Ken Unsworth


1931  Australia


Ken Unsworth was born in Melbourne in 1931. He studied at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Teachers College, and the National Art School, Sydney. He has held several teaching positions, including Lecturer in Sculpture, Sydney College of Advanced Education. Unsworth has had numerous solo exhibitions, in Australia and overseas, including a major survey exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1998. His works have been included in the Mildura Sculpture Triennial, 1973 and 1978; the Australian Sculpture Triennial, Melbourne, 1981, 1984 and 1993; Australian Perspecta, Sydney, 1981, 1985, 1987 and 1988; and the Biennale of Sydney, 1976, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990 and 2000. He has also participated in major international exhibitions including the Paris Biennale, 1985; Magiciens de la Terre, Paris, 1989; and the Biennale of Istanbul, Turkey, 1995. In 1978 Unsworth represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. Unsworth has received numerous awards including the Bi-centenary Sculpture Competition


1950 University of Melbourne and Melbourne Teachers College
1962 National Art School, Sydney. Closely associated with John Coburn, John Passmore,
Godfrey Miller and Peter Lavery, obtained T.S.T.C. Melbourne and A.S.T.C. Diploma of Art, Sydney.


Selected Individual Exhibitions
1975 Five Secular Settings for sculpture as Ritual & Burial Piece, performance, Institute of
Contemporary Art, Sydney
1977 Face to Face, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Sydney
1978 Project 28: Ken Unsworth, Art Gallery of NSW Sydney
1979 Myth, Narration, Structure, Australian Embassy, Paris
1980 Drawings, Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
1981 Installation, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Sydney
1982 The Waiting Room, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
1983 Sculpture Australia: Ken Unsworth, National Art Gallery, New Zealand
1985 Recent Painting & Sculpture, Heide Park & Art Gallery, Melbourne
1987 Temperatur (five installations), D.A.A.D. Galerie, Berlin, Germany
1989 Song for Henning, installation, Royal Danis Academy of Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark
1991 Self and Environment, Galerie Lunami, Tokyo, Japan
Litost, City Gallery, Melbourne
1993 Australian Rhino, Kunst Gallery, Sydney
1995 Fly by Night, Ruine der Kuenste, Berlin, Germany
1997 So you shall reap, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
1998 Survey - Ken Unsworth, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2002 Distracted, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2003 The Art of Flowers � Survey 1973 � 2003, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2004 Always look on the light Side � The first Book, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2005 Drawings � 5 Decades, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
Slow Reaction, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney

Selected Group Exhibitions
1973 Mildura Sculpturescape Exhibiton, Mildura, Victoria
1976 Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1978 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Mildura Sculpturescape Exhibition, Mildura, Victoria
1981 First Australian Sculpture Triennial, La Trobe University, Melbourne
Australian Perspecta 1981, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Construction in Process, Lodz, Poland
1982 Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1983 Presence & Absence, Art Gallery of WA, Perth
Attitude to Drawing, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
Continuum '83, Kobayashi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Australia, Another Continent, The Dream & The Real, Museum of Modern Art, Paris, France
1984 An Australian Accent, P.S.1 New York, Corcoran Gallery, Washington
Australian Drawings, Govatt-Brewster Gallery, New Zealand
2nd Australian Sculpture Triennial National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1985 13th Paris Biennale, Grande Halle, Porte de la Villette, Paris, France
Fuenf Kuenstler von dem fuenften Kontinent, D.A.A.D. Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Zeugenhand auf eine Biennale des Friedens, Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany
Perspecta, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1986 Artware, Congress Centrum, Hanover, Germany
33 Men Painters (The Male Sensibility), Heide Park & Art Gallery, Melbourne
Biennale of Sydney, Pier 2/3, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1987 Zeitberliner, Institut fur Kulturaustausch, Stuttgart, Germany
Emotope, Kunsthaus, Berlin, Germany
Perspecta '87, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1988 Edge to Edge, Contemporary Australian Art to Japan, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
Hara Museum Tokyo, Nagoya City of Art Museum and Hokkaido Museum of Contemporary
Art, Sapporo, Japan
Australian Bicentenial Perspecta, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney and Art Gallery of Western
Australia, Perth
Art at the Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea
Balkon mit Faecher, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, Germany
The Australian Art Exhibition, Kunstverein, Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Germany
1989 Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Balkon mit Faecher, Dumont Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany
1990 Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Redevelopment, Six artists at Bond Store 4, Sydney
1991 Construction in Process, Lodz, Poland
Off the Wall in the Air, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne
1992 Head Through the Wall, Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
Classical Modernism: The George Bell Circle, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Stranger in Paradise, Contemporary Australian Art to Korea, National Museum of
Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea
1993 Luminaries, Monash University, Melbourne
Confrontations, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
Construction in Process, My Home is Your Home, Lodz, Poland
Inner Space, Fifth Australian Sculpture Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1994 Off and On, On and Off - 25 years of Performance Art, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
1995 Through a Glass Darkly, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
4th Biennale of Istanbul, Turkey
1996 Spirit and Place, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1997 Contempora 5, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Artists in the House, Elizabeth Bay House, Sydney
Body Art, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1998 Telling Tales, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
1999 Chronos und Kairos, Museum Fridericanium, Kassel, Germany
2000 Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2001 Sculpture Prize and Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Sculpture by the Sea (invitation), Bondi, Sydney
2002 One Metre X One Metre, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2004 Melbourne Art Fair, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2006 Melbourne Art Fair, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
2007 Gallery Artists, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney


Public Collections
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Artists' Museum, Lodz, Poland
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
City Art Gallery, Wollongong, NSW
Darling Harbour Authority, Sydney
Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
Kroeller-Moeller, Otterlo, Holland
Kuringai College of Advanced Education, Sydney, NSW
Macquarie Bank, Sydney
Museum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
National Capital Development Commission, Canberra, ACT
National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Australia
Olympic Park, Seoul, Korea
Statens Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Queensland Art Gallery


Tommaso Trini, Data, No.26, Milan, 1977
Elwyn Lynn, Letter from Australia, Art International, Vol.XII5, 6, 1978
Eneide Mignacca, Notes on Post War Sydney Sculpture, Aspect '78, Art and Literature, July 1978
Paul McGillick, The Performance Art of Ken Unsworth, ICA Magazine, No.9, January 1978
Henry Martin, The Venice Biennale Back to Nature, Art International, Vol.XXII/6, 1978
Milton Gendel, Art & Nature at the Biennale, Art in America, September 1978
Robert Hughes, It's Biennale Time Again, Time Magazine, July 1978
Graeme Sturgeon, The Development of Australian Sculpture, Thames & Hudson, 1978
Pierre Restany, Australia: A Multiple Reality, Domus 596, Iuglio, 1979
Ken Scarlett, Australian Sculptors, Nelson Australia Pty Ltd, 1980
Pierre Restany, Advance Australia Fair, D'Ars No.92, Milan, 1980
Paul McGillick, Ken Unsworth: Some Recent Work, Aspect Vol.5, No.4, 1981
Ken Unsworth, Invitation to Lodz in Konstruckja W. Procesie-post exhibition documentation, New
Hampshire, Thousand Secretaries Press, 1981
Jonathan Watkins, In Concert by Ken Unsworth, Presence & Absence, Art Gallery of Western
Australia, 1983
Paul McGillick, Ken Unsworth, Catalogue National Gallery of Wellington, 1983
Peter Haynes, Act 3, Canberra Performance Art, Australian Art Review, 1984
Jill Montgomery, The French Discovery of 1983, Art & Text, No.12 & 13, 1984
Eric Gibson, An Australian Accent, The New Criterion, September 1984
Daniel Thomas, Contemporary Artists, St Martins Press, New York
Min Armour, Catalogue Notes, Recent Paintings and Sculptures, Heide Park and Art Gallery, 1985
David Galloway, Kunst und Elektonik, Econ Verlag Dusseldorf, 1987
Ken Unsworth, Contemporary Artists, St Martins Press, New York, 1987
Elwyn Lynn, Zeichnugen aus Deutschland, Temperature Catalogue, D.A.A.D. Galerien, Berlin, 1987
Paul McGillick, The Private Art of Ken Unsworth, Australian Bicentennial Perspecta, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 1987
Thomas Wulffen, Ken Unsworth at the D.A.A.D. Galerie, Kunstforum, February 1988
Sandra B. McGrath, Unsung Olympian, The Bulletin, November 1988
Angela Bennie, Sound Light and Danger - The Dark World of Ken Unsworth, The Australian
Magazine Arts Section, February 6-7, 1988
Elwyn Lynn, Ken Unsworth - The Moralising Moralist, From Australia, Arts by Australians, Series 1,
Australia Council, 1991
Anne Marsh, Body and Self: Performance Art in Australia 1969-1992, 1993
Gregory Volk, My Home is Your Home, Art & Text No.47, January 1994
Jutta Feddersen, Soft Sculpture, Craftsmans Press, 1994
Graham Forsyth, Ken Unsworth, Art & Text, No.48, pg.69, 1994
Tony Bond, Through a Glass Darkly, Art Gallery of N.S.W., 1995
Anna Johnson, Ken Unsworth, catalogue essay in Through a Glass Darkly, Art Gallery of NSW 1995
Madeleine Coorey, Ken's Creation Blows Kisses in a Vacuum, The Australian, May 19, 1995
Angela Bennie, Exploration of the Inner Self, Sydney Morning Herald, May 19, 1995
Felicity Fenner, Chihuahuas and Currawongs: Humour and the Australian Landscape in the Recent
Work of Ken Unsworth, Art and Australia, Vol.33, No.3, pp.355-363, 1996
George Alexander, Art Imitates Death, Art Monthly, pp.10-11, 1996
Glenis Israel, Art Wise, Jacaranda Wiley Press, pp.80-81, 1996
Kelly Burke, Sculpting the Future, Sydney Morning Herald, p.12, 1997
Artists in the House, catalogue, Elizabeth Bay House, 1997
Sebastian Smee, Hang Ten, Sydney Morning Herald, Metro, June 13-19, 1997
Ken Scarlett, The Theatre of Life, Sculpture, Washington D.C., Vol.18, No.5, 1999
Victoria Hynes, Ken Unsworth, Art Gallery of NSW, World Sculpture News, New York, Winter, 1999
Anthony Bond, Possible Objects and impossible Acts, catalogue accompanying the exhibition
The Art of Flowers � Survey 1973 � 2003, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney
Anthony Bond, Ken Unsworth, art review, Art & Australia, vol. 42, no. 2. summer 2004.