An artwork commissioned by Bendigo Art Gallery has been unveiled at the launch of the 2018 Melbourne Art Fair.
Surrender, a work comprised of two sculptures created by Melbourne based artist Ronnie van Hout will be featured at the fair, and afterwards will become part of Bendigo Art Gallery’s permanent collection.
The gallery’s director Karen Quinlan said they were “thrilled” to have partnered with the Melbourne Art Foundation on the “ambitious commission”.
“These figures, recognisable to everyone as model soldiers in the classic military pose of surrender have been transformed into a monumental scale and will tower over visitors at the entrance of the Melbourne Art Fair,” Ms Quinlan said.
“Unlike the toys on which they’re based, these soldiers are not for playing games, and certainly not to be trifled with.
“Surrender not only exemplifies the humour inherent in all of van Hout’s work, but also features Ronnie’s signature trope, the use of his own image as a comedic or ironic prop.”
Ronnie van Hout’s works are known to “tread the line between humour and the macabre”.
“Surrender is a moment where we abstain from self, a moment of giving up and letting go,” Mr van Hout said.
“This yielding of self is a state of being that interests me, and I see Surrender in context of my continuing examination of liminal existence.”
The Melbourne Art Foundation Commissions program has partnered with national institutions to offer opportunities to Australian artists to create a new work for the Melbourne Art Fair.
The Melbourne Art Fair will run from August 2-5, located within the Southbank Arts Precinct.