Benjamin Armstrong made his Tolarno debut in 2008 and was lauded by critic Sebastian Smee as “the most dazzling show of the new gallery season… among the strangest, most beguiling works of art produced in Australia in the past 10 years.”
Significant recognition followed swiftly thereafter, with invitations to show as part of NEW 09 at ACCA and New Acquisitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009); Adelaide Biennial (2010); Melbourne Now at National Gallery of Victoria (2013) and Biennale of Sydney (2014).
Benjamin Armstrong: Invisible Stories: Meditations on Port Essington / until Saturday 18 August / @tolarno Melbourne / click the link in our bio for more #firstlookart #mustsee #BenjaminArmstrong #Tolarno #TolarnoGalleries #Melbourne #gallery #exhibition #art #painting #print #abstract #figurative #contemporaryart #modernart #seemoreart #dontmissout #GalleriesNow #ID13028
International galleries also beckoned, with showings in Rome, Beijing, Gwangju and New York. Acquisitions came from the British Museum, London, Monash University Museum of Art, University of Queensland Art Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, MCA Sydney, Art Gallery of South Australia and Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Just this year, Armstrong’s 2008 linocut series The shape of things to come inspired the title of the inaugural exhibition at the newly opened Buxton Contemporary in Melbourne. So it is with great anticipation that Benjamin Armstrong returns with his first solo exhibition since the sculpture and drawings included in Conjurers at Tolarno in 2012.
Invisible Stories: Meditations on Port Essington is Armstrong’s new series of linocut prints – an intense, complex and highly nuanced sequence of imagery. The work relates to the Australian historian and multi-award winning author Mark McKenna’s book From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories (2016). McKenna’s book explores the central drama of Australian history: the encounter between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
From this account Armstrong’s imagination lit up with visions of scenes that began to take hold…