Steven Asquith’s latest body of work embraces the contradictions of an optimistic apocalypse in response to recent global socio-economic, political events and our post-internet, 24-hour news cycle society. This dissonance is evoked by a contrast between clean lines and the rougher touch of an imprecisely wielded can of spray paint. Brushstroke interventions and grid systems are used to articulate the reckoning of contemporary issues of surveillance, drone strikes, environmental degradation and economic regression. Asquith’s gestures are decisive, precise in their chaos and inexact in their measurements, colourfully hopeful in their visions of doom.
Asquith’s Midnight Drone Lullaby continues with his abstracted exploration of the contemporary interplay between technology, society and the primordial brutality that lurks beneath these human endeavours. Within his gestural works lay the everyday misfires that characterise any activity; the rough practical outcomes of refined theoretical ideals. Devoid of figures these works bring the viewer into abstract environments, generating space for the contemplation of individual standpoints. Free of political leanings they merely hold a mirror to the viewer’s own joys and horrors amidst the impact and influence of new technologies and global perspectives.
Asquith completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT in 2000. Solo exhibitions include Ghosts of the thrill, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011; DISCOBODYBAGBODYBAGDISCO, Revolver Project Wall, Melbourne, 2011; Storm Concepts, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2010; New Paintings, Don’t Come, Melbourne, 2009; Experiencing Technical Difficulties, RMIT First Site Gallery, Melbourne, 1999. Selected group exhibitions include SUB12, Substation, Melbourne, 2012; Paul Guest Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, 2012; Funeral Songs, curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, 2012; Substation Prize, Substation, Melbourne, 2011; Signal 8, The Space, Cat St Gallery Hong Kong, 2011; Detours through Abstraction, curated by Alex Baker, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne, 2011; Sydney Story Factory, Syndicate, Sydney, 2011; Freehand: recent Australian drawing, curated by Linda Michael, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010-11; Cut ‘N’ Paste, Peleton, Sydney, 2007; Pretty Little Things, The Ship Gallery, London, 2003; First Site, Sahara, 1998. Recent collaborations include DRIPFACE with Emma Miles for GARAGE Magazine, London and published in VAULT Magazine, Melbourne, 2013; Knowing Me Knowing You with Rebecca Scibilia, Arts Project Australia, Melbourne; 2014. Asquith was a participant in an international exchange to New York in 2000 associated with the Exit Art space. He has lived and worked in New York and London and held a position at Gagosian Gallery from 2001 to 2005. He established The Ship Gallery, an artist run space in London with Dick Evans in 2003 in association with the British Arts Council and was one of the Founding Directors of Block Projects, Melbourne.