DIENA GEORGETTI


Diena Georgetti (b. 1966, Alice Springs, l. Melbourne) 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. Since then she has marked out an idiom entirely her own, inspiring a pronounced and dedicated following.

Georgetti’s paintings of recent years are composite pictures, aggregates of obscure fragments from communities of artist predecessors. Sourced from the margins of the internet archive, a long time before translating her compositions from small digital images to paint, she collects, collates, manipulates, rejects, recombines, arranges and alters hundreds of disparate elements bringing two or three into striking and unlikely compositions. Assertive harmonies made from incongruous assertions of humanity are Georgetti's signature. She places these new compositions within unexpected frames equally drawn from histories of style. This reattribution and redistribution is her substantial contribution to now.

“My work is made of communities past, and my paintings [are] a schism in time.”

“I want to make paintings without conditioned standards, that can be of any time, place, gender or age.”

Diena Georgetti quoted in Sara Savage, ‘Diena Georgetti – Art and Artifice’, Vault, Issue 19, 2017

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.

In September 2019, Margaret Lawrence Gallery at the University of Melbourne is presenting a two-person exhibition, Conscious intuition – Eugene Carchesio & Diena Georgetti, curated by David Sequeira. ‘Both highly influential artists make work that connects contemporary art, art history and human experience in profound ways. Often creating imagery within the formalist context of geometry and colour, intuition – the ability to understand something instinctively – plays a large part in each of their working processes.’

An audio interview with Diena Geogetti by Tai Snaith, 'A World of Her Own: Painting Yourself out of the Dark', took place in 2018 as part of the exhibition Unfinished Business at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and is available online.

Diena Georgetti won the $ 25,000 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize in 2017, curated by Callum Morton, judged by Justin Paton (Head Curator of International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales).

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, Sydney (2019, 2017, 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).

Group exhibitions include: New Women, Museum of Brisbane, 2019; A New Order, curated by Linda Short, Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne, 2019; The Shape of Things to Come, curated by Melissa Keys, Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne, 2018; Painting. More Painting, curated by Max Delany, Annika Kristensen and Hannah Mathews, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2016; The Kaleidoscopic Turn, curated by Jane Devery and Serena Bentley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2015;  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.

Her work is held in major public collections in Australia and New Zealand, including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Artbank; Caloundra Regional Gallery, Caloundra; Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, Auckland; City of Stonnington Art Collection, Melbourne; Griffith University Art Musem, Brisbane; the Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne; 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; Wesfarmers Collection, Perth.