Tender Exotics presents an international selection of works on paper from across two centuries and an expansive range of aesthetics and intentions.
The exhibition, curated by Contemporary Art Tasmania’s Curatorial Mentorship recipient, Lisa Campbell-Smith, includes taxonomical plant drawings by celebrated 20th Century botanical artist Margaret Stones, who through her extraordinary skill, gained work as an artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (UK), in the 1950s. Stones’ work sits alongside drawings by Nik Kamvissis, whose primative surrealist series Sucking on Nothing presents a type of folkloric perversity. Also included is the work of American artist and musician Bobby Beausoleil. Incarcerated for life,
Beausoleil’s highly stylised and allegorical pencil works will be shown with his sound composition for Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising (1972). The exhibition will also present adaptations of
designs by 18th Century Scottish botanist and designer, John Claudius Loudon, reimagined into wallpaper by Alan Townsend.
The title Tender Exotics refers to the unifying themes of the exhibition: specimen, artist and institution. This show endeavours to challenge and unsettle the classification of images in a contemporary art institutional context through its unique integration. The re-contextualisation of work by these disparate artists asks an audience to interrogate their own ideas of authorship and artistic value.