Archie Moore: Comic Paintings (2005), 2023 | at The Commercial, Sydney

It is with great pleasure that The Commercial presents an exhibition of Archie Moore’s Comic Paintings (2005). On loan from a private collection, the Comic Paintings have not been seen for almost 20 years. They are an important body of work in the context of Moore’s wider practice, dealing with the same themes though in a distinctly different format to anything he has done since.
In 2005, aged 34, Archie Moore undertook a five-week NEWflames residency for emerging First Nations artists, an initiative of the Campfire Group, downstairs at FireWorks Gallery in Brisbane. The outcome was a series of seven very large, unstretched paintings on canvas and one of Moore’s earliest solo exhibitions. The paintings, in comic book format, containing short narratives that play upon the coincidence of Moore’s name and that of the central protagonist of the American Archie Comics series, parodying differences in life experiences between the central character of Moore’s paintings, an Aboriginal boy, and that of the middle-class, white American teen. The painting chapters each deal with a range of subjects:

bullying, poverty, shame, low self-esteem, interrupted romance, abuse of power and other confusing adult messes that the intelligent young Archie had to make sense of.
Moore works across media in research-based portrayals of self and national histories. His ongoing interests include key signifiers of identity (skin, language, smell, home, genealogy, flags), the borders of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding and the wider concerns of racism. Moore has been represented by The Commercial since 2012.

Archie Moore’s next solo exhibition will be in the Australia Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale 20.04.24 — 24.11.24, with the exhibition to be curated by Ellie Buttrose, Curator of Contemporary Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. The Venice project will be exhibited at QAGOMA on its return to Australia.

The Commercial would like to thank Michael Eather for his assistance with the Comic Paintings exhibition.