Ron Mueck


Free entry

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Fed Square

Level 3

13 May 22 – 15 Jan 23

Australian-born Ron Mueck has been creating hyper-realistic, figurative sculptures since his debut as an artist in 1997. His work is known for its attention to detail, choice of subjects and use of scale.

Originally commissioned for the 2017 NGV Triennial, Mass, which comprises 100 large-scale resin sculptures of the human skull, is a momentous and confronting work.

Throughout history, the skull has been a potent symbol within the aesthetic lexicon of almost all cultures. It features prominently in art of the Renaissance and particularly in Dutch still-life painting and the vanitas tradition of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, where the skull represents ephemerality. The skull has also been used in other ways – in the skull and crossbones of the pirate Jolly Roger, and as a sign of Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

In a contemporary context, Mass has particular resonance. With the world grappling with enormous and intensifying challenges – the atrocity of war, pestilence, a changing climate, floods, fires and famine – it is a poignant monument for our times.

Ron Mueck
Mass 2016-2017 (detail)
synthetic polymer paint on fibreglass
Felton Bequest, 2018

Public Reaction to Ron Mueck’s Mass