Hany Armanious

Untitled, 1994
hot melt, includes 4 components

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Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Sydney since 1994

'Snake Oil', Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, March 1994, cat. 16

  • Untitled

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Hany Armanious is a sculptor renowned for his exploration of the history and integrity of art objects. His practice blurs the distinction between found objects and unique sculptures – as puts it, making “duplicates of eclectic everyday objects presented in a gallery, thereby turning them into fine art.”

Born in Egypt in 1962, Armanious emigrated as a child to Australia and began exhibiting from the early 1990s. He is known for his meticulous process of taking everyday objects, casting them and reforming them into unique resin sculptures. By destroying both the original object and the cast, and creating a final work that is familiar yet devoid of any function, Armanious suspends the space between seeing and recognition, asking audiences to think twice about the visual and material qualities of everyday objects.

In 2011, Armanious represented Australia at the 54th Venice Biennale with The Golden Thread, curated by Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA. Ahead of the exhibition, Ellegood wrote of the mystic and historical resonances within Armanious’s work:

“Armanious’s invocation of ancient forms and cultures, his embrace of a nearly alchemical transformation of one material into another, and his interest in incorporating the processes of making and displaying works of art into the sculptures themselves, underscore his desire to locate the mysterious within the mundane. By arguing that objects in our everyday life—leaf-blowers, vases, teapots, baskets, irons, window blinds, or even a cardboard Burger King crown—can carry as much visual pleasure, as much potential for beauty, as those things designed or deemed to be in the domain of aesthetics, his work is an acknowledgement that there is more to this world than meets the eye.”

Armanious has exhibited extensively in Australia, the United States and Europe. Major solo exhibitions include: The Oracle, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, St Louis, United States (2008); Morphic Resonance, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (2007); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2006); and Selflok, Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne (2002) and UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, United States (2001). His work is in major public collections in Australian and overseas collections including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, United States, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, United States.