An old art joke that refers to painting as the zombie medium of the art world has inspired an exhibition celebrating Australian painters and their work in the New South Wales region.

The Zombie Eaters exhibit is on display at the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) in Albury.

Curator Michael Moran said Zombie Eaters celebrates the strength and longevity of Australian painters from the 1960s to the present day.

“The old joke is that despite the arrival of other mediums such as photography and the desire to take over as the most important art form, painting remains…it just won’t die,” he said. -he declares.

“The artists presented in this exhibition are ‘zombie eaters’, they destroy the myth that painting will die and ensure the survival of painting.”

Juan Davila, Machi 4. Installation view.(Provided: Jeremy Wihrauch)

Mr Moran said the exhibition included the works of more than 30 Australian artists, with a focus on four: Kate Smith, Fiona Lowry, Hamishi Farah and Juan Davila.

“It features the work of some of the best painters who have worked in this country since the 1960s and artists who are doing the best work right now,” he said.

“It’s all about painting that’s great – the exciting, physical, visceral, delicious, vital, intelligent, empowering and sometimes unnerving pieces.”

The paintings are from the Albury City collection as well as public and private collections.

Featured artist Kate Smith, based in Mangoplah in the NSW Riverina, loved the concept that featured artists were ‘zombie eaters’.

“It’s a very good idea and a very open idea to explore what painting can be,” she said.

Multicolored canvas painted in the living room
Kate Smith, Old Money Hickey, 2009. Installation view.(Provided: Jeremy Weihrauch)

Ms Smith, who studied printmaking at art school, found the painting “instinctive”.

“I circulate between two different ways of painting,” she said.

“Some of them can take a long time and be a bit longer, other things are quickly done.

“I like work that is raw and ready and feels like preparation and can make me think about making and what making is.”

Yellow and green bow painted on canvas
Kate Smith, Bow 2nd, 2022. Installation view.(Provided: Jeremy Weihrauch)

Ms Smith hoped audiences would see the “fun” in her work.

“The exhibition shows painting in very wide possibilities and that it can do a lot of weird and simple things,” she said.

Zombie Eaters will run at MAMA until October 16.


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