Various Artists
1 October 2011 15 April 2012
Heide Modern
Sue Cramer
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'Forever Young: 30 Years of the Heide Collection' traces the history of the Heide Collection, showcasing works which have rarely been seen alongside iconic masterpieces. The exhibition follows a chronology that aligns with the history of each of the buildings onsite, bringing the story to life and celebrating the history, diversity and continuing growth of the Heide Collection.

Following their involvement with the Angry Penguins group during the 1940s, John and Sunday Reed began to acquire work by new and younger artists which developed and enhanced their personal collection. The works presented in Heide II demonstrate the increasingly varied nature of their collecting during the 1950s, which encompassed both figurative and abstract idioms. As passionate advocates for contemporary art in the public sphere, the Reeds’ crucial involvement in reinstating Melbourne’s Contemporary Art Society and establishing the Museum of Modern Art and Design of Australia (MoMADA, 1958–66) brought them into continual contact with new art and ideas.

Important figures from this time are Mirka Mora, John Brack and Charles Blackman, whose paintings of this decade focus on urban themes—lively townscape, haunting street scenes and shop-front windows. Displayed here too are works exhibited at MoMADA in 1962 by the Annandale Imitation Realists, an irreverent dadaist group who used recycled materials to create collages. From the late 1960s the Reeds began to collect works by artists who were contemporaries of their adopted son Sweeney Reed, including Les Kossatz, Ken Reinhardt, Col Jordan, Sydney Ball and John Krzywokulski, who were all producing experiment works influenced by the latest non-objective or Pop-inspired modes.

Many of the works in this section of the exhibition were once displayed by the Reeds in the minimal modernist setting of Heide II, their home from 1967, which had been designed as 'a gallery to be lived in'.

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