Mike Parr

Biography

Born Syd­ney, Aus­tralia 1945

Lives and works in Sydney


Inter­ro­gat­ing for­mal and cul­tur­al ortho­dox­ies, the vast and uncom­pro­mis­ing prac­tice of Mike Parr assumes mul­ti­ple forms through a con­fla­tion of draw­ing, print­mak­ing, sculp­ture and per­for­mance. Explor­ing the lim­its of his phys­i­cal and men­tal capac­i­ty, Parr’s high­ly influ­en­tial per­for­mance prac­tice employs his own body as a means to exam­ine iden­ti­ty and polit­i­cal con­ven­tions of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. His decades-long Self Por­trait Project’ also draws upon his own sub­jec­tiv­i­ty, unfold­ing as a cathar­tic reflec­tion on self­hood and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of perspective.

Through­out his career Parr has con­tin­u­al­ly ques­tioned the pos­si­bil­i­ties and crit­i­cal recep­tion of con­tem­po­rary art. By sub­sum­ing modes of activism into his prac­tice, and work­ing beyond estab­lished struc­tures, Parr rig­or­ous­ly exam­ines aes­thet­ic norms and social cir­cum­stances to reaf­firm his vital role with­in con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian culture.

Parr rep­re­sent­ed Aus­tralia at the Venice Bien­nale in 1980 and pre­sent­ed the major instal­la­tion The Ghost Who Talks at the Palaz­zo Mora in 2015. In 2016, the Nation­al Gallery of Aus­tralia mount­ed the museum’s largest sur­vey of a con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian artist, For­eign Look­ing by Mike Parr.

Select­ed exhi­bi­tions include The Eter­nal Open­ing, Car­riage­works, Syd­ney (2019); Under­neath the Bitu­men the Artist, 72 hour dura­tional per­for­mance, Dark MOFO, Hobart, Tas­ma­nia (2018), Give the Peo­ple what they Want / Ide­al Unions / Nazi Milk, Camp­bell­town Arts Cen­tre, New South Wales (2016); For­eign Look­ing, Nation­al Gallery of Aus­tralia, Can­ber­ra (2016); Asy­lum, DARK MOFO, Hobart (2016); The Marked Self: Between Anni­hi­la­tion & Mas­quer­ade, Neue Gallery / Uni­­varsalmu­se­um-Joan­neum, Graz, Aus­tria (2015); The Ghost Who Talks, 55th Bien­nale di Venezia, Palaz­zo Mora, Venice, Italy (2015); Dam­age Con­trol: Body Art & Destruc­tion 1968 – 1972, BRU­SE­UM, Neue Gallery, Graz, Aus­tria (2014); Mix Tape 1980s: Appro­pri­a­tion, Sub­cul­ture, Crit­i­cal Style, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Mel­bourne (2013); Mike Parr: Edel­weiß, Kun­sthalle Wien, Vien­na (2012); MIRROR/ARSE in Rev­o­lu­tions – Forms That Turn, 16th Bien­nale of Syd­ney, Cock­a­too Island (2008); Volte Face: Mike Parr Prints & Preprints 1970 – 2005, Muse­um of Contem­porary Art, Syd­ney (2006).

Pub­lic col­lec­tions include the Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Mel­bourne; Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Syd­ney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Syd­ney; Nation­al Gallery of Aus­tralia, Can­ber­ra; Art Gallery of West­ern Aus­tralia, Perth; Queens­land Art Gallery, Bris­bane; Par­lia­ment House, Can­ber­ra; Monash Uni­ver­si­ty, Mel­bourne; and Art Gallery of South Aus­tralia, Adelaide.


CV

Bib­li­og­ra­phy

Exhibitions

Mike Parr

2020 Ade­laide Bien­ni­al of Aus­tralian Art: Mon­ster Theatres

28th February – 16th August 2020
Art Gallery of South Australia

Mike Parr

KIND­NESS IS SO GANGSTER

6th October – 21st December 2018
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

LEFT FIELD

7th July – 19th August 2017
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

For­eign Looking

12th August – 6th November 2016
National Gallery of Australia

Mike Parr

Dark Cave

20th November – 19th December 2015
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

Deep North

27th June – 29th August 2015
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Mike Parr

East­er Island

16th November – 21st December 2013
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Ben­jamin Arm­strong, Stephen Bram, Janet Burchill & Jen­nifer McCam­ley, Angela de la Cruz, Mikala Dwyer, Clement Mead­more, Mike Parr

In abstrac­tion, the body

28th April – 16th June 2012
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Mike Parr

