Gordon Bennett’s art tackles and confronts the complex histories of European colonisation and the narratives of Western art history. His suite of soft ground etchings directly reference the early twentieth-century Russian artist Kasimir Malevich’s painting Black Square of 1915; and the French artist Yves Klein’s passion for the colour ultramarine blue. Historically, Malevich’s painting is considered ground zero; the complete erasure of representation to create a space of feeling and perception. In a related way, Klein’s obsession with ultramarine was an attempt to capture the boundless transcendence of the void, the skies and infinity. Depicting diving boards, angels and black squares Bennett’s etchings reference these utopian ideals, questioning whether it is possible to leap into these so-called essences of Western art history after more than 200 years of dispossession.


  • Title: Through the void (Diving board)
  • Creator: Gordon Bennett
  • Date: 1993
  • Type: Etching
  • Rights: Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by the artist, 2013
  • Medium: soft ground etching, hand watercoloured
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Link: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • Exhibition history: Taking it all away: MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2014
  • Dimensions: H 60.5 W 40cm
  • Died: 2014
  • Born: 1955
  • Artist: Gordon Bennett

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