The Piranesi Effect


Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne

The Piranesi Effect, curated by Jennifer Long, was the contemporary companion exhibition of the historically focussed Rome: Piranesi’s Vision presented at the State Library of Victoria. It included contemporary artworks by Rick Amor, Mira Gojak, Michael Graf, Andrew Hazewinkel, Peter Robinson, Jan Senbergs and Simon Terrill juxtaposed with a selection of prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1788) highlighting the ways in which the eighteenth-century artist and architect’s visual strategies and devices are still very much a part of the way artists work today. Hazewinkel contributed two works to the exhibition, one sculptural and one photographic. Made of plaster, mild steel and agate,Two Figures (after Caillois) 2013 comprised two paired figures (each 170 x 30 x 30cm) configured in such a way as to draw a line of sight through the gallery space highlighting Piranesi’s use of visual devices to link objects in pictorial space. Although ancient ruins in the landscape and architectural fragment mashups are a common subject of Piranesi’s etchings, Hazewinkel’s photographic contribution to the exhibition focused on the figure while resonating with some of the psychological themes identifiable in Piranesi’s work. Untitled (Julia Acquilia Severa) 2013, pigment print on cotton rag, 44 x 66 cm.

The two exhibitions were accompanied by the volume The Piranesi Effect (eds K. Stone and G. Vaughan) NewSouth, 2015, which includes selected documentation of the exhibitions and the proceedings from the conference Piranesi and the Impact of the Late Baroque convened by the Australian Institute of Art History.