21
Jan
10

Opening: ‘Ron Mueck’ at the National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 22nd January – 18th April 2010

 

You saw it first on Art Blart.

Many thankx to Sue, Erin, Alison and all the crew at the National Gallery of Victoria for inviting me to the media opening (and for doing such a splendid job!) and to David Hurlston, Curator of Australian Art at the NGV, for allowing me to interview him.

The photographs of the exhibition proceed in chronological order. There are a couple of lovely photographs using long exposure (especially the very last photograph one of my favourites). Enjoy!

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

.
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria. Please click on the photograph for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Dead Dad' 1996-97

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Dead Dad' 1996-97

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Dead Dad' 1996-97

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Dead Dad' 1996-97

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Dead Dad' 1996-97

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Dead Dad
1996-97
Installation photographs
Silicone, polyurethane, styrene, synthetic hair
Ed. 1/1
20.0 x 38.0 x 102.0 cm
Stefan T. Edlis Collection, Chicago
© Ron Mueck courtesy Anthony d’Offay, London
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'A girl' 2006

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'A girl' 2006

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'A girl' 2006

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'A girl' 2006

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'A girl' 2006

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
A girl
2006
Installation photographs
Polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, synthetic hair, synthetic polymer paint
Second edition, artist’s proof
110.0 x 501.0 x 134.5 cm
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh Purchased with assistance from The Art Fund, 2007
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Wild Man' 2005

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Wild Man' 2005

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Wild Man' 2005

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Wild Man
2005
Installation photographs
Polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, aluminium, wood and synthetic hair
2850 x 1619 x 1080 mm
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh Purchased with assistance from The Art Fund, 2008
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

Mueck initially planned to make a figure who appeared confined, as if backed into a corner, but decided to make Wild Man after seeing an illustration of the colossal stone sculpture Appennino 1579-80 (Villa di Pratolino, Vaglia, Italy) by the late Renaissance artist Giambologna. Appennino depicts a crouching hirsute river god, which inspired the oversized hairy ‘wild man’ of Mueck’s sculpture. The critic Anne Cranny-Francis notes that a wild man tends to be a reclusive individual afraid of human society and that this ‘might explain why [Mueck’s] large male figure – in one sense, the very image of the powerful white male – grips his chair, body rigid with tension, and stares over the heads of viewers in a paroxysm of fear’ (Cranny-Francis 2013, p.6). The man’s nakedness adds to this sense of vulnerability, making him both physically and emotionally exposed.

Extract from Susan McAteer. “Ron Mueck: Wild Man,” on the Tate website February 2015 [Online] Cited 23/05/2019

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Two Women' 2005

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Two Women' 2005

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Two Women' 2005

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Two Women' 2005

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Two Women
2005
Polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, polyurethane, aluminium wire, steel, wool, cotton, nylon, synthetic hair, plastic, metal
Ed. 1/1
82.6 x 48.7 x 41.5 cm (variable)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2007
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

Ron Mueck’s Two women is an uncanny sculptural representation of two elderly female figures. The disarming realism of the work invites close scrutiny from which the viewer discovers Mueck’s virtuoso skill in rendering human features, costume details and the idiosyncratic attributes that form personality. Huddled close together, as if gently bracing themselves from the cold, the women peer outward with expressions that suggest both suspicion and vulnerability.

A strong component of fantasy exists in Mueck’s work as he deliberately subverts conventional paradigms of scale. Much like the characters of Gulliver’s Travels, Mueck’s figures are monumentally increased or dramatically reduced in size. Mueck has explained, ‘I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day’ (S. Tanguy, ‘The progress of Big man: A conversation with Ron Mueck’, Sculpture, vol. 22, no. 6, 2003). The effect, as in the case of Two women, intensifies the physical and emotional aura of his figures. The minute stature of the women creates a tension between artifice and reality that elicits a viscerally empathetic response from the viewer. His creations appear seemingly trapped in introverted emotional states as their physical poses, gestures and facial expressions reflect the inner world of private feelings and thoughts. Mueck’s figurative sculptures often explore the timeless themes of birth, ageing and death.

The craftsmanship with which Mueck constructs his sculptures adds significant impact to our viewing experience. This is very much apparent in Two women where each strand of hair is individually inserted into the characters’ heads; the clothes are specifically tailored to fit their anatomically proportioned, yet miniature bodies. Mueck has carefully fabricated the eyes of the women creating a transparent lens over a coloured iris and deep black pupil to astounding effect.

