Curated by Djon Mundine OAM
To say Robert Campbell Jnr (1944–1993) was an important Aboriginal storyteller would be an understatement. A primarily self-taught painter, his work of the 1980s and 1990s embody an artistic life that sought to deal with the social discrimination he witnessed growing up in south eastern New South Wales, as well the continuing impact of Australia’s colonial past.
The selection of Campbell’s paintings brought together for this first retrospective exhibition, canvas still pertinent issues of dispossession, disempowerment and cultural and historical dematerialisation, disappearance, and a codified form of Aboriginal collective memory, a ‘collective consciousness’.
Robert Campbell Jnr: History Painter includes twenty-six works from major public and private collections from across the country, as well as ten significant paintings acquired by Artbank during his lifetime (1944 – 1993).