Ben Quilty’s painting is not polite. Smeared smudged, caked and slapped onto the picture plane with bold virtuosity, his rich impasto works challenge assumptions. Using bold and unsettling subjects, Quilty explores the problematic relationship between the personal and the cultural. Iconic imagery, animated by a textural third dimension, also becomes a vehicle for painterly meditations on the potency of painting. Emphatically expressive, they deny rumours that the medium is outmoded. Rather, their powerful and irresistible effect continues painting’s noble tradition as an antidote to complacency.
Sydney-based Quilty was already a regular exhibitor prior to completing Bachelor degrees in both Visual Arts and Design at Sydney University. His work continues to draw critical acclaim with regular and highly successful solo exhibitions in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Quilty has completed residencies in several Australian centres, as well as in Paris as the winner of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, and most recently, with the assistance of the Australia Council, in the Barcelona Studio Residency in Spain. He has been a finalist in the prestigious Wynne and Archibald prizes. His work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Queensland University of Technology Art Collection, and numerous corporate and private collections.