Animal InstinctsMoya McKenna and Albert Tucker
Moya McKenna, Untitled (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik) 2009, oil on canvas, 41 x 56.5 cm, private collection © the artist
Animal Instincts: Moya McKenna and Albert Tucker brings paintings made over a twenty-year period by the Melbourne contemporary artist Moya McKenna into dialogue with selected works by Albert Tucker (1914–1999) from the Heide Collection and Albert and Barbara Tucker Foundation. It is the latest in an ongoing series of exhibitions that focus on the late Australian modernist artist’s work and its resonances in the work of contemporary artists. The idea for the project began with Albert Tucker’s painting St Anthony in Australia 1987, a version of the biblical story of the Temptation of St Anthony. A subject that has fascinated artists throughout art history, from Hieronymus Bosch to Dorothea Tanning, it recounts an episode in the life of the third-century Christian hermit who spent twenty years in solitude in the desert where he experienced hallucinations and resisted the devil in the form of animals, beasts and ecstatic visions. Tucker’s rendition provides not only an unexpected starting point for an examination of McKenna’s idiosyncratic visual language which is often dream-like, libidinous and populated with animals, but it also encourages consideration of some of the formal correspondences between the two artists’ work, and their shared intuitive and visceral approach to painting.