• Stieg Persson
    Middle Management 2003
    oil on cotton duck
    Winner 2003 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. Acquired with equal assistance from the RHS Abbott Bequest Fund, 2003. Collection of the Bendigo Art Gallery 2003.21
    Courtesy of Stieg Persson and Bendigo Art Gallery

    Stieg Persson
    Dinner with the Abbotts 2014
    oil on linen
    Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

  • Stieg Persson: Polyphonic

    Tuesday 27 Mar 2018 to Sunday 1 Jul 2018

    Stieg Persson: Polyphonic explores the rich, complex and beguiling practice of Melbourne-based artist Stieg Persson. Bringing together work spanning a thirty-year career, this major exhibition provides the opportunity to reflect upon the preoccupations and concerns that thread through and bind the artist’s expansive practice: issues of mortality and the human condition; the ongoing relevance and importance of the past; the ebb and flow of notions of taste and class, and underpinning these intersecting interests, the fundamental question about just what is the contribution of art to contemporary life. As Persson asks, “Does art any longer have any faith in its ability to be an authentic form of self-expression?”

     Persson’s exquisitely crafted paintings please and tease the eye and mind; deftly combining the artist’s acute observations of western culture and its obsessions with his extensive art historical knowledge. With subjects ranging across sickness and mortality, Swedish Death Metal, everyday objects (such a coil of picture wire or the tree outside his studio window)  to our contemporary fascination with cooking and food – Persson’s paintings both collapse and joyfully confound our desire to understand and experience time and art history in clearly delineated periods.

     Stieg Persson is an alumnus of the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Art (Painting) in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts in 1998. Persson is currently a PhD candidate at the VCA; examples of this new work are included in the exhibition.


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The Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne

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  • University of Melbourne
  • Parkville VIC 3010