Gordon Bennett / Australia 1955–2014 / Triptych: Requiem, Of Grandeur, Empire 1989 / Oil on canvas / Triptych: a: 120 x 120cm; b: 200 x 150cm; c: 120 x 120cm / Purchased 1989 under the Contemporary Art Acquisition Program with funds from Hill and Taylor, Solicitors through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / © The artist

Gordon Bennett
Triptych: Requiem, Of Grandeur, Empire 1989

Not Currently on Display

Gordon Bennett was born in 1955 in the central Queensland town of Monto. Bennett ‘discovered’ his Aboriginality at the age of eleven. The explicit imagery in his paintings concentrates on his Indigenous heritage, the Eurocentric schooling he experienced, the subjectivity of history, patriarchal knowledge systems and racism.

Bennett attended the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane and completed a Fine Arts Degree in 1988. He had already begun exhibiting his large, semi-autobiographical paintings the previous year in group exhibitions at THAT Contemporary Art Space in Brisbane and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

From the time he graduated from art college, Bennett’s work displayed a high level of maturity and a clear sense of direction, but it also flagged his intention to resist certain expectations or categorisations of him as a particular ‘kind’ of artist. He remained uncomfortable with terms such as ‘urban’ or Aboriginal artist, for example, throughout his career, as he consistently drew on imagery and references from Indigenous and Western approaches to art, rather than a preference for one over the other.