Extract from Alex Baker. “Ron Mueck’s Two women,” in Art Bulletin of Victoria 48, 29 January 2014 [Online] Cited 25/05/2019

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Woman with Sticks' 2008

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Woman with Sticks' 2008

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Woman with Sticks' 2008

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Woman with Sticks
2008
Installation photographs
Mixed media
170 x 183 x 120 cm
Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, Paris
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

In January 2010, the National Gallery of Victoria will present a major exhibition of the work of internationally renowned sculptor Ron Mueck.

Known for his extraordinarily life-like creations, this exhibition will feature twelve sculptures by Mueck including four new works.

This will be the largest and most comprehensive Mueck exhibition ever to be held in Australia.

Frances Lindsay, NGV Deputy Director, said: “Since his dramatic entry onto the international art stage, Mueck has continued to astound audiences with his realistic, figurative sculptures and now occupies a unique and important place in the field of international contemporary art.”

David Hurlston, Curator Australian Art, said Ron Mueck’s poignant sculptures illustrate timeless human conditions from birth to demise.

“Mueck’s sculptures range from puckish portrayals of childhood innocence to acute observations of stages of life; from birth to adolescence, middle and old age, and even death. Many are solitary figures, psychological portraits of emotional intensity and of isolation,” said Mr Hurlston.

The exhibition will draw from Australian and international collections, highlights include: Mask II 2001/02, Man in a boat (2002), Old woman in bed (2000/02), Wild man (2005), Two women (2005), In bed (2005), and through the generosity of a private collector from the United States, the iconic work Dead Dad (1996/97).

In addition to these there will be a number of new works created specifically for this exhibition which will be unveiled for the first time in Melbourne.

In his early career Melbourne-born Mueck worked as a puppet maker, however since 1997 he has been entirely devoted to making sculpture. In 1996, he was ‘discovered’ by British advertising guru Charles Saatchi, who included Mueck’s Dead Dad as part of the history making Sensation exhibition the following year.

Mueck went on to represent Australia at the 2001 Venice Biennale, capturing worldwide attention for his 4.5 metre sculpture, Crouching Boy.  Since then, he has become one of the most significant figures in the contemporary art world.

Ron Mueck will be on display at NGV International on St Kilda Road from 22 January until 18 April 2010.

Press release from the National Gallery of Victoria website

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Man in a boat' (detail) 2002

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Man in a boat' (detail) 2002

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Man in a boat (details)
2002
Mixed media
159 x 138 x 425.5 cm
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Youth' 2009

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Youth
2009
Installation photograph
Mixed media
65 x 28 x 16 cm
Private collection
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photogtaphs of Ron Mueck's 'Youth' (2009) with 'Still life' (2009) in the background

Installation photogtaphs of Ron Mueck's 'Youth' (2009) with 'Still life' (2009) in the background

 

Installation photogtaphs of Ron Mueck’s Youth (2009) with Still life (2009) in the background
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Still life' 2009

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Still life' 2009

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Still life
2009
Installation photograph
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Old Woman in bed' 2002

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Old Woman in bed' 2002

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Old Woman in bed
2002
Polyester resin, fibreglass, silicone, polyurethane, synthetic hair, cotton, polyester, second edition, artist’s proof
25.4 x 94.0 x 53.9 cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, purchased 2003
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Drift' 2009

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958) 'Drift' 2009

 

Ron Mueck (Australian b. 1958)
Drift
2009
Installation photograph
Mixed media
118 x 96 x 21 cm
Private collection
© Ron Mueck
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the Ron Mueck exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the Ron Mueck exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria showing at left Woman with Sticks (2005) and at right Two Woman (2005) with A girl (2006) in the distance
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the Ron Mueck exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation photograph of the Ron Mueck exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria showing A girl (2006)

My favourite pic of the day!

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Opening hours
10am – 5pm

National Gallery of Victoria website

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42 Responses to “Opening: ‘Ron Mueck’ at the National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne”


  1. 1 Karla
    November 22, 2010 at 7:01 am

    please come to southern california!! i am in love with your work!

