View :: 2020 Twenty Art Shows in 20 Days

October 11th 2011


2020: Twenty Art Shows in 20 Days could be a rom com set in New York in which a fortune-teller tells Kate Hudson that she will fall in love with an artist. Post-haste she sets about attending openings nightly, masquerading as a famous art-dealer’s daughter, or maybe a critic for an obscure high-end art magazine. At the end of all the hilarity, she realises that she is in love with her brooding, slightly geeky, but incredibly attractive male artist-friend who has been helping with her act the whole time, and whose exhibition opens on the twentieth night. His opening is a profound success, skyrocketing him to instant stardom, and the next day they are able to visit Kate’s dying grandmother for a blessing on their love.*

2020, the ambitious project undertaken by the Jon Frum Art Foundation is perhaps a slightly more highbrow affair. Over the first five days I caught Tamara Mendel’s impressive works that use resin in a paint-like manner; the pay off for them looking so cool is the works having to lie flat to dry for three months she tells me. I also bought kisses off Brown Council in a surprisingly challenging interaction, and have been treated to some art that is good enough to come all the way from America, from sci-art pioneer Andrew Krasnow (science meets art, I didn’t make that up). I also caught Matt Miller exploring that cool way that polystyrene melts when you paint it, and Andrea Monti making things that aren’t rubbish out of rubbish.

Jon Frum Art Foundation was founded by Australian artists Nick Pike and Tamara Mendels in 2008 while they were living in New York. They gained a following for their unique model of presenting and supporting artists that provides a platform, particularly for Australian artists, to exhibit “in one of the world’s biggest art centres”, by which I believe they mean New York. They have come back to us, and teamed up with Sydney curator Robert Lake who has added to an international line up a list of so-hot-right-now local artists. Hopefully this won’t be like the cargo cult association of the Jon Frum Art Foundation’s namesake, a religion in Vanuatu that formed around American aid drops during WWII. Please Tamara and Nick, don’t drop candy and blankets from the sky if you are going to leave one day and never return, leaving us to cut an airstrip in the jungle at the same time every year in anticipation for your return.

There are still fifteen more nights to go, so get into it. Tonight you can catch Mary MacDougall (I fell in love with her tiny paintings when she was in the Helen Lempriere Prize one year) and Anna John, who is a sound artist and ceramicist (which will she do? Maybe both?). Alexander Jackson Wyatt needs your help to rearrange space on Friday 14 October in his solo show ‘Enough to store in a storage unit’, and Dara Gill makes good things, so see what he has made on Wednesday 19. Those are just my picks though; check the full program here.

*Copyright pending, Megan Garrett-Jones 2011.

What: 2020: Twenty Arts Shows in 20 Days

Who: Presented by the Jon F


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