"Oscar Perry's latest exhibition is a kaleidoscope of historical reference and cultural allusion rendered in bold gesture across paintings and sculptures that, together with the works' evocative titles, weave connective threads across time and space." Steve Cox in Vault

Oscar Perry (born 1988, Kent, UK) is a Melbourne-based 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. He 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. His materials and techniques shift around these principles in an 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). 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 substrate.

In 2019, Perry exhibited at Ve.Sch, Vienna in the group exhibition Saltbox Catslide Roof. In 2016, he 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 Introvert (2019) and The Michelin Star (2018), The Commercial, Sydney, 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).

Curatorial projects include: 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.

Collections include Artbank and The Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland.

The Commercial presented a two-person exhibition of Oscar Perry and Diena Georgetti’s works at Melbourne Art Fair, 2-5 August, 2018. A publication of the two artists' poetry was created to accompany the presentation.

» View available works by Oscar Perry