Sean Crossley

Born in Melbourne, 1987
Lives in Brussels

Sean makes his paintings in batches. Despite their heterogenous subject matter and painterly vocabularies, each work belongs to a discrete conceptual set, wherein individual paintings coalesce around shared formats, shared display strategies, or a shared time of production. In installation, his paintings are displayed in highly constructed systems, mapping the works against one another like data points rather than autonomous objects for contemplation.

A running concern throughout all his work is how technical painting can be brought into a productive relationship with contemporary systems of information. His work tries to shift painterly thought into other technical and professional domains, such as urban infrastructure, commerce, anthropology, and neuroscience, positing painting as an experience of alternation.

Without a signature visual style, Sean’s images instead emphasise painting’s various capacities for processing or modeling the world. His practice leverages overproduction and a diverse visual language as tools to escape the construction of coherent artistic style. Recent and past works overlap, refuse and reinforce each other, emphasizing a circular and reflexive understanding of practice and a complex engagement with the notions of progress, obsolescence, and authorship.

Running with the belief that the experience of looking at paintings demonstrates how abstraction and realism compose each other in reciprocity, Sean is interested in what practical role painting can play in modeling the phantasms of liberalism, autonomy and western modernity that possess our intensely mediated societies.

This relational way of constructing his practice has led Sean to understand painting as an economy of categories of forms and concepts whose surpluses and deficits constantly fluctuate and trade against one another. This system of exchange tests the critical elasticity and illusory possibilities of conventional painterly material, its ‘liquidity’, or its capacity to abstract, homogenize and ‘re-make’ the world.

Studies / Residencies

EOFA Residency (Campus Biotech), Geneva, CH (2021)
WIELS studio residency programme, Brussels BE (2019)
Cité de la littérature, Couvent des Récollets, Paris FR (2018)
Bachelor of Fine Arts Drawing, RMIT, Melbourne, AUS (2008/10)
Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (hku), Utrecht, NL (2009)
Diploma of Visual Arts, rmit, Melbourne, AUS (2006/7)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

— 2022
Consistencies, Harlan Levey Projects 1050, Brussels BE
— 2021
Rénovation de la Bourse, WIELS Project room, Brussels
— 2019
Recreational Painting, Harlan Levey Projects, Brussels
— 2016
The history of bleach, curated by Raffaele Gavarro,
Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome
— 2015
The poison garden @ DARE : The Dark Precursor, Orpheus Institute, Ghent (with Beau Deurwaarder)
Abstract Carbonara, HEKLA, Brussels
— 2012
Spare outline, Red Gallery, Melbourne
— 2011
Fracture/Access, bus Projects, Melbourne
— 2010
Reflex, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne
Where we could lie, First Site Gallery, Melbourne

Selected group exhibitions

— 2022
Infinite flowers (part 4), PLUS-ONE Gallery, Antwerp, BE
It’s all in your mind, Fluxum Foundation, Geneva, Switzerlaand
In collaboration with EOFA and Campus Biotech
HLP TRIANGLE summer show, Knokke, July - August 2022
Art Brussels 2022 with Harlan Levey Projects, BE
— 2021
Salon d’O, Harlan Levey Projects, Oostende, BE
100 et 1 nuits, with Antoine Orand and Gray Cake, Fluxum Foundation, Geneva CH
Emergent Veurne, with Harlan Levey Projects, Veurne BE
— 2019
Dallas Art Fair with Harlan Levey Gallery, Texas, USA
Brussels Gallery Weekend with Kunst aan zet
Espace Vanderbought, Bruxelles BE
— 2018
Harlan Levey Projects with Amelie Bouvier
@ Antwerp Art Weekend, Antwerp, Belgium
Harlan Levey Projects and Anton Kern Gallery,
The Centruum for Dallas Art Fair, Texas USA
Home Works @ The Stable, Waregem
with Marie-Fleur Lefebvre and Justyna Wierzchowiecka
Curated by Romuald Demidenko
— 2017
The Artist as Electron, SUPER-DEALS, Brussels
Curated by Dominic Wood
ARTCONTEST exhibition, supported by Fondation Bohgossian Vanderbought Building, Brussels
— 2016
Father figures are hard to find, curated by Curated by Alicia Agustín, Raoul Klooker, Markues and Vince Tillotson NGBK Kunstverein, Berlin, DE
ART 16 London with Annamarra contemporanea, UK
Acurated, Ghent BE
— 2015
#7 « FFOMECBLOT, Clovis XV, Brussels
Family matters, De la charge, Brussels
Art Athina presented by Canal 05, Athens
The reconfigured painting #1 - Canal 05, Brussels -
Curated by Raffaele Gavarro
Palourdes Cuites - Christopher Crescent, Brussels
— 2014
OpenKunst/Carte de visite Brussels, Dexia Art Centre, Brussels
— 2012
Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Griffith University Gallery, Brisbane notfair - Primal Mutations, 1000 Pound Bend, Melbourne (Curated by Ashley Crawford, Melissa Amore & Sam Leach)
— 2011
Art Melbourne, Representing alumni from rmit University, Melbourne
rmit Honours Endowment Scholarship, rmit School of Art Gallery, Melbourne
— 2010
Proposition, rmit School of Art Gallery, Melbourne
Drawing twenty ten, rmit Drawing Graduation Exhibition, rmit, Melbourne
Siemens Fine Art Scholarship Award Show, rmit Storey Hall Gallery, Melbourne
s.w.a.p, Area art space, Melbourne (Curator)
— 2009
A fine line, rmit Drawing graduation show, rmit, Melbourne Alstublieft , Das Bilt, Utrecht, Netherlands

Selected Publications/Press

— 2019
L'ART MEME 79, CFWB, Belgique
Recreation Painting, article par Benoit Dusart , 2019
Sean Crossley's recreational painting: impossible representation
Revue critique par Gilles Bechet, BRUZZ, 19/6/2019
— 2017
Eleanor Ivory Weber, Critic's ChoiceAustralian Art Collector / Issue 80, July 2017
— 2016
Focus on: Sean Crossley, Gangemi Editore publishing house Exhibiton Catalogue for "The history of bleach" March 2016
Giovanni Luigi Damiani, Review Sean Crossley @ Anna Marra for Julietmagazine, Rome, July 2016
— 2014
Catalogue for Abstract Carbonara including Interview with
Jana Haeckel and essays by Beau Deuwaarder, December 2014.
— 2012
Ashley Crawford, Undiscovered – Sean Crossley,
Australian Art Collector/ issue 60, April–June 2012
— 2011
Penny Webb, The Ticket - The best of art – Sean Crossley,
exh. write up, The Age, 27 May 2011