Michael Vale

Michael Vale

Artist Profile

Biography

Michael Vale is a Melbourne based artist whose work sits at the nexus of Romantic traditions, dark fiction and the delightfully absurd. From this vantage point, Vale’s work shrugs off singular readings of ‘haunting’ or ‘playful’. Instead, his work offers viewers a more complex narrative. Fantasy and reality jostle upon the canvas, creating an intoxicating mise en scene that is delightfully unsettling. His landscapes provide traditional backdrop to his irreverent players, calling upon the visual language of the Romantic sublime. Mountains soar moodily and majestically – nature at its most fearsome and powerful, casting in stark relief the folly of humankind’s confidence and efforts of dominion. Vale’s characters play to this folly and the dark nature of its reveal. Brightly clad and often cartoon-like, Vale sets his eerie figures upon the landscape – skeletons, ghosts and hooded figures. It’s this mix of seriousness and frivolity that typifies the artist’s work, in his own words he says “I find it hard to be too serious. I’m serious about painting, but not necessarily about the content – when it comes to the content I like to have a bit of fun.

Michael Vale is highly celebrated for his idiosyncratic style. Vale has been a finalist in the Archibald prize three times – in 2019, 2013 and 2012. In 2018 he received the Hutchins Australian Contemporary Art Prize and in 2017 won the Bayside acquisitive art prize. Recently, he has been shortlisted in the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2019). In 2006 he was awarded Best Film on Art at the prestigious Asolo Artfilm Festival in northern Italy for his video work, The Long Walk. In 2006 he completed a PhD Fine Art Monash University, where he now teaches as a senior lecturer in Fine Art.

Michael Vale is based in Melbourne, Australia and works with painting, installation, film and video. He has also worked as a TV writer, scenery painter, cartoonist, interior designer, and art administrator. He is currently employed as a senior lecturer (Painting and Film) at Monash University, and has also taught at RMIT and the Hong Kong Art School. He was the inaugural director of Linden Contemporary Art Centre in St Kilda, and also co-renovated the Ghost Train at Luna Park.

Michael Vale is a Melbourne based artist whose work sits at the nexus of Romantic traditions, dark fiction and the delightfully absurd. From this vantage point, Vale’s work shrugs off singular readings of ‘haunting’ or ‘playful’. Instead, his work offers viewers a more complex narrative. Fantasy and reality jostle upon the canvas, creating an intoxicating mise en scene that is delightfully unsettling. His landscapes provide traditional backdrop to his irreverent players, calling upon the visual language of the Romantic sublime. Mountains soar moodily and majestically – nature at its most fearsome and powerful, casting in stark relief the folly of humankind’s confidence and efforts of dominion. Vale’s characters play to this folly and the dark nature of its reveal. Brightly clad and often cartoon-like, Vale sets his eerie figures upon the landscape – skeletons, ghosts and hooded figures. It’s this mix of seriousness and frivolity that typifies the artist’s work, in his own words he says “I find it hard to be too serious. I’m serious about painting, but not necessarily about the content – when it comes to the content I like to have a bit of fun.

Michael Vale is highly celebrated for his idiosyncratic style. Vale has been a finalist in the Archibald prize three times – in 2019, 2013 and 2012. In 2018 he received the Hutchins Australian Contemporary Art Prize and in 2017 won the Bayside acquisitive art prize. Recently, he has been shortlisted in the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2019). In 2006 he was awarded Best Film on Art at the prestigious Asolo Artfilm Festival in northern Italy for his video work, The Long Walk. In 2006 he completed a PhD Fine Art Monash University, where he now teaches as a senior lecturer in Fine Art.

Michael Vale is based in Melbourne, Australia and works with painting, installation, film and video. He has also worked as a TV writer, scenery painter, cartoonist, interior designer, and art administrator. He is currently employed as a senior lecturer (Painting and Film) at Monash University, and has also taught at RMIT and the Hong Kong Art School. He was the inaugural director of Linden Contemporary Art Centre in St Kilda, and also co-renovated the Ghost Train at Luna Park.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2021 Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2020 A Clown in the Moon, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2020 The Guests, Despard Gallery, Hobart)
2019 Time Traveller, Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 The Transit of Mercury, Anna Pappas Gallery
2013 The Conquest of Space, Five Walls Projects, Melbourne
2012 Lamplike, Trocadero Artspace, Melbourne
2011 Untitled (green), Screenspace, Melbourne
2009 R.I.P., Linden, Melbourne
2006 Le Chien Qui Fume (a smokey life), Monash University, Melbourne
2006 Chiengrila, Chapman & Bailey, Melbourne
2005 Le Chien Qui Fume, Westspace, Melbourne
2005 A Smokey Life, TCB art.inc., Melbourne

