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.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022 Morning Came and Went, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2020 The Guests, Despard Gallery, Hobart
2020 A Clown in the Moon , James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2019 Time Traveller , Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 The Transit of Mercury , Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne
2013 The Conquest of Space , Five Walls Projects, Melbourne
2012 Lamplike, Trocadero Artspace, Melbourne
2011 Untitled (green) Screenspace, Melbourne
2009 R.I.P , Linden New Art, Melbourne
2006 Le Chien Qui Fume (a smokey life) , Monash University
2006 Chiengrila , Chapman & Bailey
2005 Le Chien Qui Fume , Westspace, Melbourne
2005 A Smokey Life, TBC art.inc., Melbourne

SELECTED 2 PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2015 The Umbelliferous Portraits (with Nicholas Ives), Rubicon Artspace, Melbourne
2011 The Innocents (with Donna McRae), Westspace, Melbourne

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021 Finalist Exhibition, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (online)
2021 Don’t say I never warned you, when your train gets lost, Stockroom, Kyneton
2021 Chapter Three, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2020 Summer New, James Makin Gallery
2020 Group Show, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2020 Salon des Refusés, S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2019 Feast , Stockroom, Kyneton, Victoria
2019 The Aurther Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
2019 Shit that I like, Nicholas Projects
2019 Pop-up exhibition curated by Peter Hill, Venice & Grau Projekt
2019 The Archibald Prize , Art Gallery of New South Wales
2019 Parallel Universe , Stephen McLaughlin, Mekbourne
2019 The Museum of Aphorisms , C3, Melbourne
2019 The Nillumbik Art Prize , Montsalvat
2018 Beyond Reason , Queensland University of Technology
2018 Gothic Beauty , Bendigo Art Gallery
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, Melbourne
2017 Footscray Art Prize, Footscray Arts Centre, Melbourne
2016 Slippery Stories , Strange Neighbour, Melbourne/ Durden & Ray, Los Angeles
2016 Museum of Doubt , Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 Animalia , Despard Gallery, Hobart
2016 Authenticity?, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne
2016 Dada Here & Now , Fort Mason, San Francisco Arts Festival
2016 Bayside Art Prize , Bayside Gallery, Melbourne
2015 Horror Show , Strange Neighbour, Melbourne/ Gippsland Regional Gallery
2015 Oily Rag , Fort Delta, Melbourne
2015 Decade , Trocadero Artspace, Melbourne
2015 The Umbelliferous Portraits (with Nicholas Ives), Rubicon ARI, Melbourne
2015 Likeness , Town Hall Gallery, Melbourne
2014 Make Believe it’s Nothing , MARS Gallery
2014 A Window That isn’t There , Strange Neighbour
2014 As If , King’s ARI, Melbourne
2014 Whistling in the Dark, Trocadero Artspace
2014 Salon des Refusés , S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2013 The Archibald Prize , Art Gallery of New South Wales
2012 The Archibald Prize , Art Gallery of New South Wales
2010 Museums in the Incident, Monash University Faculty Gallery
2010 Underdog , Five Walls Projects, Melbourne
2010 Belleura Works on Paper , Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
2010 Fletcher Jones Art Prize , Geelong Regional Art Gallery
2011 Beautiful Volcanoes , Monash University Faculty Gallery
2011The Innocents (with Donna McRae), Westspace, Melbourne
2010 Belleura Works on Paper , Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
2010 Short Play , Thousand £ Bend, Melbourne
2009 Loop 09 , Barcelona Video Festival, Barcelona
2009 Nardini’s Garage , Bassano al Grappa, Italy

AWARDS/RESIDENCIES/GRANTS

2021 Winner, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize
2018 Hutchins Art Prize, Hobart
2017 Bayside Art Prize
2006 ‘Best Film on Art’, Asolo Artfilm Festival, Italy

ARTWORKS

  • The GeyserMichael Vale The Geyser 2020 oil on linen 113 x 92 cm $9,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • Time Traveller #2Michael Vale Time Traveller #2 2018 oil on linen 71 x 61 cm $4,450.00 ENQUIRE →
  • The Phantom EngineerMichael Vale The Phantom Engineer 2015 oil on linen 122 x 97 cm $10,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • Scientist in a Tweed SuitMichael Vale Scientist in a Tweed Suit 2015 oil on linen 97 x 77cm $6,650.00 ENQUIRE →
  • Wanderin' WillieMichael Vale Wanderin' Willie oil on linen 66 x 56 cm $5,500.00 ENQUIRE →

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