Chris Bond wins the inaugural BalletLab McMahon Contemporary Art Award

Established in 2016, the $10,000 invitation-only BalletLab McMahon Contemporary Art Award (BMCAA) is awarded each year to a contemporary artist who demonstrates a commitment to brave and innovative practice that contests and re-imagines the boundaries of contemporary art in new and significant ways.

The BMCAA provides a valuable opportunity for one outstanding Victorian artist to progress their practice through the creation of a new work inspired by and exhibited at South Melbourne’s Temperance Hall, home of Philip Adams BalletLab (PABL).
Max Delaney, Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art was the inaugural BMCAA Judge and selected Chris Bond from a shortlist of five Victorian artists. 

The 2017 BMCAA shortlist panel included Serena Bentley (Assistant Curator, Australian Centre for the Moving Image), Michael Brennan (Independent curator and Artist), Hannah Mathews (Curator, Monash University Museum of Art), Patrice Sharkey (Director, Westspace) and PABL Artistic Director, Phillip Adams with philanthropist, Dr Marcus McMahon who share a committee seat. 
Chris Bond will present his winning work 'Congress' at Temperance Hall in August 2017.


Chris Bond, Congress, 2017

Image: Chris Bond, Congress (construction detail), 2017, found book





Ways of Seeing

ARTER: Space for Art, Istanbul, Turkey

1 June – 13 August

Taking its cue from Ways of Seeing (1972), John Berger’s critical text on visual culture, this group exhibition explores the various formalistic strategies that artists employ to re-configure our perception of the world. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented, the exhibition posits the surface of the artwork as a space of encounter between the internal aesthetic deliberations of the artist’s creative process and the external often-conditioned gaze of the viewer. Ways of Seeing presents contemporary paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos, alongside artworks that span several centuries by artists such as Ghada Amer, Salvador Dali, Andreas Gursky, Mona Hatoum, Grayson Perry, Cindy Sherman and James Turrell. It unfolds along a non-linear temporal thread whereby the viewer’s desire to 'understand through seeing' is constantly challenged through artworks that refuse to operate along the rigidity of styles, genres, and so-called 'isms'. In doing so, we are reminded that 'the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled'. It is in this inherently political process of searching, that we begin to discover several ways of seeing... The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 200 page, bilingual Turkish / English publication. It is co-edited by Sam Bardaouil, Süreyyya Evren, and Till Fellrath. With contributions by Mary Acton, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Stephanie Moser.

Chris Bond, slagen igg grotten figgur, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, MDF, 2 x 25 x 20 cm

Chris Bond, slagen igg grotten figgur, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, MDF, 2 x 25 x 20 cm (left side view)





A small show of imperfect paintings


Curated by Chris Bond

Trocadero Artspace Guest Curator Program

28 June – 15 July 2017



Artists: Colleen Ahern, Peter Atkins, Louise Blyton, Chris Bond and Drew Pettifer, Michael Brennan, Yvette Coppersmith, Craig Easton, Juan Ford, Julia Gorman, Stephen Haley, Irene Hanenbergh, David Hawley, PJ Hickman, Sam Leach, Tony Lloyd, Rob McHaffie, Jan Murray, Lynette Smith, Bryan Spier, Darren Wardle.


Full exhibition catalogue available for download by clicking here


A small show of imperfect paintings is a modest gathering of failed paintings by twenty one accomplished artists.

The works in this exhibition hover in a space where control over concept, aesthetics, motivation and technique has been lost or abandoned. This space is the domain of wabi sabi ‒ of imperfection, impermanence, irregularity, modesty, neglect, damage and incompletion.

Imperfection in a painting emerges from the uncertain condition of its making and reception. Paintings are hard to begin, difficult to stop and defy easy objective evaluation, and the unease generated by the absence of clarity during each stage can quickly spill into an overwhelming feeling of not-quite-rightness.

That feeling is the result of an acute awareness of the distance between the artist’s intention and the work’s material actuality, but it is not a feeling that necessarily needs to be reconciled, for once the painting has been designated as imperfect, it finds itself liberated from all of the things that it should be doing into something that simply exists by - and for - itself.

