Hany Armanious produces installations, sculptures, and works on paper that engagingly investigate the relationships between artist and artwork. He consistently surprises with his deft working and reworking of objects, materials, and references, remodeling the everyday in oddly lyrical ways.
Armanious appropriates an unlikely mix of notions with an obsessive relationship to form. In his provocative work uncanny actions take place upon unexpected materials, resulting in enigmatic objects, scenes and associations. He turns the process of casting into a witty, symbolic system, through which he detours and digresses, fostering both bemusement and engagement.
Armanious’ choice and treatment of materials are bound up in layers of allegory. Nothing is sacred; his mergers of forms, substances and metaphors are perverse. Casting is always on the agenda, employed to sample and connect disparate textures and concepts.
Armanious confronts conventional notions of sculpture and questions the medium’s relevance. He references the mystical in all its incarnations, giving form to the abstract and creating voids. Popular philosophies are purposefully intermingled with art-historical ones, offering the chance for the formless to take shape, and everyday objects to wittily reveal their aura.
Robert Leonard writes “Armanious shares much with Beuys and Barney: the alchemy idea, conspiracies of art and occult knowledge, fantasies about the artist as the centre of the universe, and a passion for casting…[But] while he engages us in the seductive idea of art as a transformative or transcendental project, the deeper we get into it the more we become mired in mixed metaphors and conceits… His work is psychological and phenomenological rather than cosmological or religious. He sponsors metaphysical inquiry and pulls the rug out from under it.”
Hany Armanious (Ismalia, Egypt, 1962) lives and works in Sydney, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, City Art Institute, Sydney.
Selected exhibitions include: “Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s,”National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; "New World Order,” Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, NSW, Australia; "Future Eaters,” Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia (all 2017); "The Melting Point of Reason, “ Margaret Lawrence Gallery, University of Melbourne, Australia (2015); “Post-Picasso. Contemporary Reactions,” Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain; “Selflok,” City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (both 2014); "The Golden Thread,” Australian Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Italy (solo) (2011); "The Oracle,” Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St Louis, MO (solo)(2008); "Morphic Resonance,” City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Morphic Resonance, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (solo)(2006); “Selflok,” Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, Australia (2002); “Selflok,” UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2001.)
Armanious’ works are in permanent public collections including: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania, Australia; Ipswich Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia ; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; Dakis Joannou Foundation, Athens, Greece.
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