Gallery Panel: Matthew McAlpine

Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these five artists’ work.

Matthew McAlpine, Department of Denial (Stirling). Acrylic, fluorescent pigment, sand, binder and cast acrylic paint on canvas, 101 x 202cm. Photo: Susie Blatchford. Courtesy: the artist.

Dylan Foley

Gallery Manager and Co-curator, Boom Gallery, Melbourne

Matthew McAlpine seeks to acknowledge the detrimental impacts of colonialism through the examination and appropriation of patriotic emblems and practices still rife in today’s climate. An inherently complex yet important focus for his work, McAlpine’s approach is both sensitive and quietly subversive. At first glance, ‘Department of Denial (Stirling)’ speaks to me as a new and improved national flag. On closer inspection, the impression of a gilded frame and lettering appears. McAlpine employs subtlety, asking the viewer to think deeply about their own role in these systems of oppression.

KITTY CLARK

Gallery Director, Saint Cloche, Sydney

There is a distinct line between the darkness and the bold fluorescent red in McAlpine’s ‘Department of Denial (Stirling)’, perhaps indicating the inequality of these divisions as a reflection of racial lines. The flashes of yellow on both sides of the work indicate the push and pull of the process of human evolution, as well as the nature of rule and the ongoing fight for freedom. Yet there is also a calm imbued by the delicate textures of the medium across the canvas, which could perhaps be seen as a yearning for peaceful coexistence.

Artworks for sale by Matthew McAlpine

More Gallery Panel features in this issue

Gallery Panel: Isabel Koslowsky

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Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these five artists’ work.

Gallery Panel: Edward Inchbold

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Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these artists’ work.

Gallery Panel: Matthew McAlpine

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Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these five artists’ work.

Gallery Panel: JIM ONE

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Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these five artists’ work.

Gallery Panel: Charlotte Tatton

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Art Edit’s exhibition experts take a closer look at these five artists’ work.