Tom Polo | linger | Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

09.04 – 08.05.2021

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is delighted to present linger, Tom Polo’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

In linger, Tom Polo continues his exploration into painting as psychological spaces. In Polo’s new work, bodies are submerged within a surface of swirling layers of paint, varied brushstrokes and painting techniques that create a complex surface plane where foreground and background appear to merge, melting from one state into the next. Lingering on a threshold of presence and absence, what is painted in and what is painted out, Polo’s figures, — looming characters — are both revealed and concealed creating a surface tension that draws attention to the spaces in-between. The viewer’s position, synonymous with the painting’s figures as both the looker and the observed, reveals a performative spectatorship. As if waiting in the wings to go on stage, the figures/viewers are simultaneously departing and arriving, embodying a place in which to reside longer than necessary but perhaps uncertain where that place may be. The debut of a new video installation invites the viewer to engage in a space of witnessing and lingering. This complex relationship of the psyche and the individual, the artist and the subject plays out within Polo’s sense of sophisticated theatrics.

Tom Polo
 (b. 1985) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons. Class 1) and Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. Recent solo exhibitions include of defence and doubt, Galerie Transit, Mechelen, Belgium (2018); (These Things) Tell Me More About You, Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery, Mornington, Victoria (2017); and What Goes On Here, Tom Polo for Spectrum Now, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2016).

Polo has also participated in several group exhibitions and art fairs. He was included in The National 2019: New Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Other group exhibitions include Art Brussels 2019, Galerie Transit, Mechelen, Belgium (2019); Beyond Reason: exploring the logic of the imagination, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane (2018); Meditation on a bone: Albert Tucker beyond the modern, curated by Glenn Barkley, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2018); Primavera 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, NSW (2017); Looking at Me Through You, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017); Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2016) and Time & Vision: New work from Australian Artists The Bargehouse, London, UK (2012).

Polo was a finalist of the Archibald and Sulman prizes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in 2018 and awarded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2015. He completed residencies at Parramatta Artists Studios Rydalmere, Sydney (2019-20); Palazzo Monti, Brescia, Italy (2018); Art Space, Sydney (2017); the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2016) and ACME Studios, London (2016). His work is included in several public and private collections in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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