Richard Grayson


Had the young Karl Marx been adopted by the slapstick brothers of the same name, spending summers abroad with Noel Coward, he might have grown up to be English-Australian artist Richard Grayson. Theories of surplus value and dialectical materialism need panache and body language to overcome the leaden feet of history. Indeed in a pithy moment, reflecting on the freedom of the press, Karl pronounced that, “self-viewing is the first condition of wisdom” […]. Self-viewing runs through Grayson’s work as does the tragedy and farce of history, sifted through an unyielding play of language: events, coinages and figures of speech. Grayson is also something of a conjurer, but rather than hide the machinery, he reveals all. (Excerpt from: Ihor Holubizky, Waiting for Kerouac, in: Art/Text 66, 1999.)

Grayson’s work is concerned with the way we “know” things, and how different orders of understanding shift and slip. His practice centers on the generative possibilities of narrative and the ways that narratives and imaginative modellings locate the barriers between “fact” and “fiction” dependent upon circumstance, belief and position of power.

Richard Grayson also conceived and curated the 2002 Sydney Biennale, (The World May Be) Fantastic.


03.06. – 20.06.2004

Richard Grayson