Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Celebrates 20 Years in Business
7 February 2002
Twenty years ago, Roslyn and Tony Oxley opened the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery on MacDonald Street in Paddington, Sydney. Since then, the Gallery has been committed to promoting cutting-edge Australian contemporary art, winning critical and commercial recognition for its artists both in Australia and overseas. The growth of Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery has paralleled the careers of the artists it represents most of whom came to the Gallery as unknown names and have gone on to be some of the very best in Australian contemporary art.
Over twenty years, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery’s exhibition program has been courageous, being the first to promote the most challenging and innovative forms of recent artistic inquiry. Many early exhibitions were important landmarks in the development of new directions in contemporary art in this country.
The Gallery’s second show, a section of the Sydney Biennale, was raided by the Australian Federal Police Vice Squad who removed works by Chilean artist Juan Davila because they were deemed to be offensive to public morals. When public outcry ensued, New South Wales State Premier, Neville Wran, intervened and Davila’s work was re-installed, marking an important win for contemporary art as both agitator and watchdog in important social and political issues. Today, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery continues to be committed to the often confronting cultural messages presented by its artists.
In 1990, the gallery moved to Soudan Lane in Paddington where it still is today. The new site offered one large gallery space and a smaller project room. The exhibition program continued to evolve in the new space, incorporating a younger generation of artists around the core of more established, high-profile artists.
One of the Gallery’s most important achievements has been recognising that contemporary art in Australia had to meet rigorous world standards. It tested the quality of its artists by taking them several times each year to prestigious international art fairs, such as The Cologne Art Fair, Art Basel and The Armory Show in New York exposing them to an international audience. These efforts overseas have paid off for the artists many of whom now have a following internationally. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery artists have consistently been selected to represent Australia at important international and local critical survey exhibitions.
From February 7th until March 9th, to celebrate twenty years in business, the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is presenting the work of more than twenty-five gallery artists past and present spanning a period of two decades. The exhibition will include work of Bill Henson, dating from the early 1980s, that has never been seen before in Australia and two major works by Rosalie Gascoigne. Other artists included are James Angus, Robert Campbell Jnr., Tony Clark, Destiny Deacon, John Firth-Smith, Fiona Foley, Dale Frank, Simryn Gill, Fiona Hall, Lindy Lee, Tracey Moffatt, Callum Morton, Nell, David Noonan, Bronwyn Oliver, Patricia Piccinini, Julie Rrap, Kathy Temin, Jenny Watson, John Wolseley and Anne Zahalka. The exhibition will provide a fascinating look back over the last twenty years of contemporary Australian painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation.