Robert Andrew selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art

Robert Andrew selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art – Thursday, 30 August 2018

Robert Andrew - Country, Ground, Earth, Sand, Time and Space (2017)

Robert Andrew, Country, Ground, Earth, Sand, Time and Space (2017)


Congratulations to Robert Andrew for being selected for The National 2019: New Australian Art. His work will be shown at the Art Gallery NSW from 29 March – 21 July 2019 as part of the three venue exhibition featuring 65 emerging, mid-career and established Australian contemporary artists living across the country and abroad.

As the press release states:

A major collaborative venture, The National 2019 is the second edition of a six-year initiative presented in 2017, 2019 and 2021, exploring the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art.

The 2019 exhibition is curated by AGNSW Curator of Photographs, Isobel Parker Philip; Carriageworks Senior Curator of Visual Arts, Daniel Mudie Cunningham; and MCA Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections and Exhibitions, Clothilde Bullen with MCA Curator, Anna Davis.

As in its first year, the exhibition showcases new and commissioned work by contemporary Australian artists encompassing a diverse range of media including painting, video, photography, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance.

The National 2019 will continue the project’s curatorial ambitions as a large-scale survey of contemporary Australian art in the form of three distinct exhibitions that explore overlapping themes including hierarchy and power, dystopic futures, and ritual and improvisation.

Isobel Parker Philip said The National 2019 at AGNSW reveals how Australian artists are responding with subtlety and intensity to the times they live in, through artworks that are intricate, complex and often charged with a sense of precariousness.

“States of suspense and anticipation characterise the exhibition at AGNSW, as 24 artists navigate the boundary between chaos and control in work that is by turns political, poetic and personal,” Parker Philip said.

“Working with materials ranging from charred wood to many kilometres of yarn, the artists in the AGNSW exhibition explore and test conditions of gravity and suspension, impermanence and fragility,” Parker Philip added.


Robert Andrew uses practice-led research to investigate denied and forgotten personal and family histories, utilising open-sourced, programmable technologies and machinery to erode, expose substrates, build stories and create residue. These works manifest as visually scraped back and built up palimpsests that reference technology, natural materials and the ‘artefact’.

Fusing the old and the new, Andrew uses earth pigments, ochres, rocks and soil to build stories of relationship to land and culture and to mine historical, cultural, political and personal events that have been ignored, buried and distanced by the dominant paradigms of our western culture.

Andrew is an artist of mixed heritage, a decedent of the Yawuru people from the Broome area in the Kimberley, Western Australia, as well as of European and Filipino descent. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art and an Honours Degree in Fine Arts from Griffith University, where he is currently a post graduate candidate for a Doctorate in Visual Arts.

Andrew won the 40th Alice Prize in 2018 for his work White Wash Over The Burn (2017). His work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria and has been exhibited as part of Moving Backwards into the Future (2015) and Colony: Frontier Wars (2017) at the Ian Potter Centre at the NGV, as well as Ars Electronica (2017) in Austria. He was commissioned to make Moving from the Binary for the Experimenta Make Sense International Triennial of Media Art. In 2017 Andrew had solos at the Museum of Brisbane and Metro Arts Brisbane.


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