Gareth Sansom: Transformer
Victorian artist Gareth Sansom is one of Australia’s most highly regarded painters. A pre-eminent figure of the Australian avant-garde for over 60 years, he is renowned for merging pop cultural references with intuitive and gestural mark making. His paintings, collages and watercolours are based on a personal iconography that includes imagery of a sexual, satirical and philosophical nature. Sansom’s luridly coloured and densely layered canvasses explore physical, psychological and material transformation; they begin as one thing but swiftly morph into another. Sansom rallies against his own control and consciousness in his work – he aspires to constantly surprise and challenge himself as an artist.
The exhibition features work over the entirety of his celebrated career, though it eschews a chronological survey format, instead presenting work in juxtaposition and around key tendencies in his practice. Over 130 works are featured, including many never exhibited publicly before. Suites of works on paper and photography complement more than 50 paintings, including many recent works from the past 15 years, making up what many believe to be the artist’s most vital and outstanding period.