Sally Smart

The Violet Ballet

Sally Smart

2 March—27 April 2019


Encounter the work of one Australia’s most significant contemporary artists, Sally Smart, as she makes a welcome return to Adelaide with her immersive new installation, The Violet Ballet.

Widely known for her large-scale, richly-coloured assemblage installations, Smart has carved out a world-renowned career that spans more than three decades. The Violet Ballet extends on Smart’s distinctive practice, examining the extraordinary legacy of the Ballet Russes – in particular its macabre dance piece Chout (Tale of the Buffoon) – alongside traditional the Indonesian Wayang character Punokawan.

Through textiles, costumes, dance, film and shadow puppetry, The Violet Ballet presents a dynamic mise en scene that brings avant-garde performance into conversation with the entwined legacies of colonialism and orientalism.

SALLY SMART (b. 1960) is one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists recognised internationally for large-scale cut-out assemblage installations and increasingly, performance and video, her practice engages identity politics and the relationships between the body, thought and culture including trans-national ideas that have shaped cultural history. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Smart is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, and board member (Deputy Chair), National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Sally Smart recent exhibitions and projects include: NGA Play, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia (2018-19); The Choreography of Cutting, Postmasters ROMA at 1/9 Unosunove, Rome, Italy (2017);  Prima Visione #4, (OFCA) International, Sarang Building, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; (2017); Vestibule Commission, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Australia (2017)Art Collaboration with Italian fashion House Marni, Milan, Italy (2017); The Choreography of Cutting Postmasters Gallery, New York (2016); Odyssey: Navigating Nameless Seas, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2016); Conversation: Endless Acts of Human History (with Entang Wiharso), Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta (2016); Dark Heart: 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2014); Negotiating This World, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2013); The Pedagogical Puppet Contemporary Galleries, University of Connecticut, CT., USA (2012); Contemporary Australia: Women, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Brisbane, Australia; and No Name Station, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China.

Smart is represented in significant public and private collections including: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; GOMA/Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The University of Melbourne Art Collection, Melbourne; Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, USA; The William Benton Museum of Art Connecticut’s State Art Museum, USA; British Museum, London, UK; and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt, Germany.

Image credits: Sally Smart, Chout Act_4, 2018, Melbourne Art Theatre performance, Gossard Theatre, Melbourne. Photo Jeff Busby.

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