Posted 06/06/2014

It is with great sadness that we announce that Gordon Bennett passed away from natural causes on 3 June 2014. He will be deeply missed as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a colleague and an artist.

His sudden death comes at a time when his work was finding new audiences internationally, most recently through the Berlin Biennale (2014) and dOCUMENTA 13 (2012). Over the past thirty years he has made an invaluable contribution to Australian art and culture, bringing attention to the construction of individual and collective identity through the manipulation of ‘accepted’ historical representation.

His work examined issues of race, identity, colonial regimes of socialisation and citizenship within the globalised context. It figured prominently in critical debates about contemporary art from the late 1980s to the present.

He resisted categorisation of his work as Aboriginal art at a time when it would have been easier to acquiesce to institutional pressure, or framing by popular media. His point was to contest that all artists should be treated as equal, regardless of race or heritage. He believed that art’s real power lay in its potential to communicate directly with its receiver. These positions were rooted in his sense of humanism, based on the hope of mutual respect.

Although his loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him, some comfort can be taken that his integrity and dignity as an artist and human being will live on through his work. His family respectfully requests privacy during this difficult period. Any messages or enquires can be sent to the address below.