[Gallery Talk] The Dealer: Contemporary Art in Africa, Asia and Australia

4 May 2021

Three gallerists, representing contemporary artists from and across three continents, share personal histories, current work and aspirations for the future. Dr Gene Sherman (Sydney), André Magnin (Paris) and Can Yavuz (Singapore, Sydney) speak with Dolla Merrillees (Oxford) about their respective endeavours. Within the context of huge shifts in the political, social and economic spheres, these regions have independently and collectively assumed prominence and gained global recognition.

This talk is held in conjunction with Re-dressing the Portrait, a two-person exhibition featuring works by leading Senegal-based artists, Omar Victor Diop and Fabrice Monteiro, hosted by and installed in the former Sherman Galleries site in Sydney.

Please join us for this fascinating talk on Thursday 6 May, Sydney 7pm | Singapore 5pm | Paris 11am | London 10am


Image: Dr Gene Sherman AM

Dr Gene Sherman AM is a leading Australian cultural figure and philanthropist. She is Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI), established in 2017 as a cultural-exchange platform on fashion and architecture. For 21 years (1986-2007), Dr Sherman was Director and Proprietor of Sherman Galleries, a commercial gallery with a focus on artists from Australia, the Asia Pacific and Middle East. From 2008-2017, Dr Sherman was Chair and Executive Director of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, presenting 37 projects by significant visual practitioners across art, architecture, fashion, film and design from the Asia Pacific, Australia and Middle East. Dr Sherman is currently Chair of the Israel Museum Australian Ambassadors Circle (IMAAC), a member of the University of Melbourne AsiaLink Advisory Council, a Member of the Tate International Council (2015-present) and Adjunct Professor, UNSW Art and Design. Between 2009-2019 she served on the Tate Asia-Pacific Acquisitions Committee, co-Chairing this Asia-wide high-focus group between 2015-2019. Dr Sherman’s awards include an Honorary Doctorate of Design from the University of Technology, Sydney (2017), Honorary Doctorate letters honoris from University of Sydney (2008) and a Doctor of the University honoris causa from the University of New South Wales for services to the fields of art, design and education (2020). The French Government has honoured Dr Sherman with two prestigious awards in its Legion of Honour awards system: the Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2016), and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2003). She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 in recognition of her cultural philanthropy and support of emerging and established artists.

Image: André Magnin (©Mart Engelen)

Independent curator since the late 1970’s, André Magnin started working on non-western Contemporary Art in 1989 with the historic exhibition “Magiciens de la Terre” at the Centre Pompidou and at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, exhibition for which he was co-curator. He then became the head of the C.A.A.C.-The Pigozzi Collection, the most important collection of African Contemporary Art. During 20 years he shared his life between Europe and Africa. In 1996 he met Philippe Boutté who became his closest collaborator. MAGNIN-A is an aesthetic and political project, engaged in the promotion of African Contemporary artists. Other artists from various backgrounds have since joined them. The gallery enables them to access the contemporary art market and to integrate private and public collections.

Image: Can Yavuz (© Yavuz Gallery)

Can Yavuz is the founder and Managing Director of Yavuz Gallery. Born in 1972 in Turkey, Yavuz grew up in Germany and completed his studied in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African in London. His first banking job led him to Singapore in 1999. Fascinated by the artistic voices in the region, he started collecting South East Asian Art. In 2010, he opened his first commercial gallery space and left his corporate job to pursue a career as a gallerist.

Image: Dolla Merrillees (photo: Daniel Boud)

Dolla Merrillees is a published author, curator and public speaker.  She frequently presents at museum and academic conferences.  She brings a wealth of national and international experience to her work having had senior roles in large scale festivals, museums, cultural spaces as well as the tertiary sector.  Her experience includes working with encyclopaedic multidisciplinary collections from archaeology, history and art to science, design and fashion. Merrillees is highly responsive to contemporary curatorial and museological concerns and is noted for her approach to the re-interpretation and re-contextualisation of collections as well as a sophisticated understanding of interpretation and digital engagement strategies. Merrillees is the global emissary and London correspondent for the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) where she works with leading fashion designers, cultural practitioners and architects.  She has sat on numerous committees and boards and in 2018 was awarded an Australian Design Honour by the Australian Design Centre.