Imperfection, let alone failure, is of no value in the contemporary economy of the unblemished and the functional. A small show of imperfect paintings provides the lightest of counterweights to this bias, opening a forum for a reconsideration of what might seem unreasonable: the idea of a kind of freedom, or maybe even perfection, in failure.

 Chris Bond and Drew Pettifer, Untitled (Benjamin on my bed, cloaked)

Image: Chris Bond and Drew Pettifer, Untitled (Benjamin on my bed, cloaked), 2013, oil paint on chromogenic print, 60 x 40 cm



I am Wes Thorne

The National: New Australian Art

Carraigeworks, Sydney

30 March - 25 June 2017

A major exhibition partnership between three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions, The National: New Australian Art is a six-year initiative presenting the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art over three editions in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Chris Bond is showing a suite of new drawings at Carriageworks made in collaboration with the character Wes Thorne. Also showing at Carriageworks: Richard Bell Karla Dickens; Atlanta Eke & Ghenoa Gela; Heath Franco; Alex Gawronski; Agatha Gothe-Snape; Alan Griffiths; Jess Johnson & Simon Ward; Richard Lewer; Archie Moore; Claudia Nicholson; Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran; Justene Williams; Jemima Wyman.

"This installation is a collaboration between Chris Bond and an identity named Wes Thorne, who Bond claims is actually himself. The installation comprises several pairs of thin paperbacks, related to ways of seeing, to portals, openings and networks. Bond and Thorne have subverted these forms by either adding scratched patterns or automatic scribbles to their covers.

The experience of these book pairs is quite magical for the viewer – while they were created in collaboration with a pseudonym, the objects make subconscious artistic commentaries on the sciences of perception, relativity and psychology. For the pair titled In Praise of Shadows (2016) the covers have the appearance of grids of micro-lenses from a light-field camera. After their transformation, they could also be read as large-scale astrological lenses. Scratched into the front of these books is a globular cluster of stars, and to the side of the grid there is a meteorite depicted travelling at a great speed. On closer viewing, we can see the cluster’s middle has been scratched with such intensity that a hole has been created. Such imagery conjures in the viewer thoughts of black holes and parallel universes of space and time. It is as though Wes Thorne is making an artistic adjustment to the sciences of time and perception with what he perceives to be true or complete.

The second book in each pair is a mirrored facsimile that is drawn with graphite pencil and read from left to right. The fact that Bond has created these in partnership with Thorne comments on how the self is a fluid construct made up of our past experiences, and brings to light ideas of coincidence and intersubjectivity.

For the pair titled Mondrian (2016) we see a thick black automatic-marker scribble on the cover of a book about modernist artist Piet Mondrian, who used a uniform and colourful technique of abstraction, drawing the viewer’s sight to a series of highly ordered opposites. The scribble adds an unmediated element of mayhem to Mondrian’s abstract painting beneath. For the facsimile of this pair, the Mondrian is drawn in greys so that the black scribble dominates. All that is left of Mondrian’s original work is a shadowy in-between area, a space of oblivion.

Bond includes similar techniques of adjustment to the book covers throughout the entire installation, but in different tones of black and grey that continue this sense of oblivion for us. In contemplating this scene, the viewer sees a reconciliation of the oppositional forms that exist within Mondrian’s compositions. From here the audience can perceive an end, a place where our sense of human order is subsequently destroyed, leaving room for transcendence as well as a corruption of human pattern."

Penny Trotter, 2017



Chris Bond and Wes Thorne, I am Wes Thorne (Intruders), 2017, marker on found book, graphite on paper, 11 x 18 cm, 2 pieces




Chris Bond is a finalist in the 2016 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, with his self portrait 'The Restless Dead (portrait of the artist)', 2016.

Chris Bond, 'The Restless Dead', 2016



Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Hawkesbury River, NSW – 19 May to 2 July 2017

Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, NSW – 7 July to 20 August 2017


"In my practice I invent fictional identities and alternate versions of myself to assist with the creative act. In The Restless Dead (portrait of the artist), I appear in the guise of the invented Norwegian artist Tor Rasmussen. Tor is a difficult character to inhabit- he has a wild and oppositional disposition, but since his first appearance in 2014 he has gradually wormed his way under my skin, to the point where the two of us have become inseparable. The Restless Dead is, effectively, a self-portrait.

Tor has featured in much of my work of the last two years, as a figure in photographic and textual documentation, and importantly, as a creative force who I’ve used to generate imagery and text for my practice. Once in character, ideas and forms spill out that would otherwise be unlikely to appear, which I save and use in future work.

Increasingly, the clear separation of identity that once existed between the two of us has broken down and he has become a comfortable presence, less threatening, less malicious, and less useful. In the backyard, on a moonlit night under a jacaranda tree, I get into character intending to get rid of him altogether. I plunge a carved wooden stake, a left-over from a previous sculptural installation, into my/his heart. This scene is documented in the painted book, but with a ripple, a kind of last gasp from Tor that forces the stake upwards, distorting my name and the title of the work. The result of the attempted exorcism is ambiguous.

Painted books have been a part of my painting practice since 2004, either self-authored or under pseudonym, giving me room to play with authorship, intention and meaning.

The Restless Dead recalls early 1980’s occult pulp-horror novels, where threatening, illusory forms creep at the edge of the real."

Chris Bond




Art Basel Hong Kong

23-25 March 2017

A new series of paintings created for Art Basel HK are twice life-sized replicas of imagined library books authored by one of Bond’s invented characters Tor Rasmussen,

For Art Basel Hong Kong, Chris Bond has produced a new body of sculptural paintings that draw on the energy of his long-standing alter-ego Tor Rasmussen. Part monochrome painting, part trompe l’oeil  sculpture, the spines of these facsimiles of tattered hard-back library books contain titles generated by their apparent author Rasmussen. They have been made uncannily large, too big for the shelves of any library, impossible to hold or read, and contain meticulously replicated signs of wear and tear, hand painted text and library call numbers.  Each work reveals Bond’s fascination with perverting existing systems of meaning, creating his own library, and within it, a new language.

download PDF catalogue


Chris Bond, Bergt vin leir ri agsteroch, 2016, oil on canvas, calico, board, 43 x 31 x 6 cm

Chris Bond, Bergt vin leir ri agsteroch, 2016, oil on canvas, calico, board, 43 x 31 x 6 cm

Call, installation view, Art Basel Hong Kong 2017


Tricking the eye - contemporary trompe l'oeil

Geelong Gallery

26 November 2016 - 12 February 2017

Little Malop Street, Geelong


Chris Bond, Vogue Hommes, September 1986 

 Chris Bond, Vogue Hommes September 1986, 2014, oil on linen



COLOUR | Shift

Chris Bond, Melinda Harper, PJ Hickman, Kez Hughes

Curated by PJ Hickman

Five Walls

lvl 1/119 Hopkins St, Footscray

The colours and subject matter used in the paintings by these artists are undeniably ‘of our time’, yet they suggest a diversity of art historical and cultural references. In doing so they maintain a connection with the art of the past, notably Modernism and contemporary art in Europe, America and Australia. 
The colours used are not identical to those referenced, there is a colour shift.

Chris Bond, Sun and Moon

image : Chris Bond, Sun and Moon, 2015, oil on linen, 13 x 20cm




LUMA Latrobe University Museum of Art, Bundoora

5 October to 9 December 2016


La Trobe University
Ground floor, Glenn College
Melbourne Campus

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm

Free admission



A major exhibition of documentary and pseudo-documentary forms related to Chris Bond's character Tor Rasmussen.

PDF catalogue available by clicking here

In late 2014 Bond invented a Norwegian artist by the name of Tor Rasmussen (also known as Kraken), who stayed at his house for a six week domestic residency, as part of a larger international program. During this time he caused significant upheaval - threatening, annoying, tormenting, disabling and frustrating. Bond plays Kraken, as well as himself, in documentary photographs, video, text and sculptural forms that attempt to dissolve and expand the self. Primary motivation for assuming an alter persona rests in the possibility of imagining new ways of being, acting and making.



R & M McGivern Prize: Text

17 September 2016 to 20 November 2016

ArtSpace at Realm

Ringwood Town Square, 175 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood

Gallery Hours: Mon-Tues 9am-5pm, Wed-Fri: 9am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Given the rapid developments in the way we communicate, it is timely to consider the role of text in art.

