Fiona Hall has distilled decades of practice in this one work, making the acquisition of All the King’s Men one of our most significant contemporary art acquisitions to date.
Nick Mitzevich

All the King’s Men by Fiona Hall is the Masterwork in Hall’s 2015 Venice Biennale exhibition Wrong Way Time. Made for the new Australian Pavilion in Venice, this installation includes 20 sculptures. It is an exemplary manifestation of Hall’s maverick powers of material transformation and is the culmination of decades of conceptual and material investigation.

Military uniforms bearing camouflage prints from several countries are shredded and knitted by the artist into twenty oversized heads that are suspended in space. Teeth, bones, horns and found objects adorn the mask-like heads and their ghostly, skeletal bodies. These hollow people of war and conflict represent the many who have fallen and those who are yet to fall in the name of nationhood.

Fiona Hall has shaped the course of Australian art history. Her enduring vision will help us to understand ourselves, each other and these uncertain times.

Selected for the first Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art in 1990 and for the most recent Adelaide Biennial Dark Heart, Fiona Hall is one of Australia’s most distinguished contemporary artists. Hall began her career as a photographer in the 1970s and has since expanded the field of her practice to include a range of media that focusses our attention on the plight of the natural world.

In 1997 Hall received the prestigious Contempora 5 award and in 2005, 2008 and in 2009 she was the subject of solo exhibitions held in Australia and New Zealand. She participated in the Biennale of Sydney 2010 and 2000, the Adelaide Biennial in 2002, the Auckland Triennial in 2007, the Moscow Biennale in 2010, Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany in 2012 and the 56th International Art Exhibition la Biennale de Venezia, Fiona Hall Wrong Way Time in 2015.


Leigh Robb