Misanthropology: The World Art of Adam Rish

The world view of Adam Rish is a dystopic one. He represents a world in confusion moderated by a clever sense of comic humanism. The basis of the exhibition is a survey of four decades of the art of Adam Rish. The exhibition will introduce a monograph on his work, Misanthropology: The World Art of Adam Rish with a forward by John McDonald (writer and art critic). It will be accompanied by photographic and video documentation and presentations by the artist(s). Adam Rish’s interest is in cross-cultural collaboration as world art (much like world music). Since 1975 Rish has worked with indigenous artists in Australia, Indonesia, Tonga, Turkey and the USA making ceramics, paintings, prints and sculpture. Basing his art on local rather than international influences, he employs traditional techniques and adapts them with modern technological and domestic images. For example, cars, planes and televisions may take the place of traditional abstractions of flowers, birds and clouds.

His collaborative pieces are like souvenirs of front-page violence tamed into soft, hybrid folk-art forms. Rish calls his practice misanthropology in part because of these violent elements but also as, unlike an anthropologist, he deliberately intervenes in the cultural practises of the societies with whom he works. Hence his world view as a dystopic one. This exhibition presents chronologically: early batik works such as Tropical Fever from 1975; prints made in the early 1980’s; his take on baroque picture frames from the mid 1980’s; kilims from Turkey and ikat from Sumba in the early 1990’s; collaborations with aboriginal painters, such as Hector Jandany and Lily Karadada, from the mid 1990’s; tapa cloth made with Palema Tualau in Tonga from 1999 until 2001; ceramics made with Lino Alvarez in Hill End, since 2004; and his latest wooden sculptures, made in conjunction with I Wayan Sumantra, in Bali, since 2007.

For more information on exhibition venues and dates see www.adamrish.com

Adam Rish, Shiva Constructions, 1997, hand-coloured linocut, 39 x 30cm
Adam Rish with I Wayan Sumantra, Bookworm
, 2009, abesea wood and wax, 145 x 25 x 100cm