Richard Bell (b. 1953) lives and works in Brisbane, Australia. He works across a variety of media including painting, installation, performance and video. One of Australia’s most significant artists, Bell’s work explores the complex artistic and political problems of Western, colonial and Indigenous art production.
He grew out of a generation of Aboriginal activists and has remained committed to the politics of Aboriginal emancipation and self-determination. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award, establishing him as an important Australian artistic figure. Bell is represented in most major National and State collections, and has exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions at important institutions in Australia and America. In 2013 he was included in the National Gallery of Canada’s largest show of International Indigenous art, Sakàhan, and at the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2014, Bell’s solo exhibition Embassy opened at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth. In 2015, Bell was a finalist in the Archibald Prize, presented a collaborative exhibition of new work with Emory Douglas at Milani Gallery, and exhibited his major work Embassy 2013-ongoing as part of Performa 15, New York City and the 16th Jakarta Biennale, curated by Charles Esche. Bell also premiered a body of new work as part of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art’s 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane. In 2016, BELL invites… an exhibition of Bell and work by friends and collaborators opened at the Stedelijk Museum SMBA, Amsterdam. Bell also presented Embassy as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, and premiered a new sculptural commission in Sonsbeek 2016 at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, Netherlands. In 2020, Bell had a solo presentation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In 2022 Bell presented major works at documenta fifteen, Kassel, Germany; a solo presentation at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Torino, Italy with a solo project conceived as part of ESPRESSIONI CON FRAZIONI and a new body of work for RELINKING at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
Image: Richard Bell, Freedom Rides, 2023. Acrylic on canvas, 180cm x 240cm