A major solo exhibition profiling the work of leading Australian artist Tony Albert (b.1981) opens at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from tomorrow until 7 October 2018.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘Tony Albert: Visible’ celebrated the creative practice of one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists.
‘QAGOMA is thrilled to present ‘Visible’ – Tony Albert’s first major solo exhibition in an Australian state gallery,’ Mr Saines said.
‘Born in Townsville and raised in Brisbane, Albert is represented in major international, national and private collections, and in recent years he has secured a number of prestigious awards and opportunities.
‘In 2014, he was awarded the Basil Sellers Art Prize and the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. The following year his major public artwork YININMADYEMI Thou didst let fall 2015 commemorating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have served in the Australian army was installed in Sydney’s Hyde Park. Then in 2016 he won the Fleurieu Art Prize.
‘Since graduating from the Queensland College of Art in 2004, Tony Albert has established a nationally recognised practice that interrogates representations of Aboriginal people through a mix of humour and poignancy, while tackling the serious issues of race and representation head‑on.'
Developed by Bruce Johnson McLean, Curator of Indigenous Australian Art at QAGOMA, ‘Visible’ focuses on the artist’s vital and incisive work from 2007 up to the present.
‘It includes found object-based collage, painting, photography, video and installation, with many works built on the artist’s lifelong passion - collecting ‘Aboriginalia’ - decorative items of kitsch ‘Australiana’ featuring Aboriginal people and motifs,’ Mr Saines said.
‘Tony Albert has reclaimed these found objects and worked them into sculptural text-based installations loaded with political and historical associations – the works include exotic OTHER 2009/2018, Headhunter 2007, Sorry 2008, Pay Attention 2009–10 and whiteWASH 2018, created especially for the exhibition.'
‘Visible’ also features a display of more than 400 items from Tony Albert’s private collection of ‘Aboriginalia’, including a vintage pinball machine that visitors can play.
Supported by the Future Collective, QAGOMA’s philanthropy program for young professionals and creatives, Moving the Line 2018 is another major new work that features hundreds of playing cards – each individually cut, folded, sculpted and painted.
Alongside Albert’s award-winning photographic series Brothers 2013, is the installation Moving Targets 2015. It features a burnt-out car incorporating video and sound and references a 2012 joyride through Sydney’s Kings Cross which resulted in two Aboriginal teenagers being shot and violently arrested by police. Albert created the work in collaboration with his friend Stephen Page, Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, and Page’s late brother David. 'Tony Albert: We Can Be Heroes' is the artist’s project for children and families now showing at the Children’s Art Centre, GOMA until 7 October. Created in collaboration with children and community members from Warakurna, a remote desert community in Western Australia, ‘We Can Be Heroes' explores how we can all be empowered by overcoming our fears. Children can create their own digital superhero identity, assemble a monster using collage sheets designed by the artist, and bring creatures of the artist's imagination to life.
This weekend audiences can join in a range of opening programs for ‘Tony Albert: Visible’ including an exhibition tour, conversations and drop-in ‘Playing with cards’ workshop.