Sydney Contemporary

Jeppe and Shea’s joint presentation for Sydney Contemporary will extend ideas explored in Exercise in Sophistication at Utopian Slumps in 2011. The pair return to the romance of formal abstraction, approaching from alternatively intuitive and conceptual positions.

Jeppe’s latest works also continue themes from his recent solo exhibition at Utopian Slumps, Seaside Vernacular, presenting a semantic environment of site-specific jokes "taken out of context". The Schoggi Vista paintings are a series of meta-conversation-pieces, conflating a Swiss chocolate bar wrapper and the frosted glass of a museum balcony. Two Postbox sculptures, icons of mute haptic exchange, sit alongside a re-worked Canary Islands shop sign, the last remnant of social realism. The Tudor Minimal installation encloses the booth, "exposing ordinarily hidden frameworks of construction"; in echoing Jeppe's current work in Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the formal folly is in turn a structure of institutional critique.

Shea’s work explores a new trajectory for late-modern formalism. Line and form are central to his investigations, experimenting with the configuration of objects in space to imbue this brand of geometric abstract sculpture with a renewed vitality. These human-scaled, mute signs dance within the joint installation, a spatial compliment to Jeppe’s wall-based configurations.

Jeppe graduated from a BA in Cultural Studies, Curtin University, 2004; a BA in Cultural Studies (Honours), The University of Melbourne, 2005; and a Master of Visual Art, Victorian College of the Arts, 2011. Solo and joint exhibitions include EP, with Max Brand, Austin, Texas, 2013; ASIATISCHE ADLERNASE, Galerie Conradi, Hamburg, 2012; ACAPONETA 1891, Curro Y Poncho, Guadalajara, Mexico, 2012; Exercise in Sophistication, with Caleb Shea, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011; The People's Poet, with Thomas Baldischwyler, Galerie Conradi, Hamburg, 2010; Take The Edge Off, Black and Blue Gallery, Sydney, 2009; and The Height of Elegance, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009. Selected group exhibitions include Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2013; Self Help, Rawson Projects, New York 2013; NADA Art Fair, Curro Y Poncho, Miami, 2012; REMIX, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 2011; and The Corridor to Success, The Composing Rooms, London, 2010. Jeppe was recipient of the VCA Masters Nellie Castan Award in 2011. His work is held in the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Artbank collections, as well as private collections in Australia and overseas.

Shea studied toward a Bachelor of Visual Arts, University of Newcastle, 1995-7 and graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture), RMIT, 2006, a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours), RMIT, 2009 and a Master of Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, 2011. Selected exhibitions include The peasants are revolting, curated by Linda Michael, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2011-12; XTYO, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012; X + Drawing, with Julia Francis, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Link VI, with Marco Cher-Gibard, RMIT School of Art Gallery, 2012; School of Art Masters Exhibition, Victorian College of the Arts, 2011; Exercise in Sophistication, with Thomas Jeppe, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011; Insert Coin Here, Craft Victoria, 2010;Scale of mark, RMIT First Site Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; Model for Abundant, Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2008; and Two-Fold Exhibition, George Paton Gallery, The University of Melbourne, 2007. Shea was recipient of The Fourth Baldessin Foundation Travelling Fellowship in 2004 and the National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association Award in 2011. His work is held in the Artbank and Joyce Nissan Collections and various private collections in Australia. Shea will participate in the upcoming Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, 2013-14.