Multiplicity: prints and multiples from the 
collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art
and the University of Wollongong

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 12 October 2006 – 25 March 2007 
Curator: Glenn Barkley


Installation view, Multiplicity: Prints & Multiples from the Collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Wollongong, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2006. Image courtesy the artists and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia © the artists

Installation view, Multiplicity: Prints & Multiples from the Collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Wollongong, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2006. Image courtesy the artists and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia © the artists

About the exhibition:

Multiplicity sought to tell a story of printmaking over the past forty years. It was a survey of the production of prints and multiples that drew upon the strengths of two particular collections—it was neither exhaustive nor comprehensive. It was as much a history of what a contemporary collecting institution is—reflective of its time and the financial and logistical imperatives of its mission.

It is worth stating that both collections have different purposes. The Museum of Contemporary Art was in a sense the more traditional of the two—it was housed, cared for and displayed within a gallery setting whilst the University of Wollongong Art Collection was a dispersed collection spread across a multitude of campuses in NSW stretching from Bega to Sydney and for the enjoyment, as well as the educational use, of staff, students and the wider communities of the Illawarra.

Multiplicity was based on three periods but of course an artist’s work is not something that can be easily segmented into such digestible frameworks. It was demonstrative of the shift of prints and multiples from a fairly marginal and specialised position prior to the 1960s to point where it now holds a key position in contemporary practice. 

Glenn Barkley, 2006