Arlo Mountford: Deep Revolt

National Exhibition Register

  • Walking the Line (still)
    Arlo Mountford Walking the Line (still), 2013
    Dual channel HD digital animation, 4 channel surround sound
    dimensions variable, 14 mins 37 secs
    Image Credit
    Copyright of the artist

About the exhibition

Working across video, sculpture and drawing, Arlo Mountford’s practice questions our individual and collective memories of the artistic canon. His works form a dense trove of art historical references that playfully probe the terms in which we engage with art and the way meaning can be twisted, all through a contemporary lens.

Amusing, strange and laden with references, his animated films are hand drawn with a mouse directly in to a computer. He reimagines both real and created spaces from the art world, digitally reconstructing the interiors of iconic museums or retracing the brushstrokes of European masterpieces well known and loved for centuries. This process allows him to experience art with fresh eyes and unpack its ongoing meaning and relevance in contemporary society.

Mountford uses a reductively simple figure to represent human beings in his work, a graphic often used to identify bathrooms or elevators on way finding signage. In works such as The Triumph (2010) Mountford introduces this familiar and generic human figure into the animated space of Brueghel’s The Triumph of Death (1562) along with Duchamp, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Yves Klein and Patti Smith, all of whom re-enact moments in their dazzling careers before being slaughtered just like everybody else. Mountford’s comic and haphazard interactions often end in disaster, leaving art, its hierarchical value systems, discourse and relevance open for debate.

‘Yet despite its bluntly honest expose of art’s limitations and inconsistencies, Mountford’s work maintains an open and even optimistic engagement with the possibilities for artistic practice. Though ever more fraught and contested as a site to generate meaning and action, Mountford’s imagined encounters deconstruct the boundaries which are placed on art – often by its own processes and institutions – and argues that art still holds the potential to engage audiences and artists alike in unexpected, surprising and inspiring ways.’  - Jeff Khan in the catalogue essay for The Flux of the Matter, 2007 Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces.

This survey exhibition will reveal the expanse of Mountford’s practice from video, sculpture and drawing. His experiments with sculptural elements add yet another layer to his work, with ramps and apparatus structuring the viewer’s experience and creating a physical manifestation of ideas touched upon in his practice. The exhibition will also feature a new suite of drawings exploring the viral phenomenon of ‘unboxing’.

Selected video works will trace a gradual distillation of his ideas. His recent work 100 years (2016), an animated chronology of appropriated artworks charting the evolution of abstraction since the ‘zero point’ of Malevich’s Black Square in 1915, will provide a fitting end point to the exhibition. The show promises to offer an amusing and thought provoking journey through the annals of art history.

‘The sardonic situation of art history in this way makes Mountford’s work so compelling. It’s a kind of end-game post-structuralism meets browsing through-the-NGV-bookstore-poster-section.’  - Amita Kirpalani in Art Collector, Issue 70, October-December 2014.

LIMITED AVAILABLE DATES - 20 February - 18 April 2021 (flexible)


Artists and Curator

Organised and developed by Goulburn Regional Art Gallery

Arlo Mountford was born in the United Kingdom in 1978, Mountford arrived in Australia in 1983 and currently resides in Melbourne.

He has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Sculpture) from Victorian College of the Arts and a Diploma of Fine Art (Design and Multimedia) from Western Australian College of Art.

He has been represented in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Heide Museum of Modern Art and exhibited at galleries across Australia including Gertrude Contemporary, Sutton Gallery, Western Plains Cultural Centre and Centre for Contemporary Photography.

In 2015 he completed a major commission at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, animating two backdrops for the First World War galleries. The dioramas encapsulate Mountford’s enduring process and practice, with the artist spending no less than eighteen months studying every image in the Memorial’s archives of his two intended locations; Mont St Quentin and Sinai Desert. The resulting animations are an extraordinary eight hours long, offering the Memorial a work that runs for the length of their opening hours.

He was the recipient of the Australia Council Mid-Career/New Work Grant in 2013 and the Australia Council Tokyo Residency in 2010.

His work is held by National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne Western Plains Cultural Centre /Dubbo Regional Gallery, Duboo and The Michael Buxton Contemporary Australian Art Collection.




Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
20/02/2021 - 18/04/2021
Exhibition size
Between 50-75 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Catalogue/Book, Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Media Kit, Signage
Primary contact
Rachel Arndt
Gallery Programs & Touring Exhibitions Manager
Museums & Galleries of NSW
02 9339 9906
A Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition.