– Highlights

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Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

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Exhibition

Kader Attia

12 Apr - 30 Jul

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Exhibition

Jenny Watson

05 Jul - 02 Oct

– Learning Events

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Special Event

ARTBAR June 2017

30 Jun, 7.00pm, MCA

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Talk

NAIDOC Week 2017

05 Jul, 5.30pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre

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Event

Master Class For Teachers

09 Jul, 10.00am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

– News from inside the MCA

5 Years of ARTBAR

Roaming carrots, Hummer limos, tea ceremonies and bikes in the galleries. Five years proof that anything can happen at #MCAARTBAR more

MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

Canals, cats and curators. Clothilde Bullen reflects on the experience of attending the 2017 Venice Biennale on the occasion of Tracey Moffat’s Australian Pavilion. more

From the archives: Unconventional Materials

From the Archives is our blog series unearthing gems from the MCA’s archives, written by resident archivist Stephanie Ferrara more

– Spotlights from the collection online

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MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

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Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

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Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

Stephen Birch

Born 1961, Melbourne. Lived and worked Sydney. Died 2007, Sydney.


Stephen Birch primarily worked in sculpture. He was concerned with developing sculptural language, drawing inspiration from the natural world and figurative tradition to work against the prevailing aesthetic of abstraction. Birch’s sculptures and installations employ everyday forms in an attempt to unsettle our sense of the comfortable or familiar. Playing with scale and context and using a range of materials that draw attention to the production process, his works draw audiences into eerie yet humorous parallel worlds, where linear readings become frustrated and the borders between reality and illusion are blurred.

Towards the end of his life, Birch began to investigate the human form in works that ranged from heads cast from artist colleagues to the figure of Spiderman. The artist distorted the figure, so that it slipped out of direct representation or portraiture and entered into a psychological realm, tapping into repressed fears, desires or anxieties. In the process Birch explored aspects of contemporary life, drawing on popular culture and mass media as well as art and literature. The figure of Spiderman, for example, confronts viewers with a character from our collective imagination which is superhuman yet ordinary, as invented as it is real.

Birch’s work was the subject of a survey exhibition and publication, Looking Out My Back Door, at the MCA, Sydney in 2007. He had solo exhibitions in Sydney, Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne throughout his career.

Works by Stephen Birch

– In the MCA Collection online

– View also

All
Works

Related Exhibitions