TESTAMENT: Robert Salzer Foundation Acquisitions
Testament presents a decade of acquisitions purchased with the generous assistance of the Robert Salzer Foundation. The exhibition reveals the dynamic uptake of textiles in Australia’s contemporary art practise. Building on the gallery’s comprehensive collection of post-minimalist and craft-based textile fibre art from the 1970s and 1980s, these more recent purchases showcase new and unexpected approaches to the use of textiles as part of challenging the hierarchy of materials by contemporary artists. Since its inception in 2005, the Robert Salzer Foundation has committed substantial funding each year to the Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) in order to enable eligible Victorian galleries to purchase works of art for their permanent collections. This unique fund plays a vital role in empowering galleries to acquire key works of visual art for the benefit of their audiences and communities. Robert (Bob) Salzer was born in Vienna in 1924. He was brought up in the rich tradition of Viennese culture that treasures the arts. Migrating to Melbourne in 1961 with his wife Betty; Bob made his fortune in the commercial Melbourne building industry over three decades. The Robert Salzer Foundation represents a profound devotion to the arts, which was integral to Bob and Betty’s life work. Permanent collections remain the lifeblood of public galleries and play a pivotal role in promoting a distinctive identity in a crowded cultural marketplace. Ararat Gallery TAMA’s collection influences and informs our annual program. Many new areas of research and programming opportunities have developed in tandem with acquisitions that stimulate new ideas, build relationships with artists and provide enormous potential for audience engagement and development. Ararat Gallery TAMA extends its sincere thanks to the Robert Salzer Foundation for its dedication to and support of the public gallery sector in Victoria.