OSCAR PERRY

Oscar Perry (born 1988, Kent, UK) is a Melbourne-based artist artist whose energetic studio practice focuses primarily on abstract painting. The work however occupies a decidedly three-dimensional space as well as the less-tactile space of language in the motivation of its painterly gesture - an amused and formal extension into the realms of sculpture and poetry. These parallel forms open the door to comedic scenarios that function as imprimature to the ‘seriousness of abstract painting’ and to the tableau of Perry’s exhibitions generally. Perry boils down cultural histories to verse and two-liner titles that scaffold the work. At the core of his practice is a serious affection for the muscularity of late modernism underscored by the premise of nothing-knowing. Perry’s materials and techniques shift around these principles in the attempt to serve up something appetizing.

Perry’s paintings are characterised by a great diversity and pace of mark-making (brush, roller, glove, heat gun, other end of the brush) often combined with composite materials (chalk, encaustic, carpet, logs, hats) in the creation of a large number of works which are edited back to a few. He develops each series along specific narrative themes (conspiracy theories, obscure cultural histories), the result of obsessive, loose-associative internet research and copious audio podcasts which function initially as studio entertainment but which become part of the strata of the paintings, operating as both an intellectual and formal imprimatura.

In 2016, Perry was included in the landmark survey exhibition of contemporary Australian painting, Painting. More Painting, curated by Max Delany, Annika Kristensen and Hannah Mathews at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.

Solo commercial exhibitions include The Michelin Star, The Commercial, Sydney (2018), Essential Oils, Bowerbank Ninow, Auckland (2016); A streetcar named re-tir-ee/If slippers could talk, Station, Melbourne (2015); Tee Many Martoonis, Tristian Koenig, Melbourne (2014); Imperial Leather, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (2012).

Perry has been a regular exhibitor at artist-run-initiatives, presenting solo and two-person exhibitions at Fontanelle, Adelaide (2017 and 2014); Firstdraft, Sydney (2015); Chapter House Lane, Melbourne (2014); West Space, Melbourne (2013); Plinth Projects, Melbourne (2013); TCB art inc, Melbourne (2012).

Perry has initiated a number of curatorial projects including Beach Marvin III (launched February 2018, current) at Crazy Arms, Melbourne, Coq au Vin, an exhibition space with an internationally-focused program in an outdoor chicken coup in Daylesford in regional Victoria (since 2015) and the Das Boot Fair, an art fair with over forty artists in an outdoor carpark in North Melbourne as part of Next Wave Festival (with Esther Stewart) (2014).

Perry was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) by the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne in 2009 and a Postgraduate Diploma, Fine Art (Painting) by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne in 2012.

Perry's work is in the collection of Artbank and The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland.


The Commercial is presenting a two-person exhibition of Oscar Perry and Diena Georgetti’s works at Melbourne Art Fair, 2-5 August, 2018.