Finding Arthur Wicks is an investigation into portraiture since the white cube gallery emerged. The white cube is a type of gallery with blank walls diminishing all visual distraction surrounding the art within it. It has proliferated to become the most common gallery style affecting how artists produce work, in turn shaping how we define art. The white cube has led to art practices, which involve more sophisticated uses of space resulting in conceptual and installation practices - art that can be entered.
Art practices since have expanded beyond the two-dimensional modes of art, into the third and fourth dimensions transforming how we look at art and how we see. The visual form of art has changed from flatness to depth changing the rules of figuration and representation. It seems, however that almost all portraiture has stagnated, continuing to copy the "look" of a person on a flat picture plane before being hung on a wall. However, portraiture continues to be the artform with the sole responsibility to explore the nature of the individual, in body and in mind.
This research project is an exploration into portraiture beyond its traditional two-dimensional nature with the aim to develop it alongside other art practices informing and being informed by them, maintaining the core elements of the genre: The portrayal of a person, involving their face, body and inquiry into their character.
Arthur Wicks, the subject of the exhibition, is a contemporary artist living and practicing in Wagga Wagga. Arthur has been making art since the 1960s and is one of Australia’s leading artists in conceptual art, sculpture and performance. Wicks was chosen as a subject based on a comment from Professor Richard Goodwin to Tony Curran in 2010:
"If you’re moving to Wagga Wagga, you have to find a guy named Arthur Wicks." – 2010
Finding Arthur Wicks was completed under the supervision of Dr Neill Overton at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. The exhibition was held at the School of Communication and Creative Industries Gallery, Building 21 CSU Wagga Wagga.
The artist would like to thank Arthur Wicks, Professor Richard Goodwin, Dr Errol Fielder, Dr Dennis O'Connor, Marilyn Thompson, Vanessa Keenan, Gilbert Grace, Jane Naylor, Shane Forest, Drew Halyday, Stephen Payne, Chris Orchard, Tim Crutchett, Pat McKenzie, Dr Neill Overton and Bernie Curran for their various contributions to this exhibition and project.
Media and Publications
Interview with Simon Wallace, ABC Riverina
Opening Address by Dr Neill Overton
Don't Have Flash? Click below to download Dr Neill Overton's opening address.
Exegesis for Finding Arthur Wicks
Don't have flash? Click here to download the Exegesis for Finding Arthur Wicks, Portraiture Since the White Cube.