Muriel McGivern was both a published author and practicing artist, so it’s apt that the 2016 R & M McGivern Prize should harness the power of the painted word.

There is a vast reach throughout history where text is incorporated into painting as an aesthetic component. In contemporary painting, the use of text finds its origins in Pop Minimal and Conceptual traditions. In painting today, it assumes many forms; as found object, marker, descriptor, defacement or formal surface.

Work included: Gretel, oil on linen, calico, 2016


 Chris Bond, Gretel, 2016



A Stranger in the Mirror

8 October - 5 November 2016

Darren Knight Gallery

840 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo NSW 2017

Telephone: +61 2 9699 5353

PDF catalogue available by clicking here



'A Stranger in the Mirror' takes its title from a painted book made by the artist for the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. A selection of works from that exhibition, alongside two new painted books form his second solo show at Darren Knight Gallery. Each work has been made under the guise of his muse and master, the invented Norwegian Tor Rasmussen. Three painted library books, each authored by Rasmussen, feature titles and imagery that Bond has created while in character. They contain invented publishers, ISBN and call numbers, and have apparently been borrowed from the collection of the Le Vitt College Library. These three painted books appear to be embedded into the wall. Other painted books offer narrative support: charting the burning and rebuilding of the Le Vitt library, referencing the power of the invented call number seen on the embedded library books, and three painted paperback novels, including 'A Stranger in the Mirror' that romanticise the perversity of the process under which the works were made.




A solo exhibition of new paintings by Chris Bond

9 August - 3 September 2016

PDF catalogue available by clicking here

For enquiries about available works please contact THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery

THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery
108-110 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

T.+61 3 9417 7172



Material is an exhibition of paintings featuring four invented artists and an artist collective, profiled in the 2002 edition of the fictional visual art and performance magazine ‘material’. The closely worked paintings, each seemingly torn from the pages of the magazine, explore the potential of embodied characterisations to foster new ways of seeing, thinking and expression.

Although the characters Catherine Crouch, Martin Meeks, Arlo Alston, Rebecca Rodrigues and the Magic Mountain Art Collective are entirely imagined, they have a tangible presence in the mind of the artist. Each of the characters began with the invention of a name, around which a small world gradually grew. The names spawned imagined biographies, which assisted Bond in figuring out how they might interact with the world, and in turn suggested the kind of artistic practices they may be involved in, which he acts out in the works.

The focus of this particular issue of material magazine is, fittingly, on acts of transformation. Bond has literally inhabited each of his characters: he has photographed himself working as them, written quotes on their behalf, and edited these into a plausible magazine profile format. He remains present in most of the works, almost identifiable in some, but changed - sometimes cropped, sometimes blurred, sometimes disfigured, and sometimes missing altogether.  Although his characters remain somewhat like him - sharing particular traits, exaggerating others - they perform actions at a remove from his ordinary existence, allowing him to reach out to the world in unexpected ways.



Spring 1883 

Windsor Hotel, Melbourne

August 18-21


The SPRING 1883 art fair is back at the Windsor Hotel, Melbourne from August 18-21. Darren Knight Gallery will be presenting a group exhibition by gallery artists Chris Bond, Jon Campbell, Matlok Griffiths, Mark Hilton, Jess Johnson, Noel McKenna, James Morrison, Michelle Nikou, Kenzee Patterson, Ricky Swallow, John Ward Knox and Louise Weaver in Room 224.


SPRING 1883 is free and open to the public:
Thursday 18 August – 12pm to 6pm
Friday 19 August – 12pm to 6pm
Saturday 20 August – 12pm to 6pm
Sunday 21 August – 12pm to 4pm


Included works: ver neut vor in glast, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, MDF, 29 x 3 x 8 cm; A Stranger in the Mirror, 2016, oil on canvas, paper, card, 18 x 11 x 2 cm



Quiddity | Unpacking the RMIT Art Collection

1 July – 20 August

RMIT Gallery
344 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Ph  : 613 9925 1717


Taking its name from the Latin meaning ‘the essence of a thing’, Quiddity (1 July – 20 August) explores the idea of thinking about artworks as physical objects rather than seeing them as items invested with meaning or expressing emotion.
Drawn entirely from the RMIT University Art Collection, the exhibition will display new acquisitions alongside some of the University’s older treasures which have remained largely unseen for decades. Quiddity features a diverse range of artists including Chris Bond, Helga Groves, Hisaharu Motoda, Anthony Pryor, Klaus Rinke, Ah Xian, and Ken and Julia Yonetani.


