Lauren Berkowitz and Starlie Geikie

27 September - 18 October 2014

This joint exhibition from Lauren Berkowitz and Starlie Geikie takes a historical overview of both artists’ practices while also reflecting on art spaces in Melbourne — past and present. From Lauren Berkowitz’s Blue Wall, exhibited at Realities Gallery in 1990, to her Onion Sac Wall, first exhibited at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery in 1996, the artist reflects her sculptural methodologies of collecting, arranging and repetition. These works demonstrate the artist’s continued interest in the recycling of materials and in art historical trajectories, including the reinterpretation of the works of Mark Rothko and Yves Klein. Starlie Geikie’s practice reinterprets craft techniques, such as quilt-making and embroidery and upends their usual associations. More recently she draws on influences ranging from the Bauhaus weavers to experimental dying and Hare Krishna robes to Morris Louis’s colour field paintings and Sonia Delauney’s textiles. As a previous member of Clubs Projects, the Melbourne artist-run initiative (2003-6), her work spans her earlier cinematic and gothic embroideries of 2004–5 to her Delauney-eque soft sculptural work of today. Both artists have shown together previously in a curated exhibition by Rebecca Coates at Neon Parc (2008), and have been framed in exhibitions curated by Melissa Loughnan and Helen Hughes at Utopian Slumps (2010 and 2011). This exhibition drags all of these histories into the present.

Berkowitz has completed a BFA in Sculpture at RMIT, a Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts, Sculpture, at the Victorian College of the Arts and an MFA in Sculpture at the School of Visual Arts, New York. She has exhibited across institutional and commercial spaces in Australia and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; LaTrobe University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne; Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Artspace, Sydney; Sherman Galleries, Sydney; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Berkowitz participated in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan, 2003 and the Aichi Triennale, Japan, 2010. She was included in Discreet Objectscurated by Helen Hughes and Melissa Loughnan at Utopian Slumps in 2010 and held her first solo exhibition with Utopian Slumps, Visceral Forms, in 2012. Berkowitz most recently exhibited in Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013-14. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections in Australia and overseas, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Jewish Museum of Australia, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bendigo Art Gallery and Monash University Museum of Art collections.

Geikie completed a Master of Fine Arts at RMIT, Melbourne in 2002 and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include Velites, C3, Melbourne, 2014; Optional Mysteries, with Helen Walter, Abbotsford Convent Rotunda, Melbourne, 2013; Saracens, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; If I am not, put me there; If I am, so keep me, Utopian Slumps, Art Forum Berlin, Germany, 2010; The Great Alone, Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Gippsland, 2008; Low and Lone, Canberra Contemporary Art Spaces, Canberra, 2008; Open Studio, 18th Street Arts Centre, Los Angeles, 2006 and O Mother, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, 2002. Selected group exhibitions include Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013-14; Like Mike, curated by Geoff Newton, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; Future Visions, Castlemaine Festival, Victoria, 2013; Recent Acquisitions, Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Victoria, 2013; Future Visions, curated by Caroline Kennedy McKracken, Divonne les Bains, France, 2012; Reason and Rhyme, curated by Emily Cormack, Charlotte Huddleston and Amita Kirpalani, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and St Paul St Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, 2011; The Secret Life of Plants, curated by Andrew Gaynor, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth, 2009; Victory Over the Sun, curated by Melissa Loughnan and Helen Hughes, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009; Girls Girls Girls, curated by Nat Thomas and Lyndal Walker, Carlton Club, Melbourne, 2008; Starlie Geikie and Lauren Berkowitz, curated by Rebecca Coates, Neon Parc, Melbourne, 2008; The Horror of Tradition, curated by John Souza, Andrew Shire Gallery, Los Angeles, 2008; and This is the thing I thought would never come, curated by Tony Garifalakis, Bus Gallery, Melbourne, 2006. Geikie has received grants from the Australia Council and Arts Victoria, including an Australia Council Studio Residency in Los Angeles in 2006. Her work is held in the Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Artbank, Chartwell and St Vincent’s Hospital collections.