Bringing together more than 100 works by Brook Andrew – an Australian artist well known for reinterpreting colonial and modern history and offering alternative perspectives, the National Gallery of Victoria presents Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Andrew’s interdisciplinary and collaborative approach encompasses mediums of photography, video, neon, text, collage, printmaking, assemblage, sculpture, painting and installation.
The exhibition will map great moments in Andrew’s 25-year career, and will look at the artist’s fascination with archival materials and strong interest in process that remain central to his practice, and will include two new large-scale sculptures featuring bespoke wooden cabinets, a giant inflatable globe, and archival books, photographs and objects from Andrew’s extensive personal collection.
“Brook Andrew is an artist of great invention and eloquence, whose work interrogates racial stereotypes and contemporary consumer culture with artistic flair,” says Tony Ellwood, Director NGV. “His is a uniquely Australian voice in a global discussion around colonial histories, working as he does with Indigenous communities at home and abroad to create art that prompts reflection.’
In addition to Andrew’s new works, exhibition highlights will include the Gun-metal Grey series of 2007 which transforms deliberately darkened ethnographic photos of unidentified Indigenous people into haunting large-scale screen-printed portraits that seemingly appear and disappear, giving back the status, individuality and beauty stripped from the subjects by the colonial scientific lens.
Three monumental 2.5 x 3-metre collage works from the 2016 Space & Time series feature archival photographs screen-printed on glistening foil, and embellished with bright paint and collage in order to reveal and counter hierarchies in the telling of history, and to emphasise connections between human beings across time and space.
Andrew’s signature neon light works, Wiradjuri word plays and ‘Wiradjuri Op’ paintings comment on the relationship between consumer culture and Indigenous communities by combining the capitalist Western visual languages of advertising with Indigenous words and designs.
Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred will also unveil many works that have never been exhibited before, including some from Andrew’s time at art school, and experimental works relating to his seminal print series, Hope & Peace 2005 and Danger of Authority 2009.
Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne
Exhibition continues to 4 June 2017
For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Brook Andrew, dhalaay yuulayn (passionate skin) (2004) enamel paint on anodised aluminium and wood, neon. 125.0 x 170.0 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with funds from the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2005 – © Brook Andrew, courtesy Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne