NOEL MCKENNA

NOEL MCKENNA

b. 1956, Brisbane, Australia

Lives and works, Sydney, Australia.

McKenna has exhibited regularly since the early 1980s and recent solo exhibitions include- Art of Collecting- Noel McKenna, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sydney (2016), Art Basel Hong Kong 2014 with Mother's Tankstation, Noel McKenna, Absurdia: Noel McKenna- A Focus, Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW (2012), Michael Reid at Murrurundi, NSW (2010), Noel McKenna - 29 centimetres closer, Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2010), Northland, mother’s tankstation, Dublin, Ireland (2008,2011,2015), and The Weekly Bus-Rail Ticket: Noel McKenna, National Art School Gallery, Sydney (2008). McKenna’s work is frequently included in group exhibitions including, The Popular Pet Show, National Portait Gallery, Canberra, (2017), Solitaire, Tarrawarra Art Museum, Victoria (2014), Conflict: Contemporary Responses to War, UQ Art Museum(2015), South of No North, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2013), Basil Sellers Art Prize 2010, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Fully Booked, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne (2010), avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2009) and Look out Wembley Arena, MOP, Sydney (2008).

His work is held in many significant public and private collections throughout Australia and New Zealand including Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Bank, Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Australia, Macquarie Bank, Sydney, Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Australia, and Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.

“It is precisely through insisting that every scenario convey constriction and every impulse towards motion is circumscribed—the cat-up-a-tree syndrome, we could call it—that McKenna brings his allegory of escape alive. In choosing vulnerability as the point of composition—jumping, balancing, falling, staring, disappearing—McKenna invests the ‘not-muchness’ of each painting with the quality of an involving struggle. It’s as if McKenna looks at the world and is immediately, effortlessly existential. The effort comes in combating dread with care and feeling...“

(excerpt from Noel McKenna by Damien Wilkins, 2005)

 

NOEL McKENNA - Home Interior: Door B, 2016 acrylic, oil and perspex on door, 204 x 77 cm
THE INTERIORS
2016
NOEL McKENNA - Sleeping with Puppy, 2013 oil on plywood, 32 x 44cm
ANIMALS AND MEN
2013
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
2011
NOEL McKENNA - A nice old fashioned kind of elegance here, 2009, oil on plywood, 60 x 60cm
GOOGLE SERIES
2009
TRAVEL NOTES
2007
NOEL McKENNA - Boy's Room, Brisbane 1967, enamel on plywood, 51,5 x 58,5cm
2005
NOEL McKENNA - Owl in Snow, 2005, oil on plywood, 60 x 70cm
MISCELLANEOUS
BIOGRAPHY
1956
Born Brisbane, Australia
1974-75Architecture, University of Queensland, Australia
1976-78Brisbane College of Art, Brisbane, Australia
1981
Alexander Mackie College, Sydney, Australia
1994Winner, Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
1997-5 time winner of the Trustees Watercolour Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
2001Winner, Melbourne Savage Club Prize
2003Winner, Mosman Art Prize, NSW
2011Winner, NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize
 Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
  
 
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2016

The Interior, GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide
Noel McKenna at Ten Cubed, Ten Cubed, Melbourne
Art of Collecting - Noel McKenna, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sydney
Seltzer, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
1 August (1992 - ), Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney

2015

Concealing the Spot, Mother's Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland

2014

Absurdia: Noel McKenna - A Focus, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle
The Psychiatrist's Dog, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
A Walk from One Tree Hill to Half Moon Bay, Two Rooms, Auckland, New Zealand
Art Basel Hong Kong, Mother's Tankstation, Stand

2013

Animals and Men, Greenaway Art Gallery, South Australia
Twelve old, Twelve new, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Polluting the Acid: A Selection of Etchings and Lithographs 1977 - 2013, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney

2012

The piano of my brother, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
Travel Notes 2, Heiser Gallery, Queensland

2011

All That Heaven Allows, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Homes 4 Sale NZ, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Works on Paper, Michael Reid at Murrurundi, New South Wales

2010

Drawings from the Bath, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
29cms Closer, Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand
Clay Works, Heiser Gallery, Queensland

