Apology to Road Kill: Daydream Mine Road II XXX (From Maddestmaximvs), 2007
C-Type photograph. From an edition of 5
89 x 89 cm (image); 114.5 x 114.5 cm (framed)
Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney
Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 25 November 2009, lot 7
Private collection, Melbourne
Leonard Joel Auction, Melbourne, 16 September 2014, Lot No. 112
(another example of this work) MADDESTMAXIMVS, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, 2007, cat. no. 13
MADDESTMAXIMVS: Planet & Stars Sequence, Australian Pavillion, 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy, 2009
MADDESTMAXIMVS: Planet & Stars Sequence, Australian Pavillion, 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009, exh.cat., illustrated p.7
photographic series by Gladwell pays homage to two prominent Australian anti-heroes. Directly, the title of the series and the leather garb of the helmeted figure refers to George Miller’s Mad Max series. Indirectly, though, the motorcycle helmet and barren Central Australian landscape calls to mind Sidney Nolan’s renderings of the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly. Nolan’s influence, too, can be seen in the use of Central Australia’s landscape as a source of artistic inspiration. The fusion of these renegades from Australian cultural mythology is manifested in this anonymous figure bearing the body of a dead kangaroo along a dusty road, an act of empathy in a barren and hostile setting.
Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Shaun Gladwell is one of Australia's leading artists in video and time-based media, celebrated for his explorations of site and the body in motion, the Australian landscape and popular culture. At the completion of his MFA at Sydney's College of Fine Arts, a Samstag scholarship took the artist to London where his fellowship at Goldsmith's College, University of London in 2002 backed onto a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris.
The solo exhibition Kickflipping Flaneur at Artspace, Sydney in 2000 is seen as the breakthrough moment of Gladwell's career. He featured in the Bienial de Sao Paulo Brazil, 2006 and, in 2007 was included in the Robert Storr exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale, Think with the senses, feel with the mind - art in the present tense. This is remembered as a paradigm shift for the reception of video art by a contemporary Australian artist; a defining moment that saw a single-channel video with sound seriously regarded as a seminal work of its time and a new addition to the Australian canon. Gladwell further exhibited in the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009. That year he also travelled to Afghanistan as Australia's official war artist.
In 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, staged the major solo exhibition Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow, Gladwell's largest solo exhibition to date. His most recent innovations have been with virtual reality, including the work Orbital Vanitas (2017) which placed viewers inside a skull orbiting the Earth. Orbital Vanitas premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2017) and was selected for the Cannes Film Festival (2017).