Ronnie van Hout 'Quasi'

Ronnie van Hout is a bold and playful multimedia artist whose aesthetic reflects an ongoing engagement with the uncanny. Having honed a distinctive style referred to as ‘existential absurdism’, van Hout’s sculptural installations, videos and text works evoke constructed worlds that are simultaneously humorous, unsettling and nostalgic. Throughout his career, the artist has treated his own body as subject and object, using moulds and resin to create various doppelgangers that play with ideas of the self, while avoiding self-portraiture or narcissism. Many of his works explore a fascination with the figure of the ‘outsider’ ­– aliens, robots, gurus and cult leaders – interrogating the psychology of uneven power relationships while setting up situations in which the audience’s gaze is returned.

Having exhibited regularly since the 1980s, van Hout also played in a Black Sabbath-inspired band, Into the Void, on which a documentary of the same name is based. Van Hout’s work has been the subject of three major survey exhibitions, No one is watching you at Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne (2018); I’ve abandoned me, presented and toured by Dunedin Public Art Gallery, (2003-2005), and its sequel Who goes there, at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu (2009). He has been included in a number of major institutional exhibitions, including The National: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017); and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria (2013). Van Hout’s work is held in all major public collections in New Zealand and Australia.