BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Bill Culbert, installation view, 2009
Bill Culbert, installation view, 2009

A blue signpost alerts me to the fact that I'm in Sydney's 'Gallery Precinct'. Tucked away in the dip of a hill in the trendy Sydney suburb of Paddington, amongst the terraced houses and abundance of leafy green trees that artfully shed a sticky residue over luxury cars, you'll find a small enclave of the city's most important contemporary art galleries.

Patricia Piccinini, installation view, 2008
Patricia Piccinini, installation view, 2008
Michael Parekowhai, installation view
Michael Parekowhai, installation view

Roslyn Oxley was the pioneer and over the years, another five galleries followed suit, setting up shop nearby. Oxley has long been the doyenne of the Sydney art scene since she came blazing into the city's creative consciousness with her first gallery in 1982 with a show by Australian painter Gareth Samson, before moving to these premises in 1990. Before gentrification, this area was working class and property was as cheap as chips, as Aussies like to say. Now, in this very glammed up, very expensive new world city, post industrial is now post-modern, shiny and new, but the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery gives off a distinct Eastside New York aesthetic. Not surprising, when Oxley tells she spent the seventies living in New York, working for the legendary designer Raymond Loewy before returning to her native Australia and setting up the gallery, with husband Tony.

The entrance is through an innocuous garage roller door. However upstairs, the commodious gallery space is an entry point to experiencing the life's work of the region's best contemporary artists. Oxley represents a diverse list of over 40 artists working across a plethora of mediums – painting, sculpture, photography, video and installations. Her longevity like any successful gallerist comes from her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent before unleashing them into the international market at illustrious events such as Art Cologne, Art Basel, the Venice Biennale and documenta. Hence, the gallery has fostered the glittering international careers of antipodean artists such as A Constructed World, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffat, David Noonan and Patricia Piccinini.

Hall, installation view
Hall, installation view
Destiny Deacon & Virginia Fraser, 2014
Destiny Deacon & Virginia Fraser, 2014
Yayoi Kusama, ’Dots Obsession – New Century’, 2000
Yayoi Kusama, ’Dots Obsession – New Century’, 2000

Oxley has always supported regular exhibitions of artists not represented by the gallery. Again, it's a high caliber list - Marc Newson, Keith Haring, Harry Seidler, Pierre et Gilles, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tracey Emin, Barbara Kruger, Elmgreen and Dragset, Mariko Mori and Hernan Bas to name drop a few.

When I visit, the gallery has come full circle and happens to be showing Gareth Samson, with whom the gallery opened with 33 years ago. Now the 78-year-old Samson is showing 'Just Painting'. There is something comforting in being absorbed into the riotously colored oil paintings, whose depth and layering draw you deep into the artist's own universal mind, whilst displaying a mastery of composition with a simplicity of brush stroke. Yet they express a psychological yearning, to understand ourselves through fragments of popular culture, art history and imagery conjured from the depths of his own experience. The themes are universal. Like the Roslyn Oxley9 gallery.

by Lollie Barr

Lollie Barr is an Australian freelance journalist and fiction author. She resides in Berlin.

All images via Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

More Information on Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Galleries (40)

Futura Art Gallery — Pietrasanta, Italy

A gallery that unites established and emerging artists

Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

Young, International and Critically Astute

Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

Redefining the Conversation Around Aesthetics

Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

The London Gallery Promoting African Self-definition

Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names