Death of the ahistorical subject
Death of the ahistorical subject

Gordon Bennett

1955 - Death of the ahistorical subject 1993
  • diptych: oil on canvas
136.7 cm x 167.3 cm

Bennett was born in Monto, Queensland, in 1955 to an indigenous Australian mother and an Anglo Celtic migrant father. He first became aware of his dual heritage when he was a young teenager. He felt alienated by his Australian education and the representation of Aboriginal people in Western culture and as a result, began confronting the idea of identity in his own work.

His playful yet powerfully political artworks borrow images from other artists and mix and re-contextualise elements from Western and non-Western art history.

In his Welt series of paintings of the early 1990s, he painted over the created 'scarified' surface of Jackson Pollock inspired drip paintings in matte black. The textured surface references the colonial footprint of global black slavery. By quoting from a range of cultures and artistic styles, he questions and undermines colonial history and racist stereotypes.

Source: TATE online: five things to know: Gordon Bennett online





More by this artist

Gordon Bennett 1955 - Flatland 03
  • acrylic on linen
167.5 cm x 152.5 cm

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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