masonite panels on wooden frames, mirror finish panels, steel legs
Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased 1993
Peter Cripps’ Another History for H.B. and R.L. references Austrian artist Herbert Bayer (H.B.) and the Australian scholar Robert Lingard (R.L.). Lingard is a professor of education who, like Cripps, is interested in the speculative nature of culture and ideas. Bayer was an artist who taught for a time at the Bauhaus in Germany during the 1920s and then in the United States where he continued to advocate for artistic pursuits that were integrated into the fabric of a modern industrialised society.
Bayer was well known for his graphic design but also his ground-breaking exhibition displays. In the form of a drawing he proposed a radical viewing experience that encircles the viewer in a fragmented yet enclosed space. Cripps’ work realises Bayer’s drawing into a three-dimensional form with flat panels and the addition of mirrored surfaces that critique the system of viewing objects from the front. By re-creating Bayer’s proposal, Cripps’ work considers the role of history in art and how ideas from the past can travel with people and through time.
We all live in the world and that means we should acknowledge the fact that we are interconnected and that people and ideas are important to all of us. Also, this fact allows me to connect myself to a historical moment but draw that idea into the present. Artists often feel that they have to single themselves out (take the floor) even though we live in a community of artists, curators and colleagues.
Peter Cripps, 2014
Born 1948, Melbourne. Lives and works Melbourne.
Peter Cripps is an artist, curator and educator and has been a key figure in Australian art since the 1970s. Emerging at a time when minimal and conceptual art were at the forefront of contemporary practice, Cripps’ work has been concerned with the formal, conceptual, phenomenological and ideological relationships between objects and the spaces in which they are presented.
Key solo exhibitions include Endless Space, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012); Peter Cripps: Towards an Elegant Solution, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2010); Peter Cripps: Projects for Two Museums, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (1993); and Peter Cripps: Namelessness – A Play and Installation, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (1988).
He has participated in more than 50 group exhibitions from 1973 including Less Is More, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2012); Mirror Mirror: Then and Now, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2010) and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2009); Melbourne><Brisbane: Punk, Art and After, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne (2009); Pitch Your Own Tent: Art Projects / Store 5 / 1st Floor, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2005); and The Readymade Boomerang, 8th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (1990).
Cripps’ work is held in public collections throughout Australia and a catalogue raisonne of his work, Peter Cripps: Towards an Elegant Solution, was published by Australian Centre for Contemporary art, Melbourne in 2010.