Collectors love: Kate Tucker - Art Collector

Issue 63, January - March 2013

This profile appeared in the Collectors love feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2013.

Kate Tucker, Thriving Compound, 2012. Acrylic on linen, 105 x 87cm. Photo: Jeremy Dillon. Courtesy: the artist and Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne

Rumour has it that Kate Tucker’s first solo exhibition with Melbourne’s Helen Gory Galerie sold out before opening night. “That’s right,” confirms gallery manager Jemma Clark. “Kate’s profile had been building over 12 months and a number of clients had expressed strong interest in collecting her work. A few days prior to the exhibition opening we sent out an electronic preview and the works were snapped up quickly.”

Clark adds: “The buyers of Kate’s work were hugely varied, from new collectors buying their first artwork to very established collectors. The work also caught the eye of a number of art consultants, architects and interior designers who endorsed Kate’s work to their clients. It was wonderful to see her work embraced with such enthusiasm – and it made for a very relaxing opening night.”

Tucker’s exhibition, titled
Viewfinder, comprised a suite of abstracts featuring dynamic patterning and idiosyncratic colours – muted pigeon-feather hues broken up with flashes of bright colour. This is an artist who works intuitively. “A moment or atmosphere tends to emerge during the process of making,” Tucker states, “and I focus on it and bring it out. It is about selecting the specific viewpoint that feels the most meaningful and strengthening it. I am looking for a sense of immersion and wonder.” With prices ranging from $1,200 for smaller framed canvases to $4,400 for those exceeding 100 centimetres in size, buyers evidently recognised that it was a good opportunity to get in early.

All up 2012 was a good year for Tucker. As well as her sell-out show she was a finalist in the Churchie Emerging Art Award and the Archibald Prize, the latter through a portrait of Missy Higgins (Tucker also contributed the cover artwork for the musician’s latest album). This year looks to be similarly eventful. Helen Gory Galerie is presenting Tucker’s work at Art Stage Singapore in January as well as a follow up solo sometime mid year – both projects notable for a more expansive exploration of the artist’s practice, incorporating paintings but also extending to collage, sculpture, ceramics and site-specific installation.

“We have actually known Kate since 2005 and have been following her progress through her Victorian College of the Arts graduate exhibition and subsequent shows at Melbourne artist run spaces such as C3,” says Clark. “We have always loved her energy and aesthetic and kept a dialogue open about the possibility of showing with us. We were blown away by a series of Kate’s paintings early in 2011 and felt the timing was perfect to bring her into our stable and work towards an exhibition. It has been a joy watching Kate’s practice develop and we are confident that she has a long and interesting career ahead.”

Phip Murray

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