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Mike Parr is widely regarded as one of the most successful Australian artists of his generation. His work is imbued with a strongly cathartic presence, a direct result of his personally demanding working processes. Mike Parr has realised over 1000 works within the context of his self-imposed 'Self-Portrait’ series, in a range of media that includes performance, installation, sculpture, drawing, drypoint etching and photography.

Parr is a captivating public speaker. His performance works have often tested the limits of the artist’s own body and often impact deeply on his audiences. In his performance entitled Close the Concentration Camps , 2002, Parr had his lips sewn together in solidarity with refugees in Australia’s detention centres. His representation in the 2005 Sherman Galleries exhibition 'Text Me: An Exploration of Body Language’ similarly referenced the inhumane treatment of Australia’s detainees.

Mike Parr has exhibited prodigiously both in Australia and internationally, and been represented in important exhibitions in Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. He was included in the 12th Biennale of Sydney (2000) and the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Contemporary Photo-media (2004). In 2005, the Newcastle Region Art Gallery held the survey exhibition, 'CUT YOUR THROAT AN INCH AT A TIME: A Survey of the Works of Mike Parr 1970-2005’, including 30 major works, a site-specific live performance and new sculptural installation.

In 2005-06, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, exhibited a major survey of Parr’s prints, while also representing his work in its exhibition of international contemporary self-portraits; confirming his position as one of Australia’s most important and challenging artists. A catalogue raisonnĂ© of Mike Parr’s work on DVD-ROM was in production in 2006.

Writers:
Murray-Cree, Laura
Date written:
2006
Last updated:
2011