– Tony Albert wins Fleurieu Art Prize, 2016 –
We congratulate Tony Albert who has won the Fleurieu Art Prize, 2016 for his work The Hand You’re Dealt (2015). The work was selected from 58 exemplary finalists chosen from 750 entries.
The judging panel included Nigel Hurst, Director of London’s Saatchi Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Deputy Director & Director of Collections, Suhanya Raffel, and the Director, Samstag Museum of Art, Erica Green.
Tony Albert’s winning work The Hand You’re Dealt is a wall piece comprised of a suite of vintage playing cards, whose placement weaves references to Western popular culture and Australian Aboriginal culture. These intricate pieces which comprise the overall installation are superbly crafted by Albert through cutting, collage and construction techniques, work to displace traditional Australian Aboriginal aesthetics and accepted national stereotypes. This seamless blend of the kitsch and classic speaks in a contemporary voice about the Australian landscape. In interrogating his immense collection of “Aboriginalia” (a term the artist coined to describe kitschy objects and images that feature naive portrayals of Aboriginality), Albert asks us to engage with the Australian landscape: tangible, social and political.
In 2015 ARTAND Foundation published Tony Albert, a comprehensive survey of the extraordinary oeuvre of contemporary artist. Featuring a foreword by Hetti Perkins and an in-depth interview with the artist by notable curator Maura Reilly, the book explores the complex conceptual undercurrent that pervades Albert’s work. Colour reproductions of the works, from photographs to largescale installations, reveal the artist’s ongoing interrogation of the politics of colonisation and the flagrant injustices that are still faced by indigenous Australians today.
2016 Fleurieu Art Prize Finalists’ Exhibition
Samstag Museum of Art
Until 29 July, 2016
Tony Albert, The Hand You’re Dealt, 2015, vintage Aboriginal playing cards, dimensions variable
Tony Albert is represented by sullivan+strumpf, Sydney
Tony Albert and The Hand You're Dealt / Suhanya Raffel, Tony Albert, Erica Green and Nigel Hurst both photographs by Nat Rogers