CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE VALLEY – an interview with Tove Langridge, Director TWFINEART

July 31, 2017

TWFINEART is an art gallery in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, that also provides a curated online portfolio of limited edition contemporary art prints including drawing, painting and photography. Their aim is, “to bring real art back into our homes and lives”.

They bring fresh and contemporary art to Fortitude Valley, and their portfolio is focused on gathering art from all over the world and bringing these trends to Australia. We had the pleasure to sit down with Tove Langridge, founder of TWFINEART to chat to him about his gallery.

LL: Can you tell us about the Chris Truman exhibition?

TL: Our ‘Entangled’ show is an experimental installation by Los Angeles based artist Chris Trueman with overlapping displays or ‘superpositions’ in Los Angeles, USA (Superposition 1), and Brisbane, Australia (Superposition 2). It opens on Friday, 21st July.

‘Entangled’ explores the significance of real and artificial in the artworld and the implication of new printing technology in the creation and sale of artworks. As digital art technologies redefine the methodology in which to produce original works of art, so too artists are redefining what makes a work of art authentic. “Handmade” is questioned as a tool of nostalgia rather than performance.
Trueman’s paintings are a hybrid of digitally created silk screen patterns, hand painted and sprayed acrylic paint on Yupo mounted to Dibond. The paintings are dynamic explorations of the relationship between surface, materiality and resulting image. Appropriating formal vocabularies from several painting traditions, including gestural abstraction and geometric op-art, his works feel referential, yet new.

LL: You have gained recognition as a pioneer in promoting creative dialogue and exchange between Australian and international artists. How do you select the artists that you represent?

TL: I did my post-graduate studies in New York at SVA, the School of Visual Arts and studied under some very influential painters – Mary Heilmann, Barry Le Va, Jack Whitten and later I had the pleasure of working with some of my favourite artists Michael Goldberg, Rauschenberg, Ron Gorchov and Robert Ryman. They were practicing in a period where painting was kind of considered ‘out of fashion’ in galleries whose focus at the time was on more conceptual practices. I was always very interested in what they were doing and in art like most things fashion is cyclical and at certain times artists will turn the tables. Now, their careers are blowing up with representation and attention by the big-name galleries and museums. I’m really interested in how those artists have affected the work of contemporary younger painters and it is those painters who are leading the next generation of great painters that I represent.

LL: How has the Internet influenced the dynamic of your business?

TL: I think we are still determining exactly how the internet and social media are changing the landscape of art, from its making through to sales and a changing audience dynamic. There is a democratisation of art that is happening now through the reach of technology and image dissemination that is new territory. Our next show with Chris Trueman is a conceptual exploration of how artists and gallerists will respond and operate in this new digital world. A huge focus of the gallery is on education, and enabling new collectors exposed to art through the internet to make educated decisions and understand the relationship of what they see to art history.

LL: You have a very large social media following, how have you amassed this and do you have any tips?

TL: I don’t think there is any formula to it to be honest. One thing I do try to do through social media is create an experience for our audience. Social media in many ways is storytelling – hopefully we are telling a story that people want to hear. (Follow TWFINEART on Instagram)

LL: What advice would you give to a first-time collector?

TL: Everyone must start somewhere, so that first buy will probably always be one of the most significant for any collector. Really looking at art can take time and a little practice. I relate looking and reacting to art to lust vs love. Some artworks have that instant wow factor. You lust after it but ultimately the artwork might not be complex enough to keep you engaged in the long term. Another artwork might be harder to look at but it has a compelling ’it’ factor which is often not as immediate, it creeps up on you and the more you look the more you discover. Those are the artworks that will stand the test of time.

LL: Is there any experience in particular, as a gallerist, that you have fond memories of?

TL: I think studio visits are one of my favourite things. I’ll never forget walking into Lynda Benglis’ studio during the lead up to her big retrospective at the New Museum in NYC. The usually quiet studio was busy with assistants and curators.There she was, having a major moment of career glory with everyone making a fuss about her and her work, she was in her element. It was so wonderful to see.

LL: Where do you see the future of the Queensland commercial gallery scene?

TL: My hope is that we begin to look outwards and beyond our shores, more so than we do now. We live in an ever-expanding global economy and Australian artists – regardless of what people may think at present, are competing in a very large arena with a lot of history behind it. Geographical location is becoming less important and I’d like to be part of the development of a more global art scene in Queensland and Australia in general. In September, we are taking two of our Australian painters Fran O’Neill & Marcus Boelen and placing them next to some of our well known American painters in a satellite show in Los Angeles at Durden & Ray. Our intention is to draw connections between their practices and those of our US counterparts. That show will be the first of many where we will place our painters in a very discerning, competitive environment. I know they will hold their own – they are fabulous painters who are making works that rival some of the greats.


Current Exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibitions

Find out more about their upcoming exhibitions here

TWFINEART - Fran O'Neill

TWFINEART – Fran O’Neill

Author: Nicola Holly
Images courtesy of Tove Langridge, Director TW FINE ART

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