  2. 2 Beth
    November 5, 2010 at 5:16 am

    How about this wild card! I live in Carson City, Nevada, USA. 15 miles from Lake Tahoe and 30 miles from Reno, Nevada. Please consider hosting your work in San Francisco, or at the up and coming Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. These works are profound! Thank you for sharing your gift! Beth

  3. 3 Linda Coble
    October 14, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Mr. Mueck

    My memory just rocketed to Michelangelo’s “David”. However, the impression left by “Wild Man” has overpowered “David”. I am so in awe I can hardly express it! Profound…The shocking realism overwhelms the senses.
    “You must come to North Carolina USA!” says my husband. We are both so impressed by these images, we cannot wait to experience it-“for real!”. What Michelangelo did in his era – you have accomplished in today’s world. Well done, Sir!

  4. 4 mary wesley
    October 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

    just visited the exhibition in Christchurch, New Zealand. what a totally awesome experince. was so surreal, words fail me. October 2 2010

  5. 5 Bridgot Bürckert
    September 30, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Oh my word!! What amazing work!! This is ANOTHER reason to visit Oz!!

  6. 6 Breezy
    September 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    i’m just waiting every single minute to see Ron Mueck’s scultures in New York city
    I love’it
    Please let me know!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks…. Breezy!!

  7. 7 Curios
    August 27, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Why do you like the last picture the best? I feel that its blurry all over, i guess it has a subject but its either out of focus or blurry so i dont what makes this photograph worth posting… honestly i feel it takes away from the galery

  8. 8 when are you coming to New York City
    July 26, 2010 at 1:04 am

    When are you coming to New York City?

  9. 10 Kim
    June 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I just went to see “A Girl” in Oakville. I loved it. It was like a good book, leaving you wanting more. It’s great and very interesting. Thank-you

  10. 11 Ollie
    June 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    your work is all at once mesmerizing, bizarre, grotesque, beautiful, fascinating, shocking, genius, provocative, profound and so many more “ing’s”! I would love to experience an exhibit. Do you plan exhibiting in US any time soon? Thank you for sharing a part of you with us!

  11. 12 Marce
    June 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Mr Mueck

    I am from Mexico, I hope some day you will considering bringing you amazing sculptures to North America.

    Arte en toda su expresión son sus obras, Felicidades!

  12. May 22, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Beautiful, dynamic, what an incredible sculptor. Is a catalog of the exhibition available for sale?
    Do you know if or when he might tour the USA? I live in California.
    Fabulous-I am blown away, as I am certain so many other have been.
    Regards,
    Stephanie

  13. 15 Sandy Khoury
    May 4, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Wow, what talent! I would love to know when these are comming to our area (Virginia) or close enough where I can travel to see these! Spectacular……. I’m so anxious to see these, please give me dates and addresses of when they will be close to our area?????

    PLEASE COME TO OUR AREA OR CLOSE BY!!!! Thank you

  14. 16 garydanton
    April 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Great post and exhibition, I recently got to see some of Rons work first hand at a gallery in Manchester in the UK. “Wild Man” is very eerie, but my favorite was “Spooning Couple”. Rons art is unique.

  15. 17 christina payne
    April 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    i hope that one day you will come to usa i live in missouri and my family would drive to any state to see your art work that are wonderful. you have a beautiful gift thanks for sharing …..

  16. 19 Patricia
    April 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Unbelievable talent. Still reeling. What a gift!

  17. April 16, 2010 at 6:39 am

    this is great to see. i’m going to be visiting melbourne in 2 weeks so would be missing out on visiting the exhibition so it’s great to see the art. thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. April 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I am a photographer and have some great photos of Ron Muecks exhibition I would like to contribute. Who would I email them?

  19. 23 Louisa
    March 23, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Mr. Mueck
    Your works are so amazing, bring us to the reality view and make us to look steadily at them.
    Hope I can have the chance to face to face them in Taiwan someday.

  20. 24 josh
    February 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Man these sculpters are so weird but AMAZING!!!!! i never new that this was posible to do.Is the man in the wall real?

  21. 25 Miranda
    February 15, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Hello Mr. Mueck,

    The next time you come to the U.S., I hope you will consider bringing your outstanding work to the West Coast. We are waiting…

    Best Wishes,

    Miranda

  22. 26 Kelly
    February 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    I´m from Uruguay South America!!!!!
    This sculptures are espectacular.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can´t beleved
    I woutd rather be there !!!!!!
    thank you for show us !!!

  23. 27 Gerd-Marie Lange
    January 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Thank you so much for this sneak peak of Muecks new works!


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Mask’ 1994

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