Born 1953, Charleville, Queensland. Kamilaroi people. Lives and works in Brisbane.
Richard Bell is a member of the Kamilaroi, Kooma, Jiman and Gurang Gurang communities. An activist as much as an artist, Bell works across video, painting, installation and text to pose provocative, complex and humorous challenges to our preconceived ideas of Aboriginal art, as well as addressing contemporary debates surrounding identity, place and politics.
Selected group exhibitions include See You at the Barricades, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2015); Action at a Distance: The Life and Legacy of John Stewart Bell, Naughton Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2014); and My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2013).
Solo exhibitions include Richard Bell: Imagining Victory, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo (2015); Embassy, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth (2014); and Imagining Victory, Artspace, Sydney (2013). Uz vs Them, a major touring exhibition of Bell’s work organised by the American Federation of the Arts, premiered at Tufts University, Boston in September 2011 and toured to venues across North America throughout 2013. The exhibition was accompanied by a new publication on Bell’s work. In 2009 an exhibition of Bell’s practice to date, titled I am not sorry, was held at Location One, New York, and Bell was the recipient of Location One’s International Fellowship for that year. In 2006 his work was the subject of the survey exhibition Positivity presented by the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
Selected group exhibitions include the Asian Art Biennial, Taiwan (2013); Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2013); Half-Light: Portraits from Black Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2008); Culture Warriors: National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2007); Biennale of Sydney (2008 and 1992); Aratjara: Art of the First Australians (1993); Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1993); and Unfamiliar Territory, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (1991).
Bell’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and state and regional galleries in Australia.