The show includes Adams’ paintings, textiles, ceramics and mixed-media objects, drawings and visual diaries that emerge from her experiences in the contemporary dating world. This is juxtaposed against a selection of Tucker’s drawings and paintings from the Gallery’s Collection, produced between 1943 and 1989.
Simultaneously funny and shocking, Adams’ portraits capture the perplexing and often confronting combination of charm and cruelty in her potential online partners. She documents and ironically re-forms their social self-presentations amid a welter of unsettling come-ons and lurid provocations that she has encountered as well as the sometimes sweet and thrilling opportunities she has experienced.
Adams’ works map out the structures of psycho-social power and dominance that dating platforms channel and perpetuate, alongside the uncertainty of attraction that might keep one embedded in its seductive network. The thrust and parry of mutual attraction collides with the anonymity of the wounded and wounding keyboard suitor.
Against such works, Tucker’s drawings and paintings now seem less representative of modern Australian expressionism, but appears as images of flawed, challenging, hapless, pained, endearing past lovers or romantic partners to be. Defended and vulnerable in equal parts, his portraits radiate with both an emotional sensitivity and a rigid, fixed fury at the world and its ills. They are portraits of an Australian masculinity isolated and damaged by a constant war with itself, the natural environment and women.