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20-20 Hindsight

22 February, 2022 - 5 March, 2022

Collins St, 5pm 2020, James Yuncken, acrylic on canvas, 110 x110 cm, 2021-22

22 February – 5 March 2022

Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 11am to 3pm
admission: Free

…a Melburnian perspective on social and political climate in 2020…

Collins Street, 5pm, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 110 x 110 cm

Social Media, 2021, digital print, 181 x 102 cm

James Yuncken, Gold Standard (study), 2021, acrylic on board, 56 x 80cm

Press Conferences, 120 days of Daniel (detail), James Yuncken and Gregory Alex-Vasey, 120 digital prints on Kapa mounts in an 8 x 15 grid, edition of 2, 235 x 445 cm, 2021

Press Conferences, 120 days of Daniel (detail), James Yuncken and Gregory Alex-Vasey, 120 digital prints on Kapa mounts in an 8 x 15 grid, edition of 2, 235 x 445 cm, 2021

Press Conferences, 120 days of Daniel (detail), James Yuncken and Gregory Alex-Vasey, 120 digital prints on Kapa mounts in an 8 x 15 grid, edition of 2, 235 x 445 cm, 2021

What does Collins Street look like at 5pm in 2020 lockdown? In Hindsight 20-20: A Melburnian Perspective, James Yuncken explores this question, and the wider ramifications of Melbourne’s extended lockdown. The exhibition consists of just five works.

It is a Melburnian perspective on social and political climate in 2020, both in Australia and with a view to the wider world. Simultaneously, it’s a ‘compare and contrast’ with – some of John Brack’s 1950s paintings.

In Yuncken’s Collins St, we look into the foyer at 356 Collins St, just near where Brack used to meet up after work before going for a drink. There are few people inside. They wear masks: just one passer-by in the street. The foyer windows reflect the view of the street that is much like the one depicted in Brack’s painting. On the November afternoon the plane trees have burst into leaf.

From this, other John Brack paintings suggested themselves for re-visitation.

Gold Standard, referring to Morrison’s swipes at Daniel Andrews by praising NSW, substitutes Gladys Berejiklian and Scott Morrison for Brack’s Jockey and his Wife. The Telephone Box, updated to Social Media, substitutes Donald Trump for the lady with the curlers in her hair. His hypnotic effect on his supporters in the run-up and in the aftermath of the US election persists, but somehow he is the lady with the curlers too. Hat Shop revisits Menswear, two very different interiors and impressions.

Lastly, Press Conferences, the only work without link to John Brack, documents the 120 days that Daniel Andrews stood and answered questions until the journalist had no more. One image from each of those 120 days, it owes its genesis to Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans.

The exhibition will be available to view in the gallery at fortyfivedownstairs, as well as online here, and through the artist’s website, The exhibition will include public programming in the form of an artist’s talk and walkthrough. Details to be confirmed.

James Yuncken is a Melbourne based artist, working from a studio on Smith Street in Fitzroy.

James has exhibited frequently in Melbourne and Canberra since 1989.



2021                20-20 Hindsight, a Melburnian Perspective, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

                          Travels With My Wife: Hong Kong from the Water and Air, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2020                Represented HERE, fortyfivedownstairs Fragments Online Exhibition Series, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2018                Improvisations, St Vincent’s Residency: Drawings from Caritas Christi, St Vincent’s Gallery, Fitzroy

2017                Represented 45 at 45, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2015                The Drawing Room, Prints, Drawings and Bas Relief, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2014                Places Nearby, More Inner Melbourne fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2012                Walking to Work, Melbourne, Inner East fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2011                Vox Pix, Voices and Images Together Centre for Theology and Ministry, Parkville

2010                Travelling North, Journey to Cape York fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2008                Abstraction and Space, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne

2005                Formal Considerations, 257 Church St, Richmond and On-line

2003                Sense of Place, SPAN Galleries, Melbourne

2001                Presence/Absence, SPAN Galleries, Melbourne

2000                Represented 8 x 8, Roar Studios, Fitzroy

1999                Represented 8 x 8, Roar Studios, Fitzroy

1998                Represented 3rd Annual Summer Show, Galerie helengory, Richmond

1997                First Steps, Galerie helengory, Richmond

1996                Represented A Four Art 19 ninety-six, Westspace

1995                Studio Landscape Exhibition, Smith Street Studio, Fitzroy

1993                Represented Swan Hill Print and Drawing Show

1992                Represented Studio One’s ’92 Pressing Annual Show, Spiral Arm Gallery, Canberra

1990                Represented Sun, Smoke and Steel, Studio One touring exhibition Canberra, Sydney, Newcastle

1989                Images in Different Genres, Dorette’s Bistro, Canberra


22 February, 2022
5 March, 2022
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fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
03 9662 9966
View Venue Website


03 9662 9966


James Yuncken
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