Included works: Abyss, 2014 and Ruin, Decay, Collapse, 2014




CLIMARTE has commissioned eleven artists to design posters that engage the community on climate change action and convey the strength, optimism and urgency we need to move to a clean renewable energy future.

Artists: Angela Brennan, Chris Bond, Jon Campbell, Kate Daw, Katherine Hattam, Siri Hayes, Martin King, Gabrielle de Vietri & Will Foster, Thornton Walker, Miles Howard-Wilks

During April-May hundreds of AO posters will be printed and displayed on poster sites around Melbourne.


An exhibition of the posters will be held at

Lab-14 Gallery at the Carlton Connect Initiative
700 Swanston Street(cnr Grattan St), Carlton

Opening night Thursday 5 May 6-8pm
Exhibition runs 5 - 28 May 2016
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 12-5pm @climarteaus #climarteposter



Magic Object, Adelaide Biennial, 27 Feb - 15 May 2016


Titled Magic Object, the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australia Art takes inspiration from the Wunderkammer, delving into a world of wonder and enchantment through the eyes of Australian contemporary artists.

Magic Object will offer a space where free associations and insights are made possible by artists and audiences, where artists’ interests in the talismanic, in cultural rituals and material riddles enchant the viewer. This enchantment however, is not without caution – the Wunderkammer offers itself up as tool with which to not only view the world, but to critique it.


Inviting us into their own ‘cabinets of curiosity’ through photography, painting, performance, sculpture, installation and the moving image, will be artists Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (WA), Glenn Barkley (NSW), Chris Bond (VIC), Pepai Carroll (SA), Tarryn Gill (WA), Louise Haselton (SA), Juz Kitson (NSW), Loongkoonan (WA), Fiona McMonagle (VIC), Danie Mellor (NSW), Clare Milledge (NSW), Tom Moore (SA), Nell (NSW), Ramesh Mario-Nithiyendran (NSW), Bluey Roberts (SA), Gareth Sansom (VIC), Robyn Stacey (NSW), Garry Stewart & Australian Dance Theatre (SA), Jacqui Stockdale (VIC), Heather B Swann (ACT), Hiromi Tango (NSW), Roy Wiggan (WA), Tiger Yaltangi (SA) and Michael Zavros (QLD).


Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia and curated by Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs at the Art Gallery, Magic Object runs from 27 February to 15 May 2016 as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Chris Bond has made a new sequence of paintings and documents under the guise of his muse and master Tor Rasmussen. Five painted library books, each authored by Rasmussen, feature titles and imagery that Bond has created while in character. They contain invented publishers, ISBN and call numbers, and have apparently been borrowed from the collection of the Le Vitt College Library. These five painted books appear to be embedded into the wall. An email from Rasmussen to Bond is also included, in which he chastises Bond for his fictions. A burnt book from the ruins of the Le Vitt library is sent by Rasmussen in the mail as a reminder of the power of the real. Three painted books offer narrative support: charting the burning and rebuilding of the Le Vitt library, referencing the power of the invented call number seen on the embedded library books, and romanticising the perversity of the process under which the works were made.



Don't wait for Godot

Australian Prostate Cancer Research Art Auction 2015

Mossgreen, Sunday November 15, 5 pm

Included work: Seven Strikes, oil on linen, 2013


The 3rd Bus Projects Editions Exhibition
Opening Tuesday 22 September, 6-8pm
Tuesday 22 September — Saturday 26 September 2015

Included work: Kraken (movement), 2015, ink print on archival paper, 30 x 42 cm



Kraken: sixty six emails, a face and a gesture

Solo exhibition

Opening Wednesday 2 September, 6-8pm
2-19 September 2015

BUS Projects
25-31 Rokeby Street,
VIC 3066 Australia


Gallery hours:
12-6pm Tuesday – Friday
10am-4pm Saturday


Included works:

Kraken, 2015, ink print on archival paper, 41 x 41cm

Kraken: rise, 2015, digital video

Kraken: text, 2015, sixty six page book, bound


In late 2014 Bond invented a Norwegian artist named Tor Rasmussen (also known as Kraken), who came to stay at his house for a six week domestic residency. During this time he caused significant upheaval, documented through photography, video, and textual correspondence. Bond plays Kraken, the residency program manager Julie Redfern, as well as a version of himself, simultaneously dissolving and expanding the self. Primary motivation for assuming these personae lies in the possibility of using channelled, imagined forces to break self-conditioned responses to ideas and materials, and imagine new ways of being, acting and making.