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2021 Don’t say I never warned you, when your train gets lost, Kingston Arts Centre, Moorabbin
2021 Group Show, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2021 Group Show, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2020 Group Show, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2020 Group Show, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2020 Salon des Refusés, S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2019 The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
2019 Shit that I like (prog. Ben Aitken, Nicholas Projects, Melbourne
2019 Word of Mouth (cur. Peter Hill, Venice pop up show / Grau Project)
2019 Group Show, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2019 Feast, Stockroom, Kyneton
2019 The Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney
2019 Parallel Universe, Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne
2019 The Museum of Platitudes & Aphorisms, C3 Rubicon Artspace, Melbourne
2019 The Nillumbik Art Prize, Montsalvat, Melbourne
2018 Beyond Reason, QUT, Queensland
2018 Gothic Beauty, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
2018 Art Athina, Athens, Greece
2018 Dark (Other) Times, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2018 Albany Art Prize, Albany, Western Australia
2018 The Alice Prize, Alice Springs, N.T.
2018 Hutchins Art Prize, Hobart
2017 Romancing the Skull, Art Gallery of Ballarat
2017 Bayside Art Prize, Bayside Gallery, Victoria
2017 Footscray Art Prize, Footscray Arts Centre, Victoria
2016 Slippery Stories, Strange Neighbour/Durden & Ray, Los Angeles
2016 Museum of Doubt, Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 Animalia, Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 Authenticity?, Incinerator Gallery, Aberfeldie VIC
2016 Dada Here & Now, Fort Mason, San Francisco Arts Festival
2016 Bayside Art Prize, Bayside Gallery, Brighton, VIC
2015 Horror Show, Strange Neighbour/Gippsland Regional Gallery, VIC
2015 The Umbelliferous Portraits, Rubicon ARI, Melbourne
2015 Oily Rag, Fort Delta Gallery, Melbourne
2015 Decade, Trocadero Artspace, Melbourne
2015 Likeness, Town Hall Gallery, Melbourne
2014 Make Believe it’s Nothing, MARS Gallery, Melbourne
2014 A window that isn’t there, Strange Neighbour, Melbourne
2014 As If, Kings ARI, Melbourne
2014 Whistling in the Dark, Trocadero Artspace, Melbourne
2014 Salon des Refusés. S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2013 The Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney
2012 The Archibald Prize, AGNSW, Sydney
2012 Museums in the Incident, Monash Faculty Gallery, Melbourne
2012 Underdog, Five Walls Projects, Melbourne
2012 Belleura Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery, Mornington VIC
2012 Fletcher Jones Art Prize, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong VIC
2011 Beautiful Volcanoes, Monash Faculty Gallery, Melbourne
2011 The Innocents, Westspace, Melbourne
2010 Belleura Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery, Mornington VIC
2010 Short Play, Thousand £ Bend, Melbourne
2009 – Loop 09, Barcelona Video Festival, Barcelona
2009 Nardini’s Garage, Bassano al Grappa, Italy

AWARDS/RESIDENCIES/GRANTS
2018 Hutchins Art Prize, Hobart
2017 Bayside Art Prize
2006 ‘Best Film on Art’, Asolo Artfilm Festival, Italy

ARTWORKS

  • The AmnesiacMichael Vale The Amnesiac 2020 oil on linen 137 x 102cm

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  • King Biscuit (after van Dyck)Michael Vale King Biscuit (after van Dyck) 2020 oil on linen 137 x 102cm

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  • Unless, maybe, perhaps.... (the Queen of Spades)Michael Vale Unless, maybe, perhaps.... (the Queen of Spades) 2020 oil on linen 152 x 122cm

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  • A Clown in the MoonMichael Vale A Clown in the Moon 2020 oil on linen 122 x 97cm $10,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • The GeyserMichael Vale The Geyser 2020 oil on linen 113 x 92cm $9,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • Unicorn DeluxeMichael Vale Unicorn Deluxe 2020 oil on linen 122 x 97cm

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  • The Drunken Tulip LoverMichael Vale The Drunken Tulip Lover 2019 oil on linen 122 x 97cm

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  • Looking for ProofMichael Vale Looking for Proof 2019 oil on linen 113 x 92cm $9,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • Time Traveller #1Michael Vale Time Traveller #1 2018 oil on linen 76 x 66cm

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  • The PackageMichael Vale The Package 2018 oil on linen 122 x 97cm

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  • (Time passes slowly) up here in the mountainsMichael Vale (Time passes slowly) up here in the mountains 2018 oil on linen 122 x 92cm

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  • The Red TriangleMichael Vale The Red Triangle 2018 oil on linen 113 x 92cm

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Artist Name

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