Gertrude Contemporary - launch of new premises

Mon, 03/07/2017 - 01:10 -- eyeline

Gertrude Contemporary is moving to its new architecturally designed gallery and studio complex at 21-31 High Street, Preston South on 10 July 2017 where the first exhibition, Octopus 17: Forever Transformed curated by Georgie Meagher will open over the weekend 28–30 July.

Architecture firm Edition Office have designed the fit-out of the High Street premises. The building was built in 1983 and previously operated as a retail furniture showroom.  The large, open-span building offers a flexible shell within which custom-made spaces have been designed for Gertrude’s artistic program.  The new location includes Gertrude’s main exhibition spaces, sixteen studios for the two-year studio program and administration offices. 

‘With purpose designed exhibition spaces that are expansive in scale, versatile in use, and designed with consideration of how we as an organisation support the full and expanding range of artistic practices, our new building will enable us to work with artists and curators on configurations that are adaptable and can best present projects of scale, ambition and risk’, says Mark Feary, Artistic Director.

Gertrude’s sixteen subsidised studios have been incorporated within the configuration of Gertrude’s new premises. For the first time in the organisation’s history, the design of the new building privileges each artist equally, with all of the studios being of the same generous spatial proportions, as well as access to shared workshop facilities.

All of the ground level studios have increased accessibility for artists to work on larger scaled works, as well incorporating more social areas to increase interaction between the studio artists, staff and audiences. Highly functional, flexible and neutral, these studios form an armature around the gallery spaces, making more publicly discernible Gertrude’s dual focus of supporting both the production and presentation of contemporary art.

Octopus 17: Forever Transformed curated by Georgie Meagher will be officially opened on the evening of Friday 28 July.  As part of Open House Melbourne, over the following Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July, Gertrude will allow the public a special look into the new building in its entirety – including the exhibition and back of house artist studio spaces.

Following Octopus 17: Forever Transformed, Gertrude's exhibition program for 2017 includes a project by Melbourne-based artist Tony Garifalakis and Mexican artist Joaquin Segura, curated by San Francisco-based researcher and independent curator Ivan Muñiz Reed and featuring new and recent works focussing on issues of violence, systems of control and political change. To conclude the year, Gertrude will present its highly anticipated annual exhibition by Gertrude’s sixteen Studio Artists.

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Tony Albert, Optimism #2, 2008.