Tom Polo works across painting and installation to explore how conversation, gesture and emotional exchange can be transformed into recordings of social interaction and the self. Polo’s practice is characterised by his distinctive style of abstracted figuration, rendered in bold, expansive fields of colour. His paintings depict partially obscured and fragmented figures – a painted index of limbs, eyes and hands – through a conceptual and physical merging of observation and imagination, to encourage sustained moments of looking and being.

Polo was a recent finalist in the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize and the National Works on Paper Prize in 2022. He was a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize, Australia’s premier prize for emerging artists (2021), and has been a finalist several times in the Sir John Sulman Art Prize (2021, 2020, 2017).

Polo was the winner of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship, presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2015); the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2014), and the Art & Australia/ Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award (2011). Significant exhibitions include the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free State, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2022); The National: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2019); Primavera 2017: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017); and Painting, More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2016). He has undertaken residencies at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; ACME Studios, London; Artspace, Sydney; and Palazzo Monti, Brescia.

Tom Polo

tricky mirror

19 November – 17 December 2022

melbourne

Tom Polo

stains, stages, strangers

7 August – 18 September 2021

melbourne

Web8

Ten year show

12 June – 10 July 2021

melbourne

Photo 7-1-21, 10 47 48 am

Quarantine Art Fair

Jon Cattapan, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Adam Lee, Dane Lovett, Nell, Jonny Niesche, Tom Polo, Reko Rennie, Gareth Sansom, Michelle Ussher, Isadora Vaughan, Yevgeniya Baras

7 January – 10 January 2021

off-site

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Tom Polo

exit strategy

4 July – 1 August 2020

melbourne

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Sidney McMahon & Tom Polo

It’s all a costume though, you see

23 November – 21 December 2019

melbourne

MAF_2

Melbourne Art Fair

Daniel Boyd, Consuelo Cavaniglia, and Tom Polo

4 July – 5 August 2018

off-site

SS

STATION, Sydney | 36 - 40 Queen Street, Woollahra

Tom Polo, Michael Staniak, Marian Tubbs

10 March – 25 March 2018

off-site

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Tom Polo

Emotional Patrol

19 August – 9 September 2017

melbourne

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Tom Polo

Recent Positions

4 June – 2 July 2016

melbourne

2015Spring1883install-012

Spring 1883, Sydney

Daniel Boyd, James Deutsher, Dane Lovett, Patrick Lundberg, Laith McGregor, TV Moore, Jonny Niesche, Tom Polo, Gareth Sansom, Esther Stewart, Ronnie van Hout, Jake Walker

10 September – 12 September 2015

off-site

Untitled-1

Tom Polo

The fool faces sideways

27 June – 18 July 2015

melbourne

Spring1883Install-056

Spring 1883, Melbourne

Tom Polo

14 August – 17 August 2014

off-site

Untitled-1

Ready Player One

Daniel Boyd, Jon Campbell, Jon Cattapan, Nadine Christensen, David Griggs, Anna Kristensen, Adam Lee, Laith McGregor, Moya McKenna, Tim McMonagle, Séraphine Pick, and Tom Polo

4 February – 8 March 2014

melbourne

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Tom Polo

Ways

26 September – 9 November 2013

melbourne

grs

Extended Operations

Fiona Lowry, Geoff Newton, Tom Polo, Lisa Radford & Tim Silver

10 July – 31 August 2013

melbourne