Victorian artist Gareth Sansom is undeniably one of the country’s most highly regarded painters. Merging pop culture references, often filmic in origin, with intuitive and gestural mark making, Sansom rallies against his own control and consciousness in his work. He describes a desire to constantly surprise and challenge himself as an artist. As Magic Object catalogue essayist Craig Judd argues, Sansom’s densely layered canvasses in lurid colour speak to transformation – physical, psychological and material transformation. They begin as one thing but swiftly through the artist’s muscular brush and intuitive mind become another. In A universal timeless allegory (2014), a large painting that features prominently in the exhibition, figuration meets gestural abstraction, control meets chaos and narrative meets existential absurdity, creating a confection of brave colour and iconoclasm.

Gareth Sansom’s paintings are on display in Gallery 11 at the Art Gallery of South Australia during Magic Object.