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The Melbourne Art Foundation Commission provides a living artist with an opportunity to realise a large-scale work for unveiling at Melbourne Art Fair. 

The 2018 Commission by Bendigo Art Gallery in partnership with the Melbourne Art Foundation and supported by Artwork Transport, has been awarded to prominent New Zealand born, Melbourne-based artist Ronnie van Hout. Commissioned for the first time in partnership with a regional Victorian institution, the ambitious large-scale work will be unveiled and exhibited at Melbourne Art Fair before moving to its permanent home at Bendigo Art Gallery.

Ronnie van Hout is represented by STATION (Melbourne) and Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney). 

Encompassing sculpture, installation, photography, video and more, his work treads the line between humour and the macabre. Throughout his career van Hout has pursued warped renditions of the self-portrait genre, using his own body as both subject and material. In his work, the body often becomes fragmented, disfigured and alien – yet never relinquishes its comedic inflection. An uncanny proxy, van Hout’s body is both a site of and prop within absurdist narratives leaden with metaphoric entanglements and black humour. 

Previous partners in the program include institutions NGV, QAGOMA, the University of Queensland Art Museum, MCA, Art Gallery of South Australia, and the National Gallery of Australia; and artists such as Michael Parekowhai, David Griggs, Peter Hennessey, Jon Campbell, Ian Burns, and Mikala Dwyer.