April 1st, 2016 – April 23rd, 2016
Effacement describes an act of erasure that encompasses multiple motives and outcomes; it can be material, psychological and/or political, however it always leaves a trace.
Chelsea Lehmann and Luke Thurgate turn ideas and strategies of erasure toward a shared preoccupation with the body. In Efface, the artists employ these strategies as a means of engaging with the body and its relationship to history, identity, sexuality and authorship.
Lehmann explores effacement as both means and meaning. Her works trace pathways through the history of western figurative painting using appropriation and gestural interference to contest the authority of art historical representations of the body.
Thurgate’s paintings reimagine the need for social effacement in relation to gay identity. His line up of yellow heads take their cue from the story of the ‘Yellow Sox Gang,’ an infamous, though fictional, group of men who reputedly stalked the streets of Newcastle, NSW in the 1950s recruiting for their ‘society of perverts’. Like the protagonists from this urban myth, colour codification becomes both call to action and a means of concealment.
Lehmann and Thurgate also collaborate to explore the productive antagonisms of seduction and erasure. They work on and over each other’s artworks, before inviting the audience to erase the work in a process marked by desire, opposition, ambivalence and the interrelationship of destruction and creation.
Proudly supported by the Government of South Australia
To download the exhibition catalogue essay please click here.