One of Australia’s most challenging artists, Mike Parr’s oeuvre considers the complex relationship between the representation of values and experience and the authority of such representation. Parr initially studied law and arts at Queensland University (1965) before attending the National Art School in Sydney (1968).Read More
In 1970, he helped to found the Inhibodress artists’ collective which focussed on performance, installation and film. Parr’s performance work had often tested boundaries. For example, in 2000 his lips were sown together as a gesture of solidarity with refugees in Australian detention camps (Close the Concentration Camps). The vitality of his practice has seen him work across a range of media including sculpture, etching, painting and photography. However, his modernist, expressive and spontaneous prints and paintings raise questions about the politics of representation rather than offer the philosophical certainties of Abstract Expressionism.
Parr has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. His work was included in the 12th Biennale of Sydney and a major survey of his prints was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005-06). and has been represented in important exhibitions in Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. In 2005, the Newcastle Region Art Gallery held the survey exhibition, CUT YOUR THROAT AN INCH AT A TIME: A Survey of the Works of Mike Parr 1970–2005, including thirty major works, a site-specific live performance and new sculptural installation.
In 2005–06, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, exhibited a major survey of Parr’s prints, while also representing his work in its exhibition of international contemporary self-portraits; confirming his position as one of Australia’s most important and challenging artists. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.