| Selected works of the exhibition
Press Release (English)
Press Release (French)
Print press release
May 28th - July 23, 2016
Cloître Saint-Merri, Paris
Galerie Nathalie Obadia is delighted to present The Forest, Brook Andrew’s second exhibition at the gallery after Anatomy of a Body Record: Beyond Tasmania held in 2013, and a few months before his significant retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria of Melbourne, next March 2017.
Born in 1970, in Sydney, Brook Andrew is considered to be a major figure in today’s contemporary art scene in the Pacific Asia region and is known for his unique museum interventions and research activities in Europe. For the last 20 years, he has been developing an incredibly meaningful artistic approach based on meticulous research work. Through the in-depth analysis of Western prevailing narratives, their vernacular objects and image reproductions, Brook Andrew pays an inquisitive attention to colonial history and the various imperialistic ideologies. He draws from these international public and private collections and at times collaborates with local communities in order to reflect upon these historical documents. He then isolates them from their scientific background and transfers them into the contemporary art scene. By doing so, he highlights their extreme relevance in regard to our present time.
From old postcards, to documentary photographs, newspaper clips, vinyl records, old school books, objects with powerful meanings, and souvenirs photos of indigenous peoples, the reactivation of these artifacts inevitably intervenes the dominant narrative of our Western colonial legacy. Once exhumed and repurposed, the objects are spirited with new juxtapositions and the power to create new and diverse stories. Our function is to re-address and re-interpret these new juxtapositions in order to think freely on new possibilities. Indeed movements like Modernism have set particular dominant trains of thought that programs ‘our’ world; here the artist questions the value of such movements as an opportunity to re-adress the imbalance of noted and other worldly important movements and possibilities. The artworks become more than a finite witness to a definite period of time, and is expanded to challenge dominant narratives, while the original intention of their authors is inexorably altered.
For The Forest, Brook Andrew will present a selection of exclusive artworks from original archival sources of the his own collection – the SUNSET series for example- and from reproductions of the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology of Cambridge as well as the Musée du Quai Branly, where he has been awarded a residency as a Photography Residencies Laureate. The source images are then reproduced, worked on, painted over, resized, screenprinted and complemented with neon lights, collages, and other various objects.
The artist firmly believes he is an artist of the world, not defined by one place. Though his mixed cultural ancestry such as Scottish, Irish, Jewish and Australian Aboriginal, informs his practice. His interest in a post-colonial context, the many lineages that forged his identity and shaped his arts practice, is indeed a strong platform to compare the histories of the Asia Pacific with those of the rest of the world relying on ideas of comparisons to other international concerns raised by artists such as Christian Boltanski and Jenny Holzer. The Wiradjuri pattern –recurring in Brook Andrew’s work- comes from the Aboriginal woodcarvings (dendroglyphs) of New South Wales, home state of the artist’s mother, and has inspired the artist’s black and white hypnotic pattern. On another hand, the Sapelli wood he uses for his frames evokes the sudden scarcity of this African resource after it fed the business of modern furniture in fashion back in the 1950’s.
Through a consistent and very well documented multidisciplinary practice, Brook Andrew creates impactful artworks and singularly immersive exhibitions. The Forest prolongs his on-going quest to provide spectators with alternatives to – individually and collectively- interpret the world as well as our heritages.
Brook Andrew is born in 1970, in Sydney, Australia. He currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.
With a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from the University of Western Sydney, Nepean, Sydney (Australia, 1990-1993) and a MFA (Master of Fine Arts), from COFA, University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia, 1998-1999), Brook Andrew is among the most renowned artists of the Australia and Pacific Asia contemporary art scene.
Recent exhibitions include EVIDENCE, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Sydney (Australia, 2015); Sanctuary: Tombs of the Outcasts, Ian Potter Museum of Art,Sydney(Australia,2015), Intervening Time during the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland ArtGallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (Australia, 2015); Witness, Lyon House Museum of Melbourne (Australia, 2014), De Anima, Bendigo Regional Gallery and RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne (Australia, 2014), Les Trophées Oubliés, Musée d’Aquitaine de Bordeaux (France, 2013), Jumping Castle War Memorial, FeliXartMuseum, Dragenbos (Belgium, 2013), Earth House, Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale –where he nationally represented Australia (Japan, 2012), Warang, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Australia, 2012).
He also took part in numerous significant group shows; at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology of Cambridge (United Kingdom, 2016), at the Museum De Lakhenhal, Leiden (Netherlands, 2015), at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan, 2015), at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts - PICA (Australia, 2015), at the TATE Britain of London (United Kingdom, 2015), at the National Gallery of Victoria de Melbourne (Australia, 2015), at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia in Madrid (Spain, 2014), at the Künstlerhaus of Vienne (Austria, 2013), at the National Museum of China, Beijing (China, 2013), at the MOCA, Seoul, (South Korea, 2011), at the 17th Biennale of Sydney (Australia, 2010), at the Museum of Contemporary Art de Sydney (Australia, 2012), at the Iberia Center of Contemporary Art of Beijing (2010), at the Jewish Museum (Berlin, Germany and Vienna, Austria, 2008), at the Spertus Institute of Chicago (USA, 2008), at the Smithsonian Institute - National Museum of Art History of Washington D.C (USA, 2007), at the Ishibashi Foundation of Tokyo (Japan, 2007) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Santiago, (Chile, 2007) -to only name a few.
His work is also showcased in prestigious private and public collections such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (South Korea), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Australia), the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (Australia), the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra (Australia), the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia), the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (Australia), the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (Australia), the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (Australia), the ARTBANK (Australia), The Vizard Foundation Collection, Melbourne (Australia), and the BHP Billiton Collection of Melbourne (Australia).
In 2016-2018, Brook Andrew has been awarded a prestigious three-year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant for his project titled Representation, Remembrance and the Monument, and will be showcased in March 2017 at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
He is a lecturer at MADA (Monash Art, Design and Architecture), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Brook Andrew has been represented by Galerie Nathalie Obadia since 2013.