Greenaway signs two major international artists - Art Collector

From left, Santiago Sierra and Paul Greenaway. In background Santiago Sierra's 7 forms, 600 x 60 x 60cm, constructed to be held horizontal to a wall, presented at Queensland Art Gallery in partnership with Kaldor Public Art Projects. Photo: Ray Fulton, Queensland Art Gallery

21 February 2011 | Adelaide gallerist Paul Greenaway has taken on representation of two international artists, Santiago Sierra from Spain and Thomas Rentmeister from Germany.

“Greenaway Art Gallery has shown many international artists over the last 20 years, but sold very little work. I believe Australians are now more open to placing good works in their collections from artists regardless of where they are from,” he says.

“Sierra and Rentmeister don't fit fashionable trends, they both work to the beat of their own drum – I like that.”
Greenaway first worked with Rentmeister in 2008, when he invited the Berlin-based artist to do a major project for the Adelaide Festival. “It turned out to be the largest work the artist had embarked on, and involved me buying 100 used full size refrigerators, taking the motors out, stacking them, and helping the artist with smearing the stack with gallons of white baby's zinc cream,” he says.

“Thomas gave some talks at the festival and I realised fully the strength of his practice. I have since developed a strong relationship with Thomas and admire the way he slips effortlessly between the near ephemeral and the monumental, each with the same degree of freedom that allows gravitas without pretension.”

Sierra, too, is an artist Greenaway has long admired, although he admits he initially found the work confusing. “But then I met Christian Dominguez, Santiago's long time friend and collaborator, in Berlin and over many hours and evenings I understood more and more, so that by the time Santiago and Christian were in Australia for the John Kaldor project at the Gallery of Modern Art, I was already convinced that if asked I would be excited to work with this important artist. We talked for a while, shared a meal and a glass, and all was agreed. Already we are working on a project in India to take place in October this year.”

Jane O'Sullivan

Above: Thomas Rentmeister, Nearly 100 fridges in a corner, 2008. Refrigerators, penaten cream, styrofoam, 705 x 536 x 370cm. Photo: Grant Hancock. Courtesy: the artist and Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide

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