The Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) is a new not-for-profit venture evolving from eminent gallerist Dr Gene Sherman’s 30+ years of creating innovative cultural enterprises and programmes, through the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and Sherman Galleries.
Culture in its broadest sense has been Dr Sherman’s focus since childhood: fashioning atypical clothes with her beloved grandmother Gita, visiting galleries with her artist aunt Sylvia, encouraged to read voraciously by her journalist turned businessman father Eric, together with university art history studies and advanced literature degrees – Gene’s world continues to be defined principally by visual vocabulary and the exchange of ideas.
During the two decade-plus life of the respected Sherman Galleries, 1986-2017, the double-site Paddington-based institution worked with multiple and now celebrated artists including Shaun Gladwell, John Olsen, Mike Parr, Janet Laurence, Guan Wei, Cai Guo Qiang, Xu Bing, Wenda Gu and Zhang Huan, often in the early days of their careers. Touring exhibitions of Australian artists were mounted and dispatched to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and various Australian cities.
Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF)
Established in 2008 SCAF has presented 35 projects, each with a highly focused program and widely known and respected publication, which have been noted by curators, museum directors, critics and art historians throughout the Asia Pacific region and in many parts of Europe and the USA. Ai Weiwei, SANAA, Dinh Q. Lê, Yang Fudong, Jonathan Jones, Jitish Kallat, Shaun Gladwell, Janet Laurence, Christian Thompson and Brook Andrew, to name just a few artists, created often monumental installations as part of the SCAF program.
A key project at SCAF was Fugitive Structures, a four part series of architectural Pavilions (2013-17), developed in partnership with BVN, and showcasing early to mid career architects. The selected projects included Vo Trong Nghia's Green Ladder (Vietnam), Sack and Reicher + Muller with Eyal Zur's Sway (Israel), Andrew Burns' Crescent House (Australia) and Trifolium, by AR-MA's Robert Beson and Gabriele Ulacco (Australia).
Several Pavilions have had follow-on sitings. Vo Trong Nghia's Green Ladder was installed in Brisbane and will feature at a major public venue in Sydney, to be announced in early 2018. Andrew Burns' Crescent House has been permanently sited in the gardens of Melbourne's Heide Museum of Modern Art.