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Past art fair
11 – 21 November 2021

ILEANA is delighted to present a selection of highlights from its programme at this year’s online presentation for Sydney Contemporary. With a focus on international contemporary art, the gallery has in its first year introduced many important artists to the Australian market – including Judy Chicago, Louise Bourgeois, Christopher Wool, Cindy Sherman, Cornelia Parker and Peter Schuyff amongst others.

For Explore Sydney Contemporary, ILEANA is thrilled to present a selection of important early works by Tim Maguire that have not been seen before, in addition to works by Wang Guangyi, Michael Craig-Martin, Bridget Riley and many more.

Past exhibition
1 – 29 October 2021

Opening reception:
30 September 6 – 8pm

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ILEANA is delighted to announce the presentation of ‘Stansfield/Hooykaas – Flying Time’ this October. Originally recorded in Australia in 1982 when the artists were invited to participate in the 4th Biennale of Sydney, Vision in Disbelief, it is the only work they made in Australia yet it has never been exhibited here (although another version is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada). 

As a transitional work within the artists’ oeuvre, Flying Time was Stansfield/Hooykaas’ first video in colour, adding significance to the chromatic richness of the imagery. The work cleverly juxtaposes notions of natural time against the recorded systems of human timekeeping, emphasising the medium’s temporal dimension that distinguishes it from traditional art forms.

Elsa Stansfield and Madelon Hooykaas are early European video art pioneers, who collaboratively worked from London and Amsterdam at a time when collaborations, video art and female artists were all underrepresented in the art world. They rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, and exhibited with the influential new media gallery The Kitchen in New York alongside artists such as Nam June Paik, Cindy Sherman, Vito Acconci, John Cage and Philip Glass. Their work has been included in the Documenta in Kassel (1987) and is collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam amongst others.

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Past exhibition
4 June – 23 July 2021

Opening reception:
4 June 6 – 8pm

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Confined to his studio when the lockdown hit Switzerland in Spring 2020, Dorian Büchi found himself looking for inspiration within his immediate surroundings – an abnormality for the Swiss artist who normally spends large amounts of time in his country’s famous mountains. He had been intrigued by a prickly pear plant that he brought back from a recent trip to Italy, and which was thriving in the very different climatic conditions in his Swiss studio. He was initially drawn to the plant as a symbol for the resilience of nature in different climates, but it had also become his last connection to nature now that he was unable to leave his studio and apartment.

The series of paintings that emerged are very much of our time. The cacti, themselves a symbol for an eco-conscious generation that likes to surround itself with plants, have been portrayed (quite literally in portrait formats) as heroic figures, often from quite dramatic angles and with dynamic compositions. Set against a blurry, airbrushed background, the prickly pears are the protagonists of our recent history, symbolising not just the resilience of nature in the face of climate change, but also of humanity in lockdown.

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Echoes of Laocoon exhibition at ILEANA Contemporary Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia

Past Exhibition
19 February – 23 April 2021

Opening reception:
19 February 6 – 8pm

Walead Beshty, Melissa Gordon, Tony Lewis, Tim Maguire, Takesada Matsutani, Edda Renouf, Peter Schuyff, Christopher Wool

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What makes a painting a painting, and how does it differ from poetry? Those questions seem straightforward today, but until the 18th century there wasn’t considered to be a difference at all. Once cultural philosophers started to explore this topic, however, it quickly became the driving factor for understanding the development of modern art, and for art’s claim to autonomy. Over the course of the 20th century it also offered artists a linear narrative framework within which to position their practice, leading many to conclude that they had painted the last painting.

The debates around this theme are largely known as ‘medium specificity,’ most famously defended by the American scholar Clement Greenberg. And although his writings have been discredited over the years, contemporary artists have only expanded their engagement with their mediums since. Instead of the often-declared ‘death of painting,’ the post-modern condition has generated an incredible variety of artistic responses.

This exhibition brings together a small number of artists who have engaged with debates around medium specificity in one way or another. Some have continued the narrative where others have tried to undermine it; other artists have explored it from angles such as identity politics that had previously not been considered.

The exhibition features several artists who have never exhibited in Australia before, including Peter Schuyff, Tony Lewis Takesada Matsutani and Melissa Gordon; and it is the first selling exhibition with works by Walead Beshty, Christopher Wool and Edda Renouf in Australia.

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Great Ladies Exhibition at ILEANA Contemporary Art, Brisbane

Past exhibition


17 November – 23 December 2020

Louise Bourgeois, Sonia Boyce, Judy Chicago, Rachel Howard, Louise Lawler, Cornelia Parker, Bridget Riley, Cindy Sherman

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Freely translated from the French grandes dames, ‘Great Ladies’ is the title of an important body of work that pioneering feminist artist Judy Chicago produced in the early 1970s. In these abstract paintings, she explored important female figures who had been marginalised in historical accounts because of their gender. Her extensive research into the subject culminated in her now iconic The Dinner Party (1974-79) – a majestic installation dedicated to a total of 999 women most of whom are still under-represented in mainstream history. Judy Chicago’s masterpiece, as indeed all her previous work, was met with fierce resistance from predominantly male critics, and only managed to tour the world because of the artist’s creative funding efforts. When The Dinner Party made its way to Australia in 1988, it was exhibited at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne rather than the National Gallery of Victoria, as local organisers were reluctant to recognise it as a work of art.

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ILEANA Contemporary Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia



Sales & sourcing of international contemporary art

ILEANA opened its doors in November 2020 with the aim of bringing international contemporary art to Australia. Located in New Farm, Brisbane, the gallery will present a series of selling solo and group exhibitions, starting with Great Ladies which features important female artists from Europe and the United States.

The gallery was founded by Boris Cornelissen, who previously worked as a contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s in London and Hong Kong. Educated in the Netherlands, Paris and London, Boris has expert knowledge of both historical and emerging artists, and brings a wealth of expertise in European, American and Asian art to Australia. In particular, he has a strong interest in historical artists that have, for whatever reason, remained outside of the mainstream but occupy a prominent position in art history.

Aside from the programme of gallery exhibitions, ILEANA is also active in the secondary art market and is able to help you if you are looking to acquire or sell works by international contemporary artists.

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