Sanné Mestrom

Born in the Netherlands 1979, Mestrom moved to New Zealand in 1983, and now lives and works in New South Wales.

Sanné Mestrom’s practice draws on 20th century iconic modernist works to explore the psychological, emotional and cultural significance of art historical legacies. She explores how value is accorded to objects, their visual vernaculars and how they may become substitutes for particular values or beliefs. Through replication, appropriation and disruption, her work filters historical mythologies through her own systems of reference, questioning notions of lineage, originality and influence, further altered through her experience of ‘making’.

In Mestrom’s work, minimal and abstracted forms are the building blocks of dynamic relationships of figure (body) and space (landscape). She engages a wide range of disciplines and endeavours including public art and play, architecture and the natural phenomena governing our daily lives. While her works are highly compelling visually, with their curvilinear language, they are completed by their communication with surrounding architecture and landscape, creating conversations of monumentality, permanence and precision. They require the day-to-day lived experience and presence of the viewer, communicating with body, perception, assumption and meaning, as well as the more intimate engagement of touch.

Her works are always expressive of the body: from the span of her limbs, and their range of movements, to the marks she makes across her practice in monumental sculpture to expressive preparatory drawings. She is also driven by an understanding of art’s role as a conduit for embodiment and a locator of place, of how art can bridge the built and natural environments. For the artist, sculptural surfaces provide places of refuge, rest and potential for movement and action to be fully embraced by both artist and audience alike.

Selected recent solo exhibitions include ‘Sanné Mestrom: Black Paintings’, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (2018); ‘Corrections’, Gippsland Art Gallery, Australia (2018); ‘Weeping Women’, Ian Potter Public Sculpture Commission, Monash University Museum of Art (2014); ‘The Internal Logic’, West Space, Melbourne and La Trobe Regional Gallery, Gippsland (2013); and ‘The Reclining Nude, Studio 12’, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2012); and Encounters, Art Basel Hong Kong (2017) curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor. Recent group presentations include, ‘A thousand different angles’, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery (2022); Body As Verb, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2021); ‘Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now’, NGA, Canberra (2020); ‘TarraWarra Biennial: From Will to Form’, TarraWarra Museum of Art (2018); ‘Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday’, MCA, Sydney (2016); Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award, Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria (2015).

Her work is held by the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Shepparton Art Museum, and private collections internationally. Mestrom is currently the recipient of Australia Research Council funding and has been both recipient and finalist of numerous awards, grants and prizes. She is currently Senior Lecturer (Sculpture) at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

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