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Poignant final exhibition at Flinders city gallery

A compelling exhibition of Australian portraiture showcasing some of the nation’s most celebrated artists is on display at the Flinders University Art Museum’s City Gallery.

The exhibition, open until 24 June 2018, will be the last the museum will hold in its venue within the State Library and is a fitting tribute to the gallery’s commitment to Australian art over its 20-year history.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: shifting perspectives in Australian portraiture brings together 65 significant works from the Flinders University Art Museum’s leading collection exploring the evolution of Australian portraiture from the late 19th to the early 21st century.

Featuring painting, printmaking, drawing and photography, HEAD-TO-HEAD includes works by renowned artists Gordon Bennett, Noel Counihan, Nici Cumpston, Julie Dowling, Fiona Foley, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ricky Maynard, Tracey Moffatt, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen, Mike Parr, Christian Thompson, Hossein Valamanesh and others.

Key themes addressed in the exhibition include the representation of Indigenous Australians, first and second generation migrants, and women.

The exhibition also looks at the choice of unusual subjects in the depiction of unlikely heroes and everyday Australians, as well as the portrayal of our social and political preoccupations.

These themes bring historically marginal voices to the fore, while revealing a nation coming to terms with its history, inhabitants and ever-changing place in the world, says Flinders University Art Museum Director Ms Fiona Salmon.

“In the age of the selfie, HEAD-TO-HEAD illuminates the enduring value of portraiture in understanding how we represent ourselves and others, and grapple with the human condition,” she says.

“Collectively curated by the Art Museum team, it is a show that speaks across generations and cultures about art and life, and represents a powerful denouement to our city presence.”

Flinders University City Gallery was first established in Grote Street, Adelaide, in 1997. The gallery moved to the larger and more prominent location within the State Library of South Australia in 2003.

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Over this period the gallery has staged 125 exhibitions, opening its doors to more than half a million visitors.

To ensure Flinders University Art Museum and Gallery remains a leading and progressive exemplar in its field, the public-facing exhibition program is being strategically relocated to the university’s main campus at Bedford Park, where it will build on its important work and connect in new ways to students, staff and the broader communities it serves.

New infrastructure to support the program will ensure Flinders University Art Museum continues to address social, cultural and educational objectives and deliver a fresh and exciting space in which many communities can gather, exchange ideas and meaningfully engage with art.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: shifting perspectives in Australian portraiture was formally launched on Friday 11 May 2018 by Karen Vickery, the Director of Learning and Visitor Experience, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

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