2009News of the Swimmer Reaches Shore, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Google Series, Men Smoking Pipes, Autumn, Men Fishing, Cats etc, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2008Northland, mother’s tankstation, Dublin, Ireland
The Weekly Bus-Rail Ticket: The Return Journey, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
The Weekly Bus-Rail Ticket: Noel McKenna, National Art School Gallery, Sydney
2007Travel Notes, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
The Democratic Potter, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
2006From Watsons Bay to Waterloo, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
2005

Merrylands, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Somewhere in the City, Queensland University of Technology, Sydney
Sheltered Life, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Ceramics 1993 - 2005, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia

2004Australia II including The Queensland Room, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Noel McKenna: Animal Works 1977-2003, touring exhibition, including St. George Regional Museum, Sydney, Australia
2003Australia, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
A small private eye, Horsham Regional Art Gallery and touring Australia
Recent work 2003, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
2003 Hermans Art Award, Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2001Found and Lost, Niagra Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
Hong Kong, John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong
SMH Watercolours, 1997-2001, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney
Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
2000Southland, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1999Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
1998Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Bowen Galleries, Wellington, New Zealand
1997Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
1996Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
1995Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
1994Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, Australia
1993Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
1992Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
ARS Multiplicata, Sydney, Australia
199112 Sturt Street, Sydney, Australia
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
1985Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, Australia
Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1983Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney, Australia
 
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2016

SPRING 1883, Room 224, Hotel Windsor, Melbourne
Close to Home: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2016, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Country & Western: Landscape Reimagined, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW; Orange Regional Gallery, NSW
Identity, Dominic Mersch Gallery, Sydney
2016 Fleurieu Art Prize, Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia, Adelaide
Equus, curated by Kate Smith and Edward Hoddle, Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney

2015

Country & Western: Landscape Reimagined, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, (touring) Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Sydney, S.H. Ervin gallery, Sydney
Art Basel Miami, mother’s tankstation, Miami Beach
Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Collectors' Space, Surry Hills, Sydney

2014

Sublime Point: The landscape in painting, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney
Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Spring 1883, Suite 224, The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne
Melbourne Art Fair, Stand E117, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
David Malouf and Friends, Museum of Brisbane,Queesland
Conflict: Contemporary responses to war, UQ Art Museum
Holiday + Memory, Penrith Regional Gallery and The Lewers Bequest, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Solitaire, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Melbourne
Basil Sellers Art Prize 2014, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
The Phantom Show, Australian Galleries, Sydney

2013

Wynne Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW
South of No North, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

2012

New Work, Greenaway Art Gallery, South Australia
Selected Works, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Korea International Art Fair, Niagara Galleries, Seoul
Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Buliding
Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, QLD
underSTATEd 2012 - NSW Parliment Collection, Fountain Court, New South Wales Parliment, Sydney
Revealed: Inside the private collections of South Australia, Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum, SA
ANIMAL/HUMAN, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane
Walking with Alice, SASA Gallery, UniSA, Adelaide
Wynne Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW
Volume One: MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art
A View From Where I Was Sleeping, Wellington, NZ
Blue Chip XIV: The Collectors' Exhibition, Niagara Galleries

2011

NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize, NSW Parliament, Sydney
Going where the weather suits my clothes... a fall of light on fabric, Mother's Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland
The Armory Show, New York

2010

Christmas Exhibition, Heiser Gallery, Queensland
One-off, Greenaway Art Gallery, South Australia
The Ipswich House, Ipswich Art Gallery, Queensland
Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Basil Sellers Art Prize Finalists Exhibition, the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne
The Working Kitchen with Brendan and Greg O'Brien, Bowen Galleries, Wellington, New Zealand
Fully Booked, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne

2009

Basil Sellers Art Prize Finalists°ò Exhibition, the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Twelve Degrees of Latitude: Regional Gallery and University Art Collections in Queensland, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Queensland
Fremantle Print Prize Finalists Exhibition, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia
The Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards Finalists Exhibition, Geelong Gallery, Victoria
Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand
Step Right Up!, Albury City Art Gallery, New South Wales and The Arts Centre, Melbourne
Adventures in Collection: Gems from the Reg and Sally Richardson Collection, National Art School Gallery, Sydney
Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing: Exhibition of Finalists, Adelaide Perry Gallery, Sydney
Sulman Prize: Exhibition of Finalists, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Moran Prize: Exhibition of Finalists, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney
Avoiding Myth and Message: Australian Artists and the Literary World, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Ungrand, Wollongong City Art Gallery, New South Wales

2008Thoughts On Paper, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Who let the dogs out – the dog in contemporary Australian art, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, New South Wales
Look out Wembley Arena, MOP, Sydney, Australia
2007Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand
Den Haag Sculptuur 2007: De Overkaan / Down Under, The Hague, Netherlands
2006Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, VIC
Drawcard Exhibition, NAS Gallery, Sydney
Getting on Mother's Nerves: Psychological Drama and Contemporary Drawing, Mother's Tankstation, Dublin
Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW
25th Gold Coast International Ceramic Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
2005Moist: Australian Watercolours, National Gallery of Australia and touring, Canberra
Artists for Kids Culture: 2005 Annual Art Exhibition and Auction, Melbourne
Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Woollahra Council Chambers, Double Bay
We Are All Animals, La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre, Melbourne
UnAustralian, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland
2005 Island Art Prize, Stanley Town Hall, Tasmania
Absolut Secret, National Art School, Sydney
The Sound of Painting, George Adams Gallery, the Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia
20042004 The Year in Art, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, Australia
National Small Sculpture Prize, Woollahra Municipal Council, Sydney, Australia
The Visibility of Practice, National Art School, Sydney, Australia
Mind’s Eye, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia
Gambling in Australia: Thrills, Spills and Social Ills, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
2003-04Home Sweet Home: Works from the Peter Fay Collection, touring National Gallery of Australia
Fair Game. Art + Sport, NGV Response Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Sport: More than heroes and legends, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
A Modelled World, McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park, Victoria, Australia
2003National Sculpture Prize & Exhibition 2003, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Art & About, College and George Streets, City of Sydney, Australia
20022002 The Year in Art, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Briefcase 50, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Nocturne, images from night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria Australia
2001Black/White & Grey, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia
The Gambling Show, John Batten Gallery, Hong Kong
Wynne Prize for Watercolour, Wynne Prize and Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
The Melbourne Savage Club Art Prize, Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
A Century of Collecting 1902 –2001, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, Sydney, Australia
2000 Parihaka – The Art of Passive Resistance, The City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand
Small Tapestries and Works on Paper, Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Australia
Pets, Prey & Predators – Introduced Animals in Recent Australian Art, Dubbo Regional Art Gallery, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia
Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Dobell Drawing Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
The Dog Show, King Street Gallery on Burton, Sydney, Australia
Re/Brand?, Wollongong City Gallery and Wollongong University, Australia
1999-2000On The Road – The Car in Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia
1999Pets, Prey & Predators – Introduced Animals in Recent Australian Art, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Wynne Prize for Watercolour, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
Persuasive Humours, Mosman Region Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1997-99Cartoons and Caricature in Contemporary Art, touring exhibition, Geelong Art Gallery, Hamilton Art Gallery, Waverley City Gallery, Gippsland Art Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Art Gallery, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Australia
1998Metamorphosis, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, Australia
Australian Contemporary Art, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
Sulman Prize, Wynne Prize and Watercolour Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia
1997A face in the crowd, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
1995Muswellbrook Acquisitive Prize, Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, Australia
 
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Allen, C, review, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 1989
Angeloro, D, ‘State of origami’, Sydney Morning Herald, Metro, 24 September, 2004
Barkley, G, Horizontal eclecticism’, catalogue essay, Home Sweet Home: Works from the Peter Fay collection, National Gallery of Australia, 2003
Barkley, G, ‘Op-Shop Aesthetics’, catalogue essay, Noel McKenna, Darren Knight Gallery, 2002
Barkley, G, ‘Op-Shop Aesthetics’, Lino, 01, March 2003
Catalano, G, review, The Age, 16 May 1990
Chivas, A, Quiet moments: the prints of Noel McKenna, Antiques & Art in New South Wales, Sept/Dec 2004
Clabburn, A, Whimsey in the White Cube', catalogue, Cartoons and Caricature in Contemporary Art, catalogue essay, Geelong Art Gallery, 1997
Fenner, F, 'The new metaphysics', catalogue, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, 1992
Fenner, F, 'Much ado about criticism', The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 June 1994
Fenner, F, ‘Noel McKenna: Artists’ Artist’, Australian Art Collector, September 1999, Issue 9, July – September 1999.
Frost, A, Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector, Issue 19, January – March 2001
Frost, A & Bokor, J, Artist’s Questionnaire – Noel McKenna, A Public of individuals, no. 4, Feb-April 2003
Gill, R, 'Diverse art bound by an unsettling melancholy', The Age, 7 September 1994
Hart, D, ‘Home Sweet Home: an artist-collector’s passion’, Home Sweet Home: Works from the Peter Fay collection exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia, 2003
Heathcote, C, 'Unassuming pictures from an alcove at an imaginary exhibition', The Age, September 1992
Heathcote, C, 'The thick and thin on show', The Age, 7 September 1994
Hynes, V, ‘Just add watercolour’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24-30 August 2001
James, B, ‘Sacred Sights in Search of a Site’, review, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 January 1999
Kidd, C, ‘Understated Power’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August 2000
Knight, D, Silks’ Gallery, Silks, Spring, 2003
Low, LA, ‘A houseful & more of works, & all have spoken out to their owner’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 2003
Low, LA, ‘Juice gigolo’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25-26 August 2001
Loxley, A, 'Noel McKenna', catalogue essay, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, 1994
Loxley, A, 'The drama of drawing from three different angles', The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 August 2001
Loxley, A. & McKenna, N, Open Gallery, Art & About, catalogue, City of Sydney, October, 2003
Loxley, A, ‘Mixed media in frame’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 December 2003
Lynn, E, 'Abstract form shows its hand', The Australian, 11-12 June 1994
Lynn, E, 'Mixed metaphysics', The Australian, 5-6 December 1992
McKenna, Noel, ‘Painting 101’, Australian Style, February 2002
McDonald, J, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 1996
Mendelssohn, J, 'Welcome to Done Place, Tim Storrier, Khovar Dreamings', The Australian, 21 June 1996
O’Brien, G, ‘Changing The Light, Noel McKenna’, exhibition catalogue essay, Niagara Galleries, 1999
Owens, S, ‘To canvas the racetrack moment’, Silks, Winter, 2003
Plant, S, ‘More than meets the eye’, The Herald Sun, 1 August 2001
Radok, S, 'Viva la vida', The Adelaide Review, July 1995
Rainbird, S, ‘Visionaries, Donors, Gifts and Bequests: Celebrating a Decade of Benefaction 1991-2001, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, 2001
Reid, M, ‘New quest for the most collectable a right resolution’, The Australian, 3 December 2003
Rooney, R, 'Figuring out fun of the fair', The Australian, 10-11 October 1992
Rooney, R, 'Is an artist's stature based largely on size?' The Australian, 26-27 May 1990
Rich, P, ‘Noel McKenna Drawings', catalogue, Garry Anderson Gallery, Sydney 1991
Ryan, Anne, ‘The value of things’, Art and Australia, Vol.42, No. 1, Spring 2004
Simpson, P, 'Parihaka. A Very real Symbol', review, Art New Zealand, No. 97 Summer 2000-2001
Small, S, ‘Restrained menace’, The Advertiser, 23 April 2003
Smee, S, ‘Australia’s champion of the outsider’, The Art Newspaper, no.141, November 2003
Thomas, D, 'Outlines in Australian Art, The Joseph Brown Collection', 3rd Edition, Macmillan, 1989
Watson, B, Art and Australia, Winter issue, 1989
Williams, A, 'Exhibition', The Domain, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 1996
Web review, ‘State of Origin’, ARTLIFE, HYPERLINK "http://www.artlife.blogspot.com" www.artlife.blogspot.com, September 2004
 
COLLECTIONS

Allen, Allen & Hemsley Collection, Sydney; Artbank, Sydney; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide; Brisbane City Council, Qld; Chartwell Collection, NZ; Derwent Collection, Hobart; Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW; Ipswich City Council Art Gallery, Qld; Joseph Brown Collection, Vic; Kelvin Grove CAE, Brisbane; Latrobe Valley Arts Centre, Vic; Mackay Regional Art Gallery, Qld; Manly Shire Council, Sydney, Macquarie Bank, Sydney; Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, Vic; Mosman Art Gallery, NSW; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, NSW; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; New Parliament House, Canberra; NSW Parliament, Sydney; Newcastle Region Art Gallery, NSW; Qld Art Gallery, Brisbane; Qld University of Technology Art Collection, Brisbane; Rockhampton Art Gallery, Qld; Southern Cross University, NSW; The University of Qld Art Collection, Brisbane; University of WA, Perth; Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery, NSW; Warrnambool Art Gallery, Vic; Western Mining Collection, WA

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