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AGNSW Contemporary Project – Kathy Temin

My Monument: Black Garden

Kathy Temin My Monument: Black Cube, 2009, synthetic fur and filling, steel and wood, 350 × 375 × 375 cm (full work and detail). Collection: Lyon Collection, Lyon Housemuseum, Melbourne. Image courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne. Photo: John Brash.

Australian artist Kathy Temin creates her most ambitious work to date for the AGNSW Contemporary Projects series.

Enormous in scale, My Monument: Black Garden 2010–11 has been made specifically in relation to the architecture of the Contemporary Project Space and draws on influences ranging from her family’s cultural displacement to popular culture and art history.

The overall composition of My Monument: Black Garden refers to the geometric logic and distilled physicality of minimalist sculpture, but is comprised of densely accumulated tree-like forms covered in synthetic fur. In situ, these cushiony pillars act as both an impenetrable wall and a simulated landscape.

Temin is interested in creating an experience for viewers that shifts between the confronting and contemplative in order to explore ideas related to memory, history and loss. My Monument: Black Garden refers to the function of monuments as objects that demarcate public spaces for private thought, as well as the arrangement of landscaped gardens – sites inherently associated with contemplation, decay and renewal. While the work’s strident blackness is redolent of mourning, Temin’s evocative use of synthetic fur alludes to soft toys, comfort and refuge.

Temin’s distinctive aesthetic is known for its fusion of disparate qualities: the familiar and strange, literal and metaphoric, organic and artificial, solemn and kitsch.

She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally since 1990. In 2009, Temin’s career was celebrated in the 20-year survey exhibition, Kathy Temin, at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She is a senior lecturer within the Department of Fine Arts at Monash University, Melbourne.

Public Talk and Preview
Kathy Temin in conversation with Wayne Tunnicliffe, head curator of Australian art
Wednesday 31 August 2011, 6pm
Free, no bookings required

AGNSW Contemporary Projects are supported by Andrew Cameron.

Contemporary art with UBS

On view
1 Sep – 20 Nov 2011
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


Media contact

Claire Martin
Tel 02 9225 1734
Mob 0414 437 588