Embarking on a new collaboration with Bill Henson, one of Australia’s most compelling artists, the Art Quartet performs Chiaroscuro – an evocative, dreamlike response to Henson’s latest work. The concerts will take place at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and are set within a solo exhibition of new works by Bill Henson – his first in Sydney in seven years.
“Bill’s work has inspired me for many years, so the Art Quartet is honoured to create a concert response to this, surely one of Bill’s most anticipated exhibitions,” says Artistic Director James Beck. “What appeals to me particularly is the astonishingly rich layers of historic references in Bill’s work. There is so much for us to draw on, so much to respond to” continues Beck.
Reviewing the Bill Henson exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2017, the critic John McDonald wrote; “…Entering the transformed gallery from a room of French 19th century art, the impact is stunning…. Ineffability is the keynote of Henson’s work. Even the most detailed description would not prepare viewers for the experience of standing in front of these images in a darkened room…. The landscapes are deceptively straightforward at first glance…Yet the complexity of taking the picture from exactly the right position with the right quality of light is immense. It’s one of The Miracles of art that the most difficult and complicated processes result in works of pristine simplicity…”
Mirroring Henson’s thematic material, The Sydney Art Quartet’s performance will be steeped in references to classical civilisations, baroque art, and an ethereal dream-like sensibility.
The collaboration is the latest offering from the Sydney Art Quartet, who have distinguished themselves in the Australian arts scene for their multi-art, multi-sensory approach. Attracting an audience described as “the envy of the arts scene”, previous Sydney Art Quartet projects have included collaborations with actor David Wenham, floral curator Saskia Havekes, fragrance designer Carlos Huber and Archibald Award-winning painter Wendy Sharpe.
“People coming to hear us say they cannot find the kind of intensely personal experiences we create anywhere else’, says Artistic Director James Beck. With only two performances, and a new mingle partnership with design firm Cadence & Co this is going to be one of the most special collaborations yet.