20 December 2008 - 22 March 2009
A National Gallery of Victoria Touring Exhibition
Notes to Basquiat: Double vision
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
152.3 x 182.7 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation
with assistance of Henry Gillespie, Governor, 2000
Photograph by John O'Brien
©Courtesy of the artist
Since his first major solo exhibition in 1989, Gordon Bennett has achieved international critical acclaim for the complex ways in which his work engages with historical and contemporary questions of cultural and personal identity, with a specific focus on Australia’s colonial past and its postcolonial present.
Bennett’s idiosyncratic art is founded on his critical enquiry into the power and effects of language to structure ideologies, and social and cultural systems. His work has been guided by a postmodernist aesthetic that has enabled him to deconstruct and represent the histories and politics that determine identities and the national and international social landscapes in which, through his work, he seeks to locate a place for himself.
The exhibition will present twenty years of the artist’s work and will bring together many of the Notes to Basquiat paintings and selected works from the Home Décor series. The exhibition will examine the manner in which Bennett’s focus on the disenfranchisement of colonialism resonates globally beyond his specifically Australian context, and the challenge his work makes to political conservatism and social complacency.