Search in ArtWizard

Artist photo

Ian Burns


Ian Burns’ works reimagine the consumer technologies that now define many human activities. In Circle (2016), two inflated latex gloves levitate around a ring of fans programmed to turn on and off in sequence. For Burns, who lives in New York City, the gloves represent a ‘carnivalesque’ stand-in for human beings; and are used in response to both the Australian news about the treatment of asylum seekers, and police violence against African Americans in the USA.

Ian Burns machines are made up of rudimentary materials of housing construction. These three - dimensional structures generate the style and format of visual images we recognize as informational or narrative based yet reveal it as little more than the entertainment it is typically consumed as. They are investigations of the experience of visual perception and the cultural dominance of the language of screen based moving images. Topically the works are overtly political, yet the bigger question is the level to which we are desensitized to the nature of such images.

These works allow no comfort of delivered views, their activity and construction is begging for unique attention. They require some imagination to come to grips with the physical principles governing their function and so motivate further investigation of their possible purposes.



Doctor of Philosophy, 2008 / Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Master of Fine Arts, 2003 / Hunter College of CUNY, New York, NY

Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2000 / The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

Bachelor of Engineering, 1989 / Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia


EXHIBITIONS (selected):

2014 Monument - Fragment, Galerie Hilger NEXT, Vienna, Austria

          TOO MUCH IS REAL,University of Technology Sydney Gallery, Sydney, Australia (solo)

          Dark Heart. Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia

2013 Art Speaks. A way with words, i.d.e.a. Museum, Mesa, Arizona

          Afloat Asunder, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Australia (solo)

          I Love You Too, Watou Art Festival, Belgium

2012 "Only You Love Me" Liége Biennial, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Liége, Belgium

2011 "Toward a Philosophy of the Everyday" Castle Gallery, The College of New Rochelle, New York City, USA

          "Supreme Fiction" Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland (solo)

          "Australia Felix" ICE Gallery, Philadelphia, USA

          "Unguided Tours" Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

          "Going Where the Weather Suits My Clothes#x2026 a Fall of Light on Fabric" Mother's Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland

2010 "Schrapnell aus dem Märchenland" Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

2009 "Almanac: The Gift of Ann Lewis AO" Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

          "Fax" The Drawing Center, New York City, USA

          "Mixing it Up" Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College, New York City, USA

          "Fantopia - A state of impossible perfection" Mother#x2019s Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland

2008 "New Acquisitions" Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

          "Im Gegenlicht" Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden, Germany

          "Coming to You LIVE" Art in General (Bloomberg building), New York City, USA

          "The Front Room" St Louis Museum of Contemporary Art, St Louis, USA (solo project)

          "Do not try this at home" Mother#x2019s Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland (solo)

          "Domestic Appliance" Flowers East, London, England

          "Its all good" Dell Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia (solo)

          "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria

          "The Ideal Cloud" ISE Foundation, New York City, USA

          "Cover Me" Hampden Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

          "Replicant" Virgil de Voldere Gallery, New York City, USA

2007 "New York, New York, New York" Flux Factory, New York City, USA

          "New York State of Mind" Queens Museum, New York City, USA

          "The Manner of Work" Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York City, USA (solo)

          "AniMotion" Galerie F15, Oslo, Norway

          "New York State of Mind" Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

          "#x2019Til I Die" Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York City, USA

          "StereoVision" University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, USA

          "The End" Galeria Espacio Minimo, Madrid, Spain (solo)

          "Deconstructing Frank" Pianissimo, Milan, Italy

          "The Last Blue Sky" Mother#x2019s Tankstation, Dublin, Ireland

2006 Big Orbit, Buffalo, USA (solo)

          Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria (solo)

          "The Human Touch" Ernst Hilger Gallery, Salzburg, Austria

          "Re-Dis-Trans" Apex Art, New York City, USA

          "Now Voyager" Islip Art Museum, Islip, USA

          "Kiss my Object" Diesel Gallery, Brooklyn, USA

          "The Studio Visit" Exit Art, New York City, USA

2005 "Art Positions" Art Basel Miami with Spencer Brownstone Gallery, NY at Miami, USA (solo)

          T1 - Torinotriennale tremusei, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy

          Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York City, USA (solo)

          "Red, White, Blue, Spencer Brownstone Gallery" New York City, USA

          "Comix Ex-Machina" Flux Factory, LIC, USA

          "Jack (3 person show)" Cuchifritos, New York City, USA

          "No Name Exhibitons" The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, USA"Greater New York" PS1 Museum of Contemporary Art, LIC, USA

2004 "Between Interconnectedness" Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, USA

          "Light, Sound" Art amp Science, Miami Museum of Science, Miami, USA

          "In-Practice Series" The Sculpture Center, LIC, USA

          "Giganticism Gigantic" Art Space, New York City, USA

          "Capitals and Constructs" Year, Brooklyn, USA

          "Fresh" Jack Tilton Gallery, New York City, USA

Trophy Skin

Trophy Skin

  Original title of the artwork: Trophy Skin Ian Burns’ works reimagine...

Artist photo Ian Burns Australia, Newcastle, New South Wales


  Original title of the artwork: FUCKEd SYStEm Ian Burns’ works reimagine...

Artist photo Ian Burns Australia, Newcastle, New South Wales


  Original title of the artwork: Flag Ian Burns’ works reimagine...

Artist photo Ian Burns Australia, Newcastle, New South Wales
Design For FUCKEd SYStEm

Design For FUCKEd SYStEm

  Original title of the artwork: Design For FUCKEd SYStEm Ian Burns’...

Artist photo Ian Burns Australia, Newcastle, New South Wales


  Original title of the artwork: Unstable Ian Burns’ works reimagine...

Artist photo Ian Burns Australia, Newcastle, New South Wales