Gordon Bennett (artist)
10 August 1955|
Monto, Queensland, Australia
|Died||3 June 2014(aged 58)|
|Education||Queensland College of Art|
|Known for||Painting, printmaking|
|Movement||Urban indigenous art|
Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship (1991)|
John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize (1997)
Gordon Bennett (10 August 1955 – 3 June 2014) was an Australian artist of Aboriginal and Anglo-Celtic descent. Born in Monto, Queensland, Bennett was a significant figure in contemporary Indigenous Australian art.
Born in Monto, Queensland in 1955, of Anglo-Celtic and Aboriginal ancestry, Gordon Bennett grew up in Victoria from the age of four, when his family moved back to Queensland, to the town of Nambour. He attended high school in Brisbane, attending Brisbane State High School. He left school at fifteen and worked in a variety of trades before undertaking formal art studies at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane between 1986 and 1988. Some of his work is about what he saw when he was young. His 1991 painting Nine Ricochets won the prestigious Moët & Chandon Australian Art Fellowship, and he rapidly established himself as a leading figure in the Australian art world. He lived and worked in Brisbane, where he created paintings, prints and worked in multi-media.
Growing up, Bennett was surrounded and confronted by images of Aboriginal Australians inflicting harm on others or being violent in some form of the word.
Bennett expressed his discomfort with being seen as spokesman for Aboriginal peoples, and in a manifesto (or 'manifest toe' as he called it) published in 1996 he spoke of his wish "to avoid banal containment as a professional Aborigine, which both misrepresents me and denies my upbringing and Scottish/English heritage,"  while simultaneously expressing his wish that his young daughter could grow up in a society where her life would not be defined by her race. The confrontation of Australian racism is a regular theme in works by Bennett.
In 2004, Bennett, together with Peter Robinson, had a two-person exhibition Three Colours, which showed at several Victorian art galleries including Heide Museum of Modern Art, Shepparton Art Gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery and the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery. In late 2007 he had a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, that set his works on colonialism in an international context.
Gordon Bennett died on 3 June 2014, of natural causes.
Judith Ryan, senior curator from the National Gallery of Victoria in 2004 described Bennett as "an artist's artist" and "like no other artist currently working". Noting the influence of Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian and Basquiat, she considered Bennett's style to be theoretical and confronting, and intended to encourage critical reflection on national identity.
- "Gordon Bennett Introduction". Schools resources. National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Coslovich, Gabriella (28 April 2004). "Bennett puts on brave face". The Age. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Gordon Bennett". Design & Art Australia Online. 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- *Roberts, Jo (10 September 2007). "Confronting and uncompromising". The Age. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Grishin 2013, p. 500.
- "Exhibitions: Gordon Bennett". National Gallery of Victoria. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Death Notice for Gordon Bennett". Milani Gallery. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Bennett, Gordon. "Triptych: Requiem, Of Grandeur, Empire 1989". Collection: Contemporary Australian art. Queensland Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Miller, Nick (20 September 2017). "London's Tate Modern takes possession of iconic Australian art". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Grishin, Sasha (2013). Australian Art: A History. Carlton, VIC: The Miegunyah Press. ISBN 978-0-522-85652-1.
- McLean, Ian; Gordon Bennett (1996). The Art of Gordon Bennett. Roseville East, NSW: Craftsman House. ISBN 90-5703-221-X.
- "Gordon Bennett". Trove Guide to Australian Cultural Collections. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- Bell, Richard (13 June 2014). "The death of Queensland artist Gordon Bennett is a huge blow to the Australian contemporary art world". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Gordon Bennett" (Essay which accompanied exhibit on the bicentenary of the slave trade act consisting of 6 digital prints, 2 acrylics on canvas and one performance DVD). Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. 2007. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Gordon Bennett" (Artist Biography, 18 Artworks and 6 Exhibitions). Sutton Gallery. 1990–2013. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Gordon Bennett". Greenway Gallery. 2002–2008. Archived from the original (Artist Biography, 33 Artworks, 5 Essays, Solo and Selected Group Shows, Collections, Selected Bibliography) on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Bennett, Gordon. "Number Nine 2008" (acrylic on linen 182.5 × 304 cm (diptych)). Artabase. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Bennett, Gordon (17 November – 10 December 2010). "Abstraction (Citizen) Exhibition". Gallery Barry Keldoulis. Archived from the original (12 acrylic images on linen or paper each 121 x 80 cm (unframed)) on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Gordon Bennett". Art Galleries Schubert/Contemporary. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "Artist Profile Gordon Bennett". Sherman Galleries. Retrieved 8 June 2014.