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Birth of the Cool Art Exhibition

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by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
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Golden era of Australian art
Birth of the Cool is a new art exhibition currently showing at the Samstag Gallery, Adelaide. It showcases a selection of works by four painters: David Aspden, Sydney Ball, Michael Johnson and Dick Watkins. It features a simple hard edge abstract style from the decade between 1963 and 1973.

David Aspden, Outer Spice 1969  Photo Jenny Esots
David Aspden, Outer Spice 1969 Photo Jenny Esots


These Australian artists were determined to compete on the world stage. In there first showings they were considered controversial, rebellious, stylish, playful and confident.

Birth of the Cool Art Exhibition  photo Jenny Esots
Birth of the Cool Art Exhibition photo Jenny Esots


These works presented a new era in there day. They presented new Australian art which had many detractors. These works then went out of favour in the art world but are now reemerging, hence the somewhat ironic title. Art becomes dated, discredited and then rediscovered and reinvented for new audiences. A cycle of life in the art world.

David Aspden, Norfolk Five 1970 Photo Jenny Esots
David Aspden, Norfolk Five 1970 Photo Jenny Esots


This collection of works has been curated by Terence Mallon, who has collated works from private and institutional collections across Australia. The brilliant abstraction dominates, draws the viewer in and excites. The vivid lines and brash colours can be seen as the forefathers of graffiti's street art. Another new generation of artists fifty years later with vehement detrators. The cycle of the life in the art world goes on.

Sydney Ball Pawnee Summer 1973  Photo Jenny Esots
Sydney Ball Pawnee Summer 1973 Photo Jenny Esots


The exhibition runs from Friday 17 July until Friday 18 September 2015.
Anne & Gordon
Samstag Museum of Art
Hawke Building, City West campus
University of South Australia
55 North Terrace, Adelaide
Corner of Fenn Place and North Terrace

Opening Hours
Tues, Wed Fri 11 5pm
Thurs 11 7pm
Sat 2 5pm
Free admission
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Why? Brilliant abstraction
When: Friday 17th of July - Friday 18th of September
Phone: Telephone: (08) 8302 0870 samstagmuseum@unisa.edu.au
Where: Anne & Gordon
Samstag Museum of Art Hawke Building, City West campus University of South Australia 55 North Terrace, Adelaide (cnr Fenn Place and North Terrace)
Cost: Free admission
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