back to Media Releases
Brook ANDREW
Frontier lights 2005
Media Release • 28 Feb 17

Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred

Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred will bring together more than 100 works by an Australian artist well known for reinterpreting colonial and modern history and offering alternative perspectives. Two new large-scale sculptures featuring bespoke wooden cabinets, a giant inflatable globe, and archival books, photographs and objects from Andrew’s extensive personal collection, will also go on display when this solo exhibition opens at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia on 3 March 2017.

The exhibition will map great moments in Brook Andrew’s 25-year career, and will look at the artist’s fascination with archival materials and strong interest in process that remain central to his practice. Andrew’s interdisciplinary and collaborative approach encompasses mediums of photography, video, neon, text, collage, printmaking, assemblage, sculpture, painting and installation.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Brook Andrew is an artist of great invention and eloquence, whose work interrogates racial stereotypes and contemporary consumer culture with artistic flair. His is a uniquely Australian voice in a global discussion around colonial histories, working as he does with Indigenous communities at home and abroad to create art that prompts reflection.’

In addition to Andrew’s new works, exhibition highlights will include the Gun-metal Grey series of 2007 which transforms deliberately darkened ethnographic photos of unidentified Indigenous people into haunting large-scale screen-printed portraits that seemingly appear and disappear, giving back the status, individuality and beauty stripped from the subjects by the colonial scientific lens.

Three monumental 2.5 x 3-metre collage works from the 2016 Space & Time series feature archival photographs screen-printed on glistening foil, and embellished with bright paint and collage in order to reveal and counter hierarchies in the telling of history, and to emphasise connections between human beings across time and space.

Andrew’s signature neon light works, Wiradjuri word plays and ‘Wiradjuri Op’ paintings comment on the relationship between consumer culture and Indigenous communities by combining the capitalist Western visual languages of advertising with Indigenous words and designs.

Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred will also unveil many works that have never been exhibited before, including some from Andrew’s time at art school, and experimental works relating to his seminal print series, Hope & Peace 2005 and Danger of Authority 2009.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated publication featuring essays by Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art, NGV, Professor Marcia Langton AM, Dr Anthony Gardner and Nick Aikens.

Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred is on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 3 March – 4 June 2017. Entry is free.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Download media release