Darren Knight Gallery at Spring 1883

The Establishment Hotel, Sydney, 9 - 13 September

After the success of the inaugural SPRING 1883 art fair in Melbourne last year, SPRING 1883 is back, this time in Sydney. From September 9-12 SPRING 1883 will take over the entire Establishment Hotel, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. The Establishment is a luxury, boutique hotel, providing an accessible and opulent environment for art lovers. It also contains numerous bars and restaurants, to make a visit to the fair an experience to remember. SPRING 1883 will see 24 galleries presenting the very best contemporary art from the region across four levels of the hotel.

Included work: Vogue Hommes, September 1986, Mirror, 2014, oil on linen



TCB Fundraiser


22-29 August, 2015

Opening 4-8 PM, Saturday 22 August

TCB art inc.

Level 1/12 Waratah Place


gallery hours wed-sat 12-6pm

Included work: The Devil's Spit (mask), channelling Ian Haas, 2015, acrylic and oil on plaster, found object


Taking it all away

18 December 2014 - 22 February 2015

Musuem of Contemporary Art, Sydney


Opening Hours:

Mon-Wed: 10am-5pm,Thur: 10am-9pm, Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm

Free Entry

140 George Street

The Rocks

Sydney, Australia

T +61 2 9245 2400

Included work: Vogue Hommes, September 1986, Mirror, 2014, oil on linen

A response to Christian Capurro's Another Misspent Portrait of Etienne de Silhouette



Faux Novel

26 September - 23 October

RMIT School of Art Gallery Project Space

RMIT Bld 94 Lv 2 Rm 1, 23-27 Cardigan Street, Carlton, VIC, 3053
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm



This exhibition, opening on 25 September, explores text and fictional storytelling as an art and exhibition making strategy.



The Language of Fracture

23 August - 20 September, 2014

Darren Knight Gallery

840 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo NSW 2017

Telephone: +61 2 9699 5353

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm


Seven painted non-fictional book covers bring to life seven obsessions.

The psychology of lone hiking; black holes formed by concentric transparent rectangles; gargantuan trees strangled by vines; end-time architecture; the language of fracture; the painted objects of fictional Australian outsider artist Edith Mayfield; derelict public art – each of these feature amongst the subject matter.

These imagined books represent unlikely, ideal forms. They are publications that I’d like to find on the shelves of a bookshop, library or online store. I’ve invented them to fill a gap in existence.

The works oscillate between knowing and imagining, operating as almost credible facsimiles of things yet to exist. The titles, authors, publishers and imagery are all invented, their odd specificity stretching plausibility to breaking point.

The books are constructed of canvas and card, and the painted dust jackets use only thin black glaze for imagery, and white paint for text. I’ve established a clear set of rules that constrict the relationships between materials, form and content.

The internal pages of each painted book are blank, unseen. The works float on the wall as frameless, closed forms. They are grim and austere, inspired by the raw, stripped-back aesthetics of black metal (in particular the monochromatic album artwork), which I listen to as I work. The music drives the pace of the painting process and helps with decision making.

These works are not quite books – they inhabit the skeletal frame of the book, but are missing components that would otherwise make them believable publications. Each features an amount of loss or decay – sometimes in the form of painted cracks and stains, sometimes missing an author, occasionally a title or publisher, sometimes all text.

Materially, these books were conceived as paintings, more than books. The use of cut pieces of canvas to form the internal pages references the edges of stretched canvas paintings, more so than crisp edges of paper. The use of a transparent glaze style to depict pictorial imagery (as opposed to moulding the form with opaque mixtures of black and white), contributes to the positioning of these works as paintings, rather than replicas of printed material.

