Based in Melbourne, Richard Lewer exhibits regularly in Australia and New Zealand. He is known for his video and animation, paintings, and delicately beautiful drawings, which evocatively rework some of life’s less pleasant elements – crime scenes, illness, horror movies and extreme events. The work is accessible and familiar, with a critical edge that probes what is beautiful and sinister about our society without injecting a moralising tone or political message. Lewer’s focus is, however, less concerned with telling the concrete facts of a case. Instead, his work explores the way that places can become repositories for the psychic residue of extreme events, painful activities or our deepest fears.
Lewer has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and his work is included in many important state museums and university collections in both Australia and New Zealand. Recent exhibitions include: The National: New Australian Art, Carriageworks, Australia, (2017); Sappers & Shrapnel: Contemporary Art and the Art of the Trenches, Art Gallery of South Australia, (2016); Next Wave Festival, (2016); The Custom of the Sea, St Paul Street Gallery, Auckland University of Technology, (2015); Epic Narratives, PICA Salon, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth, Australia, (2015); Footy Fever, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra, (2015); Parnngurr, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2015); the Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2014); Dark Heart, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2014); Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013); Inside Running – The Art of Sport, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle (2013); Negotiating This World: Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2012); 10 ways to look at the past, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2011); and Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2010). His work has also been surveyed in the exhibitions I Must Learn To Like Myself at the Waikato Museum of New Zealand (2010) and Nobody likes a Show-Off at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) (2009).
Lewer won the 5th Basil Sellers Art Prize in 2016, the City of Albany Art Prize in 2015, The Blake Prize in 2014 and the Black Swan Portraiture Award in 2013. He has also exhibited at Art Stage Jakarta (2016) and Art Basel Hong Kong (2016).