Jon Campbell has been a constant fixture on the Australian art scene since he first began exhibiting paintings of suburban youth culture in the 1980s. Since then his practice has evolved to become one of the more complex examples of Australian Pop art.
"My art and politics are influenced by where I grew up in Melbourne’s Western suburbs. I’ve always been interested in things around me, the local, Australiana, language and rock n roll. I try to represent the overlooked and undervalued. It’s a questioning and celebration of who we are, constructed with a laidback lyricism, an engaging lo-fi aesthetic and a
sense of humour.
My art has been mainly text based for the last 20 years. It’s an ongoing exploration of the visual potential of words through the use of vernacular language and popular culture. In recent paintings, snippets of conversation, argument and dialogue are transformed using the conventions of formal abstraction and graphic design to both confuse the original function of the words and phrases and elevate them to a pictorial object. The negative spaces around the letters become positive. The viewer becomes part of the work as they unravel the text and say the phrase."
With his use of words and phrases as imagery, Jon Campbell captures aspects of his culture that are both lived and observed, that are local, national and international and that can be spoken, written, sung, and read. Campbell’s masterfully realized paintings, cutouts, banners, neon’s, flags and songs demonstrate his love of suburbia and it’s vernacular. Popular music, printing, design and sport also feature heavily in his practice. His works define not only the look of the world in which Campbell lives, but the accent and humour of it’s language and how signs can articulate it’s culture and history. These signs have a beauty and celebration about them that encourages belief.
Jon lives and works in Coburg, Melbourne and is represented by Darren Knight Gallery.
Play On: The Art of Sport, Bunbury Regional Gallery, WA. March 9 - May 5
Ripped Off, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. March 8 - May 4
Just Not Australian, Artspace, Sydney. January 18 - April 28
City of Greater Dandenong lightbox commission. November 26 - June 18 2019
Word, Hugo Michel Gallery, Adelaide. August 30 - October 30
The Horse, curated by Noel McKenna, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. August 25 - September 22
Rollercoaster, Melbourne Art Fair w/Darren Knight Gallery, solo presentation. August 2 - August 5
Geelong Gallery Contemporary Art Prize. July 9 - August 19
2018 National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. July 20 - September 9
Ball Yeah, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, solo presentation. March 2 - April 29
Sing What You Feel, Arts Centre Melbourne Commission. February 16 2018 - February 19 2019
Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales. July 29 - October 22
Arthur Guy Memorial Painting prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria. June 17 - September 17
9 x 5, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, VCA, Melbourne. Group show. June 16 - 25
Group Show, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. May 20 - June 17
The end of time, The beginning of time, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. Group show. May 5 - June 10
The Sunshine Suite, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. April 8 - May 13
The Sunshine Suite, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide. April 6 - May 21
Redlands Konica Minolta Art prize, National Art School, Sydney. March 28 - May 20
Double A Side, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney. Group show. March 4 - April 1
Olympic Doughnuts, performance, Darren Knight Galley, Sydney. December 9
Locals Only, collaboration with Henry Jock Walker, BUS Projects, Melbourne. November 9-26
I heart rock (rock is the total work of art), Arts Project Australia, Melbourne. October 22 - November 26
Contour 556, Lake Burley Griffin Foreshore, Canberra. October 21 - November 13
R & M McGivern Prize, Maroondah Art Gallery, Victoria. September 22 - December 10
SPRING 1883, Room 224, Hotel Windsor, Melbourne. August 17-21
Absolutely Disgusting, Darren Knight Gallery in Melbourne at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery. August 3-20
Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. July 29 - August 28
Climarte Poster Project 2016, Lab-14 Gallery at the Carlton Connect Initiative, Melbourne. May 5-28
Melbourne Art Book Fair, NGV, performance and talk. May 1
Album launch, Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, with support from Darren Sylvester, Georgia Spain and Bullshit Rare. March 10
Third Drawer Down, Melbourne, In store performance. March 4
The Searchers, Melbourne, In store performance. February 28
Counter Compositions, Artbank, Sydney, group show. January 21 – April 16
Faux Fair, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne, group show curated by Tai Snaith. December 2 - 13
PAMELA, Arts Project Australia, performance.
piss farting around, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, solo show. October 10 – November 7
Jon Campbell, Takeo Hanzawa, Devin Troy Strother, Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, Japan. September 29 – October 31
Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, Fremantle, Western Australia. September 28 – November 15
Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards, Geelong Gallery, Victoria. August 22 – November 22
Turn up your radio, Trocadero Art Space, Melbourne, group show, curated by Brendan Lee. April 11 - 25
Art Basel Hong Kong, Discoveries Section, Booth C147 with Darren Knight Gallery. Solo show. March 15 - 17
it's gonna take a lotta love, Franklin Street Works, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, group show, curated by Liza Statton and Terri C Smith. March 7 – May 24
Written in Light, Geelong Gallery, Victoria, Australia, group show curated by Lisa Sullivan.
February 14 – May 10