In these forms, the staging is the subject as much as anything else. I try to do the minimum in terms of disguising any artifice- ideally to position the audience in a kind of transient state of knowing and unknowing of the object’s potential to operate as a carrier of honest representation.


PDF exhibition catalogue



Superfictions 1: The Art Fair Murders

Kings ARI, 1/171 King Street, Melbourne

30 August - 20 September 2014

Gallery Hours: Wed - Sat, 12-6


An exhibition by Peter Hill


Works featured:

Seven Strikes, 2013, oil on linen

Eight Strikes. 2013, oil on linen



This is no Fantasy

7 - 23 August, 2014

Dianne Tanzer Gallery / Nellie Castan Projects

108 - 110 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Victoria

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 12 - 5 pm

Natasha Bieniek, Chris Bond, Bindi Cole, Michael Cook, Juan Ford, Marc Freeman, Neil Haddon, Petrina Hicks, Tony Lloyd, Fiona McMonagle, Tom Moore, Polixeni Papapetrou, Reuben Paterson, Victoria Reichelt, Paul Ryan, Yhonnie Scarce, Jacqui Stockdale, Kate Tucker


Included work: Shield

Over the last two years I’ve been thinking increasingly about making ‘prop’ forms that are at once functional and functionless. Shield is the result of a methodology that imagines a practical use for a highly aestheticized form.

As an eleven year old, obsessed with medieval castles and imagined battles, I attempted to make a Knights Templar shield out of plywood, along with a tunic, and helmet. The shield was heavy and flat, and had a handle that was very difficult to hold. In the years following, I imagined that I’d one day try to remake the form, and improve on it.

Shield takes that ambition and twists it. Rather than staying in the realm of historical recreation, the cut form of Shield is inspired by imagery that is somewhat more ordinary – on an observation of holes left in broken windows. The remnant shards that cling to the edge of the window frames create another frame – that of the negative, free space, and it’s this space that I’ve cut out of the rectangular form of the object. Over the last decade, I’ve often turned to imagery sourced from shattered windows, as a means of depicting fracture, of idealism in art and life.

Shield is made of three layers of glued and bent marine-grade plywood, curved to form a surface that is more capable of deflecting attack. The use of graphite powder as a top coating makes it slippery, and semi-reflective, both potentially useful qualities in a shield.

The gleam of a graphite buffed surface suggests a mirror, but it doesn’t deliver on a functional level, it doesn’t reflect. Similarly, the leather straps on the rear of Shield suggest that the work might be intended to be useful as armour, but the delicacy of the graphite surface and the sharp protrusions of the plywood edges deny it.

Still, it performs.


Included work: Red Oxide

Red Oxide is one part of a sequence of painted books based on biographies of Jackson Pollock. Nine hardback books were painted in this series- each of them stripped-back monochrome replicas of the original books on which they were based.

This particular work uses B H Friedman’s classic 1972 biography Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible as its source, with the author’s name, title, subtitle and publisher logo completely removed.

Constructed from linen, canvas and cardboard, the surface of Red Oxide carries exaggerated damage from its imagined use as an actual object – marks, creases, tears and stains disrupt the carefully painted surface. Yet the visible edges of the internal pages, constructed of canvas, are crisp and clean.

This work is a blank, a black hole, a void, part of the history of reductive abstraction, where the erasure of content allows the formal qualities of an object to raise to the surface, to become explicit – an approach Pollock took in much of his later work. Like Pollock, I’m attempting to reduce the possibility of ‘reading’- by removing context through the erasure of text and imagery, leaving only the remnant stripes of the book’s original design.

The hardback book is a beautifully redundant form. Historically its authority was held in its bulk, its expense, its inability to be broken. The dust jacket, by contrast, is lightweight, flimsy, easily damaged – a throw away. Red Oxide amplifies this distinction, to the extent where the cover seems incongruous, misfit.

It’s a fabrication that is stuck inside my world, where the struggle for meaning, purpose and existence causes it to crumble and decay.




