subversion of existing commercial signage – along with pop art and graffiti writing provided the context for the exhibition. Each of these movements is closely aligned to youth or popular culture. Although none of the participating artists fitted neatly into any one of these categories their individual practices drew upon specific movements whilst complicating, questioning and contradicting the ways in which they operate.

Primavera is the Museum’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 years and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of whom have gone on to exhibit nationally and internationally.

Primavera was initiated in 1992 by Dr Edward Jackson AM and Mrs Cynthia Jackson AM and their family in memory of their daughter and sister Belinda, a talented jeweller who died at the age of 29.