Ian Strange is a transdisciplinary artist whose work explores architecture, space, and the home. His practice includes multifaceted collaborative community-based projects, architectural interventions, and exhibitions resulting in photography, sculpture, installation, site-specific works, film, documentary works, and exhibitions. His studio practice includes painting and drawing, as well as ongoing research and archival projects.
Strange is best known for his ongoing series of suburban architectural interventions, film, and photographic works that subvert the archetypal domestic home. These works and exhibitions have been created in the United States (‘SUBURBAN’ 2011–13); post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand (‘FINAL ACT’, 2013); Western Australia and Victoria, Australia (‘SHADOW’, 2015) (‘OPEN HOME’, 2017); Katowice, Poland (‘ZŁOTY’, 2016); and in the United States throughout Ohio’s rust-belt region, (‘ISLAND’, 2015–18). Strange’s practice has resulted in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Canterbury Museum, FORM Gallery, RMIT University, Standard Practice NYC, Cockatoo Island’s Turbine Hall, the Fremantle Arts Centre, Moore Contemporary, and as a part of the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart at the Art Gallery of South Australia (‘LANDED’, 2014). Strange’s publication ISLAND (2017), based on the eponymous site-specific sculptural work, won the Bronze Medal for the New South Wales State Print Awards 2018. In 2020, John Curtin Gallery exhibited ‘SUBURBAN INTERVENTIONS 2008 – 2020’, a comprehensive mid-career survey that included all Strange’s aforementioned film and photographic works, archival material from past projects, as well as a deep dive into the artist’s creative process.
In 2019 Strange expanded his practice to include large-scale light-based works, as he was invited by the Lyon Foundation to create a significant installation work entitled ‘LIGHT INTERSECTION’ for Enter, the inaugural exhibition at the Lyon Housemuseum’s new gallery. In June 2021, Strange was commissioned by the Sydney City Council to create ‘LIGHT INTERSECTION 2’, a major light-based architectural intervention within the city.
Strange maintains several ongoing collaborative works and projects. These include: ‘TRACES’, (2016–2021) a collaboration with contemporary dance company Chunky Move and their creative director Anouk Van Dijk; ongoing collaborations with designer and artist Virgil Abloh, including major sculpture commissions for Off-White Melbourne, Sydney, and New York; as well as ‘345 Franklin’ (2016), a collaborative work with Detroit-based architect and artist Catie Newell and SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In addition to these projects and collaborations, Strange maintains an active studio-based research and development practice. This includes a 2017–2019 archival and research project commissioned by the State Library of Queensland and the Asia Pacific Design Library, working with the State Library’s Frank Corley archive to create research, paintings, drawings, exhibition collateral, and a handbound artist book inducted into the Library’s permanent collection. In 2017 he also developed a pilot vertical studio program with RMIT University to explore new avenues of artist/university collaboration and forms of transdisciplinary studio practice. Strange currently operates as the Guest Artistic Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, actively developing new research and projects with the museum.
Strange’s drawings, paintings, publications, and sculptures have been exhibited extensively in spaces such as Whitewall Galleries, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, ThinkSpace, MCA, The Queensland State Library, Allouche Gallery, Standard Practice Gallery, Strychnin Gallery Berlin, Fremantle Arts Centre, as well as at arts festivals including Underbelly, PUBLIC, NuArt, Auckland Festival of Photography, and SPRING/BREAK.
He has been featured in numerous publications and journals including: The Politics of Public Space vol. 1 & 2 (2020); The Sydney Morning Herald (2020); Assemble Papers (2020); Architecture AU (2019); Grazia (2018); The Saturday Paper (2018); Hypebeast Magazine (2018); Street to Studio (2018); Art Almanac (2017); Vice (2017); The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti (2017); Artist Profile (2017), Imagine Architecture (2014), Dazed and Confused (2014), and Hyperallergic (2013), among others. His work sits in private and public collections including: the National Gallery of Victoria; Art Gallery of South Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Canterbury Museum State Library Victoria, State Library of Queensland, John Curtin University, NGA Research Library & Archives; and the Asia Pacific Design Library.
In 2017, ABCTV released HOME: The Art of Ian Strange, a 6-part documentary series looking at Strange’s career and work to date. Strange has spoken and lectured widely about his practice, including at the Parsons School of Design (2014), Columbia College Chicago (2017), TEDxSydney (2018), RMIT University (2019), and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (2020).
Strange operates between his studio in Melbourne, Australia, and Brooklyn, New York. He is currently serving as the Guest Artistic Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.