The Medium is the Message

30 April - 27 June 2014

La Trobe University Museum of Art LUMA

Opening: Wednesday 30 April 6.00pm

Amanda Marburg, Chris Bond, Eolo Paul Bottaro, Juan Ford, Sam Leach, Victoria Reichelt

The death of painting has been declared – again and again – for the better part of two centuries. Of course, they were wrong. The demise of painting was a mistruth – a furphy. But as with any aspersion, spread the word often enough and the smear will leave a stain – maybe even in the minds of the most ardent of devotees.

The Medium is the Message brings together the work of six important contemporary artists who, through their individual painting practices, reflect on the state and relevance of painting today through depictions of the medium itself and other aspects of the canon.



Ex libris – the book in contemporary art
Geelong Gallery
22 February to 25 May 2014


New and existing works by eight contemporary artists who use the physical form of the book as inspiration. Each artist manipulates the book form, re-purposing and investing new life in publications at a time when the relevance and future of the printed book is questioned.

Chris Bond paints new covers for paperback novels in a trompe l’oeil fashion; Penelope Davis makes silicon molds of old volumes to create luminous photograms; Danny Digby photographs the endpapers and due date slips of library books; with reference to cartography Nicholas Jones carves the form of remote islands into the covers and pages of books; Aliza Levi photographs the spines of books that reveal early attitudes towards Australia’s Indigenous population; Tom Nicholson photographs title pages and juxtaposes these in compelling ways; Patrick Pound’s archival-based installation brings together publications with references to lightness and darkness; and Kylie Stillman carves detailed forms into stacked paperbacks.



Nocturnal Windows, 1 - 24 March, Gregory Jewellers, Sydney

Nocturnal Windows is an exhibition of contemporary art by prominent Australian and international artists in the main display windows of Gregory Boutique, 67 Castlereagh Street, Sydney CBD. The exhibition has been curated by Ian Geraghty.


Melbourne Now

Chris Bond in collaboration with Drew Pettifer

22 November 2013 - 23 March 2014
The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC

(the work is situated on level 3, Room 14A)

Free Entry


2 August 2013 | Chris Bond has been announced as the winner of the 2013 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize at the Bendigo Art Gallery for his work Viridian.


Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize 2013

3 August - 6 October 2013

Bendigo Art Gallery

42 View Street, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia


City of Hobart Art Prize 2013

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

5 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia



31 July - 7 September 2013

Macquarie University Art Gallery

Building E11A, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW


Auckland Art Fair 2013 (Nellie Castan stand)

Thursday 8 August – Sunday 11 August, 2013

The Cloud, Queens Wharf, 99 Quay Street, Auckland, New Zealand


The Skeleton Field

Opening Night Thursday 18 October 6 - 8 pm

18 October - 10 November 2012

Nellie Castan Gallery, Level 1, 12 River Street South Yarra, VIC 3141 T +613 9804 7366 /


The Skeleton Field marks a return to painted books after a long hiatus.

Nine hardback books featuring the life and work of Jackson Pollock are the source material for these intensely detailed works, each of them stripped back monochrome replicas of the originals.

The painted covers of these works feature imagery typical of the art biography genre – artist standing in front of work, artist at work, and the works themselves, every drip painted in a photorealistic manner with multiple tones of a single colour. The imagery is instantly recognizable, part of modern mythology, but Pollock’s name, along with the author’s name, subtitle and publisher logo have been completely removed.

Constructed from linen, canvas and cardboard, the surfaces of these painted books carry exaggerated damage from their imagined use as actual objects – marks, creases, tears and stains disrupt the carefully painted surfaces. Yet the visible edges of the internal pages, constructed of layers of canvas, are crisp and clean.

These works are blanks, black holes, voids, part of the history of reductive abstraction, where the erasure of content allows the formal qualities of an object to rise to the surface, to become explicit.

Why Pollock? There’s very little overlap between his working processes and mine, but despite that, his single mindedness holds an enormous appeal. It’s the ‘heroic’ ability to block out the world and make work that only addresses itself which is a mainstay of Formalism, of making a work of art outside an historical or conceptual context, and it is that which binds our critically distant practices together.

My interest in Formalism, in particular to the writings of Clement Greenberg - a critical figure in the public defence of Pollock - stretch back to art school days in the 1990s, where I painted monochrome Monet’s from calendars (removing the dates), and m