At eighty-six years of age, Ken Unsworth is a senior Australian artist who draws upon an extraordinarily diverse repertoire of skills, techniques and devices. He is an enigmatic creator known for his conceptual sculptures and sculptural installations, mechanical relief works, land art events and innovative performances that combine theatre, dance and art.
Truly, Madly surveys significant aspects of Unsworth’s career. It includes the artist’s earliest sculptures and re-commissioned kinetic works produced during the 1980s, installations incorporating the figure as a key component through to recent works in which he brings together elements and concepts that have preoccupied him throughout his creative life.
Ken Unsworth was born in Richmond, Melbourne, in 1931, where he developed a mania for AFL football, trams and VB. He attended Melbourne Teachers’ College and the University of Melbourne and later the National Art School, Sydney. From 1955 he worked as a secondary teacher and then as a lecturer in art at various tertiary institutions. His academic teaching career paralleled that of being an artist and continued until 1988.
Truly, Madly has been developed in close association with the artist and is the first major exhibition of his sculptural practice to be held in Melbourne. It is presented in the foyer galleries at NGV Australia and features a new site-specific installation Unsworth has developed to interact directly with the building.