Currently on display until May 17 at Newcastle Art Gallery, the exhibition SODEISHA: connected to Australia celebrates historic works of art from the city's collection alongside ten contemporary ceramic artists from Australia and Japan.
Opening May 11, the exhibition: VIRGINIA CUPPAIDGE: the nature of abstraction, is a survey of more than forty years' work and celebrates Cuppaidge's return to Australia.
Both exhibitions are major representations of internationally significant works, on display here in Newcastle, which celebrate artists that have pushed the envelope and worked at the very forefront of art.
These exhibitions - and all exhibitions scheduled in 2019 - are presented to the public free of charge and will be supported by a range of events for people of all ages.
'Newcastle Art Gallery's core business is the delivery of high-quality exhibitions, innovative programs and events.' said Gallery Director Lauretta Morton.
'We structure our exhibitions around this city's rich art collection and have built a strong reputation for presenting nationally and internationally significant exhibitions.'
SODEISHA: connected to Australia and VIRGINIA CUPPAIDGE: the nature of abstraction are two exhibitions in the Gallery's 2019 program which celebrate renowned artists who were the avant-garde of contemporary practice in their time.
'It is the work of artists such as the Japanese Sodeisha Group and expatriate artists living abroad such as Virginia Cuppaidge, that have helped shape contemporary practice'. Ms Morton said.
Sodeisha translates from Japanese as 'crawling through mud' and the significance of the group lies in its reputation for pioneering a contemporary aesthetic in Japanese ceramics following the Second World War and exposure to Western art movements.
Nationally recognised as one of the finest public collections in Australia, Newcastle Art Gallery holds over 6,550 works of art.
Both the Sodeisha and Cuppaidge exhibitions originated from the rich contents of the Newcastle Art Gallery collection.
The Sodeisha ceramics in the collection were donated in 1981 and Virginia Cuppaige has been represented in the collection since the 80's also.
Cuppadige's connection to Newcastle and its art collection has been strengthened by the acquisition of the geometric painting Saix 1974, donated by the artist in 2017.
Newcastle Art Gallery has been moving from strength to strength - having announced in February 2019 that the number of visitors had increased by 23 percent from 2017 to 2018.
To find out more visit: www.nag.org.au