Gertrude Contemporary’s 2011 Studio Artists’ exhibition presents a selection of new work by Australia’s most innovative young artists. As an organization that fosters artists in the first fifteen years of their career through studio residencies, exhibitions, touring exhibitions, publications and educational programs, Gertrude Contemporary offers an environment where risk, experimentation and creativity are encouraged. As such, the annual Gertrude Studio exhibition presents a sampling of Australia’s most dynamic contemporary art practice.

Featuring fifteen artists and a collaborative duo, working across a range of disciplines, this year’s Gertrude Studios exhibition weaves its way throughout the labyrinth of Gertrude Contemporary’s gallery spaces.  Each year the exhibition seeks to enhance commonalities as well as linking and intersecting what appear to be divergent practices, to reveal shared concerns and associations.  The result is that the exhibition is a combination of multiple incursions, interruptions and subversions within works, between works and in relation to the gallery spaces.

Kate Smith presents a new suite of paintings which represent three distinct collaborations: with fellow studio artists Trevelyan Clay and Alex Vivian and painter Geoff Newton.  Each work was passed back and forth between the collaborator and Smith and as a result the three paintings illustrate the act of finishing another’s (painted) sentences. Trevelyan Clay also presents a new series of paintings detailing multiple layers of material, reference and textures. Previewed earlier this year at the Auckland Art Fair, Clay’s work speaks of painting despite or beyond its inherent ‘stacked’ history. Clay’s new series depicts paintings as you might find them in studios, storerooms or even in one’s own mental teledex.

Darren Sylvester presents a new sculptural work, a replica of the patchwork of materials which constitute a NASA space suit.  Constructed out of 27 different layers and materials, the replica is evidence of Sylvester’s meticulously researched and detailed re-creation of historical events and associated icons – revising them with a sense of nostalgia, reverence and relevance. Where often Sylvester’s treatment of these objects is to have them form the sets and props of his photographic work, he is presenting this work as a sculptural installation for the first time.

Building on various spatial experiments throughout the year, Alex Vivian has constructed three new sculptural works which are comprised of material compressed into glass vessels and one new painting. For these new works Vivian employs the Classical ideals of form, proportion and balance to wrestle with a compressed, restrained and entangled identity politic. Also working with and around notions of compression is Josh Petherick, who presents a new series of prints which toy with the process of duplicating images into abstraction.  Splicing and collaging images of architectural features, Petherick re-frames and further dis-joints these, breaking free of the frame and of frames of reference.

Both Susan Jacobs and Katie Lee both present new works that respond to the architectural constraints within the gallery spaces and each undertake a poetic re-writing and structural intervention.

Also featuring in the exhibition are new works by Emily Ferretti, Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano, Laith McGregor, Sanné Mestrom, Selina Ou, Hanna Tai, Jensen Tjhung, Jake Walker and Paul Yore.