[A]rtists are people foremost, amongst a community of people, showing back something within themselves and of that group only seen in art. What do you see, what do you feel as you see, what is the education you profit - what comfort, what assurance, what relevance - from this historical humanity? - Diena Georgetti 2015
Diena Georgetti (b. 1966, Alice Springs) has been a significant figure in Australian contemporary art, making paintings that cut through expectation since the outset of her career in the late 1980s. Her work emerged within the context of the artists and curators surrounding Store 5, the influential artist-run-initiative in Melbourne where she was one of the youngest artists to regularly exhibit. Since then she has marked out an idiom entirely her own, inspiring a pronounced and dedicated following particularly amongst the art cognoscenti.
Georgetti’s medium is aesthetic value. She works it with her tools of selection (judgement of value) and composition (arrangement of value), deeply engaged with but irrespective of style or specific historic movements (in painting, sculpture, architecture, interiors, furniture, textile design, fashion). Her recent paintings are composite pictures comprised of obscure fragments reworked from the margins of the archive. Symmetries, bipartite and tripartite divisions feature prominently in extraordinary amalgamations of colour.
The recombination process of collage implicit to the making of Georgetti’s work enables the transporting and transposition of spirit and identity which, for the moment of that painting, she may adopt as her home, her place of commune and intermingling. In making these paintings, she re-heartens and re-inspirits our own moment by crediting contributions beyond her time and place in history and making clear that art is essential, a motivating life force and is binding of communities.
Diena Georgetti was awarded the 2017 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize for her work THE HUMANITY OF CONSTRUCTION PAINTING. The $ 25,000 acquisitive award was guest curated by Callum Morton. Judges of the 2017 prize were Judith Blackall (Director NAS Gallery), Mark Harpley (Visual Arts Coordinator, Redlands School) and Justin Paton (Head Curator of International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales).
In September 2016, she was included in the major two-chapter survey exhibition of contemporary Australian painting, Painting. More Painting, curated by Max Delany, Annika Kristensen and Hannah Mathews at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. Georgetti was one of fourteen focus artists whose work was featured in depth within the larger exhibition.
In 2008, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, jointly presented a twenty-year survey exhibition of Georgetti’s work, Diena Georgetti - The Humanity of Abstract Painting 1988-2008, curated by Max Delany and Robert Leonard. An 80 page catalogue was produced to accompany the exhibition.
Since 1992, Georgetti has presented solo exhibitions consistently in commercial galleries in Australia and New Zealand, including Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne (1994, 1998), Bellas Gallery, Brisbane (1994), The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2016); Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2006, 2007, 2010), Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2014), Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland (2010), Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2011, 2013) and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne (1992, 1993).
Past group exhibitions include: Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, 2015, curated by Lars Bang Larsen and Marco Pasi, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Before and After Science, 2010 Adelaide Biennial, curated by Charlotte Day and Sarah Tutton, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Cubism & Australian Art, 2009 – 2010, curated by Sue Cramer and Lesley Harding, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; 21st Century Modern, 2006 Adelaide Biennial, curated by Linda Michael, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Australian Perspecta 1995, curated by Judy Annear, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; The Boundary Rider, 9th Biennale of Sydney, 1992 – 1993, curated by Anthony Bond, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Georgetti’s work is held in the major public collections in Australia and New Zealand, including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Artbank; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; The Redlands School Collection, Sydney; The UQ Art Collection, Brisbane; As well as the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, Auckland; the Hayman Collection, Melbourne and the Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne.
Diena Georgetti has a solo exhibition at The Commercial scheduled for the second half of 2017.