Gordon Bennett (1955-2014) is internationally acclaimed as one of Australia
's most significant and critically engaged contemporary artists. He is recognised for his powerful perspectives on the post-colonial
experience, particularly in the Australian context, with much of his work mapping alternative histories and questioning racial categorisations and stereotypes. As a way to expand his oeuvre, Bennett regularly adopted the persona “John Citizen.” This invented character existed as a disguise playing with the rhetoric of identity. Moreover, by shifting his artistic style under the John Citizen pseudonym, Bennett avoided typecasting his practice.
Selected solo exhibitions include: “Outsider / Insider: The Art of Gordon Bennett”, The Aboriginal Art Museum (AAMU), Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2012; “Gordon Bennett: a survey”, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2007, and touring to Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; “The Expiation of Guilt”, Museum of Archaelogy and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UK, 2007; “History and Memory in the Art of Gordon Bennett”, Brisbane City Gallery, 1999, and touring to Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK; Arnolfini, Bristol, UK; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway.
Selected group exhibitions include: Berlin Biennale, Berlin, 2014; Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; “Afterglow: Performance Art and Photography”, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2010; “Cubism and Australian Art”, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2009; “Avoiding Myth and Message: Australian Artists and the Literary World”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2009; 16th Biennale of Sydney: “Revolutions-forms that turn”, Sydney, 2008; “Three Colours: Gordon Bennett and Peter Robinson”, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2004; 12th Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2000; The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1999; “Art-Worlds in Dialogue”, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, 1999; “In Place (Out of Time): Contemporary Art in Australia”, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK, 1997; “TransCulture”, Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, Venice Biennale, Italy, 1995; “Aratjara: Art of the First Australians”, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany, and Hayward Gallery, London, UK, 1993; 9th Biennale of Sydney: “The Boundary Rider”, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1992; and “Paraculture”, Artists' Space, New York, USA, 1990.
Selected awards include Moët et Chandon Australia Art Fellowship, 1991; MacGeorge Fellowship, The University of Melbourne, 1993; Creative Arts Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra, 1996; and John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1997. Bennett's first monograph, The History and Memory of Gordon Bennett
, by Ian McLean, was published in 1997.