The Gold­en Age

27th August – 22nd October 2011
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Mike Parr

The Hal­lelu­jah Chorus

24th June – 24th July 2010
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Tom Nichol­son, Jen­ny Wat­son, Mut­lu Çerkez, Peter Tyn­dall, Mar­co Fusina­to, Ian Whit­tle­sea, Mike Parr, Emi­ly Floyd, Janet Burchill & Jen­nifer McCam­ley, Rose Nolan, Grant Stevens

WORD

4th July – 8th August 2009
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Mike Parr

MILK

17th June – 16th August 2008
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks

Mike Parr

SALTO MOR­TALE: THE NOTH­ING SELF PORTRAITS

30th March – 5th May 2007
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

BLAME­LESS

1st – 26th August 2006
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

THE UNDER­WORLD

1st June – 2nd July 2005
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

AETHER/AWE

1st February – 1st March 2003
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Mike Parr

ALU­MINUM FROM THE MOUTH

24th August – 29th September 2001
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Available Works

Mike Parr

Refusal of Face, 2015
dry­point, car­borun­dum on 350gsm Hah­ne­muh­le bond­ed to canvas
212316 cm (8 sheets)

Mike Parr

Bridg­ing Course, 2014
dry­point, car­borun­dum, etch­ing ink on 350gsm Hah­ne­muh­le paper bond­ed to can­vas with acrylic gloss
215237 cm

Mike Parr

Alter­na­tive Abrahams, 2014
dry­point, angle­grinder, lift­ground aquatint from mul­ti­ple cop­per plates, jig-sawn ply­block print­ed in relief, sur­face roll-up in pig­ment­ed acrylic medi­um, print­ed on Mul­ber­ry paper bond­ed to rag paper bond­ed to 3 sheets of can­vas with acrylic gloss
248385 cm

Mike Parr

Big­ness of a Head, 2011
acrylic, pas­tel, char­coal pen­cil on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153235 cm

Mike Parr

Blood in Black, 2011
acrylic mixed with pas­tel, char­coal, char­coal pen­cil on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153235 cm

Mike Parr

Duck Down, 2011
char­coal pen­cil, water­colour, pas­tel on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153235 cm

Mike Parr

Dumb­found­ed, 2011
char­coal pen­cil, acrylic, pas­tel on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153235 cm

Mike Parr

High Tal­ians, 2011
acrylic, pas­tel, ink, water­colour on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153235 cm

Mike Parr

Wound Slash Wound, 2011
pas­tel, water­colour, ink, char­coal pen­cil on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford water­colour paper
153229.5 cm

Mike Parr

Blutwurst, 2011
ink mixed with acrylic, acrylic, pas­tel, char­coal on 425gsm Cold Pressed Saun­ders Water­ford Water­colour Paper
153230 cm

Mike Parr

Coconut in the Head, 2009
relief and mono­print on paper on canvas
unique state
168.5201 cm

Mike Parr

In the Nursery, 2007
colour, acrylic, Giralt pas­tel, ink, char­coal on two can­vas panels
238180 cm each

Mike Parr

God’s Beard Comes Off, 2007
colour, Giralt pas­tel, char­coal, ink on Stone­henge paper
127259.5 cm

Mike Parr

Male­vich Mirror, 2001
relief and mono­print on paper and canvas
unique state
203173 cm

Mike Parr

Shal­low Grave IV, 2000
lift­ground aquatint over etch­ing on Velin Arch­es 400 gsm paper
219390 cm

Mike Parr

Liv­er Com­plaints D, 1994
pas­tel and char­coal on paper
138265 cm

Mike Parr

Mount of Olives, 1987
Giralt pas­tel, char­coal, ink on paper
137209 cm

Library
News

Buried alive, under a road

When artist Kaz­imir Male­vich died in 1935, his cre­mat­ed remains­ were placed in a box […]

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Buried alive: Per­for­mance artist Mike Parr begins 72-hour entombment

For a man about to be buried alive, Mike Parr made lit­tle fuss. To the […]

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Aus­tralia Artist Is Buried Alive to Sym­bol­ize His­toric Cover-Up

HOBART, Aus­tralia — The Aus­tralian per­for­mance artist Mike Parr walked through a cheer­ing crowd on […]

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A shift­ing of the senses

When Mike Parr was buried in a steel box under­neath a busy Hobart street for three […]

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The Eter­nal Open­ing: Mike Parr

I am fas­ci­nat­ed by dualisms, mir­ror images, blind­ness and invis­i­bil­i­ty, subject/​object rever­sals, the roles […]

Read More