Continuing MUMA’s ongoing series of survey exhibitions focussing upon the work of significant mid-career artists (David Noonan 2005; Angela Brennan 2006; Brook Andrew 2007; Diena Georgetti 2008), Monash University Museum of Art is pleased to present a survey of Melbourne-based, New Zealand artist, Richard Lewer.
Richard Lewer: Nobody likes a show off covers the scope of this artist's practice, encompassing painting, drawing, animation, installation and performance. Marked by a sceptical humour and a focus upon the darker sides of human behaviour, place and social identity, Lewer's work involves close observation and highly subjective encounters with family, religious, sport and criminal subjects, leading to insightful and absurd narrative reflections on good and evil, life and mortality. This survey exhibition will feature keys works from public and private collections in Australia and New Zealand.
Richard Lewer is a Melbourne-based artist who was born in New Zealand in 1970, relocating to Melbourne in 1996. His practice encompasses a broad range of media including painting, drawing, animation, video and performance. He has exhibited regularly in Australia and New Zealand since 2001 and was recently awarded both the Colin McCahon House Residency, French Bay, Titirangi, New Zealand in 2008, and the prestigious Wallace Art Award, which provides the artist with a six month residency in New York in 2010.
Lewer holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. He was a finalist in the 2008 Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, and has been a previous finalist in the Waikato Contemporary Art Awards and the Wallace Art Awards in New Zealand.
Lewer has been artist in residence at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2007); the Department of Drawing, Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne (2007); St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne (2006) and the Victoria Institute of Sports, Melbourne (2005). Lewer has returned to Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, holding a studio until 2010.
Recent solo exhibitions include True Stories – Australian Crime, Block Projects, Melbourne 2008; As I Stepped out into the Bright Sunlight, Orexart, Auckland 2007; Richard Lewer: Get Well, Damian Minton Gallery, Sydney, 2007; It’s starts as an idle thought and grows into an obsession, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 2007; Get Well, Orexart, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006; It used to be so good: Richard Lewer, Mark Hutchins Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 2005; Impending Doom, Orexart, Auckland, New Zealand, 2004; and Richard Lewer: Hits and Memories, Oedipus Rex Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, 2003.
Group exhibitions include I walk the line: New Australian Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2009; True crime – murder and misdemeanour in Australian art; Geelong Gallery 2008 – 2009; Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, 2008; Bon Scott Project, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth; Crime Lines Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne; Bracket Creep – A Projected Committee, Conical Gallery, Melbourne, 2007; Zonal Marx, VCA Gallery, Melbourne; Game on! Sport and contemporary art, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, 2006; Commodity and Delight - Views of Home, Wanganui; Ocular Lab Exhibition Group Exhibition, Untitled Situation, Melbourne, 2005; Break, Govett Brewster Public Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand, 2001 and Adrift – Nomadic New Zealand Art, Conical Gallery, Melbourne, 2001.
Lewer’s work is held in the Monash University Collection, as well as collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the Waikato Museum Collection, the University of Auckland, University of Waikato, Victoria University, Waikato Art Society, The James Wallace Trust, Art Bank Collection.
Free Public Discussion, Richard Lewer, Dr. Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Lisa Sullivan, convened by Rosemary Forde - Thursday 13 August
Richard Lewer: Nobody Likes a Show Off
Image: Richard Lewer: Nobody Likes a Show Off, Monash University Museum of Art, 2009. Photo: John Brash