Friday, August 3, 2012

PB: Jon Campbell

It's all about sport right now, isn't it?

I'm typing this watching the Olympic men's rowing feeling the usual push pull of national loyalties (do I go for Poland or Australia?).

Last night it was barracking of a different kind at the announcement of the Basil Sellers Art Prize at The Ian Potter Museum of Art. I've been to the Basil Sellers Art Prize openings before – and they've always been fun – but this year, in an Olympic year, nay Olympic week, the atmosphere was ecstatic. I think the saturation coverage acted like a really skilled warm-up act. We were primed, practiced and broken in. I had my hopes pinned on Jon Campbell, the winner, after a quick walk around the galleries. His series of paintings of footballer's nicknames was humorous, effortlessly cool and loving. Catalogue essays in the promotional material that accompanies these shows often read like they were knocked off between emails and meetings but Joanna Bosse's appreciation of Campbell's paintings, and oevre, is really finely crafted. Blame it on the box, I'm going to say it: sensational.


Jon Campbell 
Dream team (detail) 2012 
enamel paint on plywood 
22 paintings, installation (variable): 300 x 300 cm 
© Courtesy the artist, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne; and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney 
Photo: Mark Ashkanasy

Basil Sellers Art Prize 2012
The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne 

3 August – 4 November 2012

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