For this year’s Sydney Contemporary Sullivan+Strumpf gallery and designers Flack Studio worked together to create an immersive experience featuring leading artists from the Asia-Pacific and furniture from the Space Furniture collection designed by some of the world’s greats.
Engaging the expertise of Flack Studio, Sullivan+Strumpf has in their words "upped the ante" to accommodate their growing stable of artists. On show is the work of Glenn Barkley, Karen Black and Maria Fernanda Cardoso, large-scale pieces by Gregory Hodge, Michael Lindeman and Alex Seton, and Tony Albert’s Confessions, his first performance piece in Sydney that will invite opening night participants into a make-shift confessional for a "silent, abstract conversation" with the artist.
“This year we have so much incredible work to share that we approached Flack Studio to help us show our offering in an entirely new way,” remarks Joanna Strumpf. “While we have worked with Flack Studio before, this is our first time collaborating on an art fair stand. We love their work and can’t wait to reveal the extraordinary space they have created for us.”
Sullivan+Strumpf founders Ursula Sullivan and Joanna Strumpf opened their Melbourne gallery 15 years ago to represent the region’s best established and emerging artists from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Their relationship with Flack Studio has developed naturally over the years through a shared love of art and creative synchronicity.
"We were first drawn to Sullivan+Strumpf because of their stable of artists who we have collaborated with on many of our homes”, enthuses David Flack who founded the studio in 2014 and now runs it in partnership with Mark Robinson. “It was during the 2018 Rigg Design Prize when some of their artists, including Karen Black, Lindy Lee and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, provided works for our entry and cemented our relationship and collaborative approach to design,”
Sydney Contemporary has become an important cultural event that provides another platform for art and a popular annual show that reaches beyond the art world bubble. The satellite gallery designed by Flack Studio features art alongside a collection of their favourite furniture pieces. The aim is to immerse visitors in an environment where they can view and engage.
For Flack Studio, design should look easy but behind the scenes the key is always a lot of research, respect and collaboration. “We approached the design in the same manner we would our residential clients”, remarks David. “The only difference is we wanted to create a home for many, ensuring we tapped into the energy of all the artists and personalities involved.”
Working closely with Space on the furniture curation, David describes two key ideas for the interior. “The art had to have hero status, but it was also important for the furniture to hold its own with distinctive works," he remarks. “Secondly the space needed to be welcoming so people would linger and really feel at home."
The collection of furniture includes design classics from the 1970s, like Mario Bellini’s La Bambole and Cab chairs and the Nuvola Rossa by Vico Magistretti, along with the Utrecht armchair designed in 1935 by Gerrit T. Rietveld, one of the most important designers and architects of the 20th century., and more recent classics including Patricia Urquiola’s Fat-Fat table, and the much celebrated Favela armchair designed by Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana.
Inside the soaring industrial interior of Carriageworks more than 450 artists will be on show this year, as well as works by young artists titled ‘Next’ that promises to be an inspiring snap shot of where the next generation is heading.