'21st Century: Art in the First Decade' is an exhibition, publication, blog and series of public programs at the Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art that explore the art of the past ten years. As an expanded platform for the exhibition, the '21st Century Blog' functions as a source book of reference material and contributions provided by artists, curators and writers. Read more



Richard Bell | Bell’s Theorem (Trikky Dikky and friends) 2005 | Synthetic polymer paint on canvas | Five panels: 240 x 480cm (overall) | The James C Sourris Collection. Gift of James C Sourris through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2007 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Richard Bell ‘Bell’s Theorem (Trikky Dikky and friends)’ 2005

Richard Bell creates work that interrogates the taboo issues at the interface between cultures in Australia and constantly challenges stereotyped ideas of Aboriginal culture and art. His 2003 Telstra NATSIAA winning painting, Scientia E Metaphysica (Bell’s Theorem), boldly states: ‘Aboriginal art it’s a white thing’; it initiated a much-needed debate about the Indigenous art industry and the forces that drive the production of Aboriginal art today.

Bell’s Theorem (Trikky Dikky and friends) 2005 makes another controversial statement: ‘Australian art it’s an Aboriginal thing’. In the left panel, Bell asserts that many of Australia’s most respected artists gained fame through appropriating Aboriginal art and artists. This list contains many artists’ names and has already caused debate, showing Bell’s mastery of the art of provocation. Crucially, however, Bell is making the point, both in his statements and in his art, that there is no one style that Aboriginal art must adopt and no one way that Aboriginal artists should work.

Categories: Artist

One Response to Richard Bell ‘Bell’s Theorem (Trikky Dikky and friends)’ 2005

  1. By Ellis

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