Tom Polo: (These things) tell me more about you

Tom Polo WHAT GOES ON HERE AGNSW.jpg

An MPRG exhibition

28 September – 26 November 2017


Tom Polo uses painting and installation with text and figurative elements to explore how doubt, gesture, tension and desire are embodied within extended acts of portraiture. The caricatures that arise in his work, drawn from acute observations and encounters, pictorialise the performative relationships between himself, others and an ‘audience’. In 2016 Polo created a durational wall painting What Goes on Here over ten days at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, translating conversations with staff, members and visitors to the gallery into imagery and text. For MPRG, Polo will create a new large-scale wall painting across our foyer gallery that reflects on his experience researching the MPRG collection and incorporate a selection of works from the collection.

Polo lives and works in Sydney. Since 2007, he has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions including the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Sydney, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Melbourne, STATION; Melbourne and ACME Project Space; London. In 2015 Polo was awarded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship for Painting and in 2016 completed residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Associate Artist Residency with ACME Studios, London. He was a finalist in the 2016 National Works on Paper and is currently a studio artist at Artspace, Sydney. Polo is also one of the artists included in Primavera 2017 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and was a finalist in the 2017 Sulman Prize.

Image: Tom Polo, What goes on here 2016, durational wall painting conceived and painted on site, March 2-13, 2016, installation view, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Photo: Felicity Jenkins