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Ambitious? Who, me? Newish work by Rodney Glick

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


19 Feb 2004 to 09 May 2004

Curator: Russell Storer

about the exhibition

The work of Western Australian artist Rodney Glick is characterised by its diversity. Since the mid 1980s, his practice has incorporated sculpture, installation, painting, photography, collage, drawing and video, as well as books, furniture design, public art and architecture. Glick’s approach to art is wide-ranging and constantly inventive. He comments on the international art world and its structures through real and fictional institutions, mythical artists and philosophers, parodic publications, and humorous installations, such as Ambitious? Who, Me? (2003) which features the artist himself on display, and Office Painting (2004) which twists the form of the framed painting to ludicrous lengths.

Working both solo and collaboratively with a range of practitioners, including designers, writers and architects, Glick’s process consistently entails exchange and dialogue. Location is central to Glick’s art, which is solidly grounded in his own corner of the world, be it the tidy suburbs of Perth or the flat plains of the Western Australian wheat belt. Glick’s commitment to public art and his involvement in the setting up of the International Art Space in the farming town of Kellerberrin (IASKA) has integrated art with local communities, while works such as EARTHQUAKE (1999-2002) represent these unique if overlooked landscapes in surprising ways.

Glick’s first solo exhibition on the east coast for over a decade Ambitious? Who, Me? Newish Work by Rodney Glick featured work from the previous five years, and displayed a number of the artist’s key interests and motifs, including manipulation of scale, biting and irreverent humour, evocative use of media, and idiosyncratic narratives. Works such as Ocean Deep (2003), Clock (2001/2004) and Still Life (2002/2003) transformed collections of household objects into timeless artistic subjects, while Mountain (2000/2004) and Lap Pool (2003) created an impressive sense of scale and drama with everyday materials.

Two major video projections, EARTHQUAKE (1999-2002) and LIFE plus TV (2002-2003) collapsed time and space into vast panoramas where an entire day could be viewed in an hour, while a new work, Marble Bun (2003) rendered a massive cube of marble into a light, fluffy sculpture. In each case Glick draws on the histories and systems of art-making and its reception to investigate the possibilities for art and its place in the world.

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of MCA Ambassadors.