Louis Pratt

Black Gold

3 December — 23 December 2015

Lives and works in Sydney
Finalist in the 2015 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of NSW.

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Represented by nanda\hobbs

Social issues pervade Louis Pratt’s work. He sees his art as reflecting where we are historically, culturally and socio-politically. There is a good deal to learn from these fully realised artworks. 

Underpinning his aesthetics is a high order of coding prowess. Pratt has for his entire career been at the cutting-edge in the use of technology in his art practice. Nimbly and successfully he straddles the virtual domain—a world centred on algorithms—and the real world of material modification and representation. He bonds them in a way that satisfies a powerful aesthetic language. 

In Black Gold no less a dimension than that of the alchemist may be detected—carbon-encrusted suits, the uniform of the financier—hang with the worker’s ‘hoody’ as metaphors of social status. Nailed to the wall or free-hanging on brass-plated meat hooks, Pratt does not sanctify or deride one side or the other. 

In this exhibition we walk through the carefully positioned objects of desire created from the detritus of our lives—once discarded and seemingly useless yet now valued with their veneer of gold and the sense of nostalgia they bring. These are the transmutations for our times. 

Pratt, however, is never turgid. His core message is conveyed with an element of levity and astringent wit. The natural world is an acknowledged co-creator in this exhibition. Lumps of black coal carved from the earth’s skin for the basis of much of the work are coupled with harnessing the use of gravity, the all-pervading force of the natural world. Pratt uses gravity as a tool in the sculpting process, hanging objects while they set, sometimes at 30 degrees, sometimes at 90. In the rising and slumping quality of Dollar, Dollar, for example, he also alludes to the forces at play in our economic system.

His mature social consciousness perceives the problems—at the coal-face. As a coder, he is, however, also a problem solver. Drawing on the cornerstone of his art-training in sculpture, he sets about developing expressions of concern, of hope, of dismay, of pleasure. All are underpinned by dedication to the achievement of technical excellence and are leavened with sobering ideals that are irresistibly engaging. Pratt’s aesthetic is for our time and is about our time.

Ralph Hobbs, 2015

View PDF of printed catalogue

\ Exhibition featured works

Louis Pratt

BUSINESS AS USUAL

2015 \ Coal, fabric, pigment, resin, brass-plated knife and gold leaf \ 90x59x21cm

Louis Pratt

Black Dollar

2015 \ Abrasive material, resin and pigment \ 92x73x20cm

Louis Pratt

Black Gold

2015 \ Coal, pigment, resin & gold leaf \ Edition size: 20 \ 7.5x7.5x7.5cm

Louis Pratt

Boom, Boom

2015 \ Gold leaf print \ Edition size: 5 \ 50x50cm, framed

Louis Pratt

Coal Shelf

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin and pigment \ 34x33x24cm

Louis Pratt

Common Office Snake

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin and pigment \ 38x30x21cm

Louis Pratt

Death of a Salesman

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, gold leaf, pigment, resin and brass-plated nail \ 67x17x16cm

Louis Pratt

Dollar

2015 \ Coal, resin, gold leaf and perspex \ 57x36x5cm

Louis Pratt

Dollar, Dollar

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin and gold leaf \ 100x81x20cm

Louis Pratt

Elemental

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, pigment, resin and gold leaf \ 81x37x68

Louis Pratt

Fools Gold

2015 \ Edition size: 3 \ Coal, gold leaf, stainless steel bucket and electrical components \ 29x26x26cm

Louis Pratt

Fools Gold, Study

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf \ 6.5x11x25cm

Louis Pratt

Gold Rag

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin, gold leaf and pigment \ 13x10x10cm

Louis Pratt

Gold Rag Hanging

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin, gold leaf and pigment \ 44x11x6cm

Louis Pratt

Hung Salesman

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass-plated butcher hook and chain \ 163x31cm

Louis Pratt

King Coal

2015 \ Coal, resin, fibreglass and steel \ 172x101x119 cm

Louis Pratt

Mine

2015 \ Gold leaf print \ Edition size: 5 \ 50x50cm, framed

Louis Pratt

Oil Rag

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin and pigment \ 46x19x8cm

Louis Pratt

Oil Rag 2

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin and pigment \ 13x16x6cm

Louis Pratt

Pinned Worker

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass-plated nails \ 109x56x10cm

Louis Pratt

Protest

2015 \ Gold leaf print \ Edition size: 5 \ 50x50cm, framed

Louis Pratt

Retirement

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass-plated nail \ 72x12cm

Louis Pratt

Rising Elemental

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin and pigment \ 42x35x42cm

Louis Pratt

Rising Elemental II

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, pigment, resin and gold leaf \ 42x35x42cm

Louis Pratt

SOL

20105 \ Coal, gold leaf and plywood \ 60.5cm diameter

Louis Pratt

SOL Last Rays of Ancient Sunlight

2015 \ Coal, gold leaf, resin and plywood \ 150cm diameter

Louis Pratt

Sack of Gold

2015 \ Coal, fabric, gold leaf, resin and pigment with brass-plated nail \ 81x24x17cm

Louis Pratt

Shelf Worker

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf \ 56x55x46cm

Louis Pratt

Ship It

2015 \ Gold leaf print \ Edition size: 5 \ 50x50cm, framed

Louis Pratt

Smiley Face

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass plated nails \ 36x38x12cm

Louis Pratt

Snake and Skull

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, pigment, resin and gold leaf \ 33x22x21cm

Louis Pratt

Someone to Blame

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass-plated butcher hook and chain \ 132x32x21cm

$4,000

Louis Pratt

Spring Water

2015 \ Coal, resin and gold leaf \ \ Edition size: 2 \ 7x12x7cm

$800

Louis Pratt

Status Quo

2015 \ Coal, pigment, resin and fabric with brass plated nails \ 82x44x7cm

SOLD

Louis Pratt

Suit and Tie

2015 \ Coal, fabric, resin, pigment and gold leaf with brass-plated nails \ 81x56x9cm

Louis Pratt

The Apple Series 666- Consumption

2015 \ Coal, gold leaf, resin \ 8x5x8cm

Louis Pratt

The Apple Series 666- Hope

2015 \ Coal, resin, gold leaf \ 7x6.5x7cm

Louis Pratt

The Apple Series- Temptation

2015 \ Coal, gold leaf, resin \ 7x6.5x7cm

Louis Pratt

The Worker

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, pigment, resin and gold leaf \ 103x45x41cm

SOLD

Louis Pratt

Worker

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf \ 158x20x7cm

$3,000

Louis Pratt

Workers T

2015 \ Coal, pigment, abrasive material, resin and fabric with brass plated nails \ 81x45x7cm

SOLD

Louis Pratt

Young Workers

2015 \ Gold leaf print \ Edition size: 5 \ 50x50cm, framed

$900

Louis Pratt

Zoo York

2015 \ Coal, fabric, flock, resin, pigment and gold leaf \ 8.5x27x20cm

$800

Louis Pratt

\ Installation image 1

Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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Louis Pratt

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\ Other exhibitions

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George Gittoes

BLACK PAINTINGS

22 May — 24 May 2017

Ben Smith

Threshold

4 May — 19 May 2017

Contact Us

to find out more about Black Gold.

Level 1 66 King Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday Or by appointment