“Australia: A History of Terrogees — Cameron Hayes” at Melbourne Art Fair | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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“Australia: A History of Terrogees — Cameron Hayes” at Melbourne Art Fair

“What happens when pretend politicians pretend to be terrorists,” 2009-11 Cameron Hayes oil on linen (triptych) 167.5cm x 345.5cm
(Courtesy: Australian Galleries)

Australian Galleries is presenting Cameron Hayes’ "Australia: A History of Terrogees" at the Melbourne Art Fair, on view through August 5, 2018.

The Australian figurative painter presents a collection of politically-charged works. “These densely layered, monumental paintings reveal recurring themes within the artist's oeuvre drawn from unabashed, uncomfortable observations of Australian identities; searches for a collective and an individual self; stories of fear, violence, lies, absurdity, acid humor, with hidden flickers of empathy. A key piece painted in 2009 ‘What happens when pretend politicians pretend to be terrorists’ (pictured above) uses the 2007 federal election as its backdrop. Some members of the Australian Liberal party conducted a pamphlet drop within the marginal seat of Lindsay — a predominantly white, working class  community. They falsified an organization called the ‘Islamic Australia Federation’ and in the pamphlets thanked the Labour party for seeking clemency for terrorists, for building mosques in Lindsay, and for supporting the Bali bombers. Hayes’ monumental painting tells the story of the effect the resulting baseless fear had on Muslim girls at the local school and upon the Australian psyche. Hayes’ major work ‘Terrorist in a cake shop’ (2018) will be exhibited alongside recent works created specifically for the exhibition, as well as the completed works: ‘Even dung beetles eventually realize that there will be plenty of dung where they finish rolling their dung’ (2014 – 2018), ‘Mathias Ulungura captures Hajime Toyashima – 19th February 1942’ (2006) and ‘The massacre at Young before it was called Young (2017),'” writes the gallery.

Hayes’ first major solo exhibition was held in 2000 by Australian Galleries, Melbourne, of which Peter Timms wrote in The Age: “His mind is on social history, which he satirizes with a vengeance. Hayes Is a Hogarth or a Daumier for the 21st century. At the level of style and technique his painting is all control… The eye scans the surface, taking in each bizarre anecdote, and taking delight in their bitter humor.”  The artist’s 2011 exhibition in New York was recommended by Village Voice’s Robert Shuster as “best in show” — describing his work as “rich panoramas of satiric dystopian visions, imaginative allegories reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch.”

The exhibition will be on view through August 5, 2018 at Melbourne Art Fair, Southbank Arts Precinct (alongside ACCA), 111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006.

For details visit: http://australiangalleries.com.au

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.

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