Gareth Donnelly / Australia b.1980 / 24 easy pieces 2006 / Wire, found wooden offcuts, cardboard, slide mounts, candle-holders, ready-made wooden craft shapes, synthetic polymer paint and enamel / 25 parts ranging from 3.3 x 7.2 x 3.5cm to 13.7 x 13.9 x 10.7cm; installed dimensions variable / The James C. Sourris AM Collection / Gift of James C. Sourris through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2010 / Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Gareth Donnelly

Gareth Donnelly
24 easy pieces 2006

Not Currently on Display

Gareth Donnelly’s work, using economical means, is physically stranded between painting and sculpture — in essence, his works are both and, paradoxically, neither. The artist describes the genesis of his series of ‘Easy pieces’, conceived while travelling in the early 2000s:

‘I can’t draw, so for me they are the equivalent of doing a sketch. They were made quickly with what is at hand . . . ‘Easy pieces’ started as small works done while travelling overseas in hotel rooms – with materials picked up along the way . . . They are always small-scale and immediate: something easy to take with you or leave behind.’1


1. Gareth Donnelly, 19 May 2010. Email correspondence held in QAGOMA Research Library Artist’s File.

Gareth Donnelly negotiates the aesthetic values of high Modernism with a light-hearted touch, contradicting the standard narrative of artistic struggle with his modesty and facility. The intimate scale of the sculptures, and the everyday materials used in both works, show us a form of Modernism ‘at ease’.