Hany Armanious’ sculptures are deceptive: a table with a vase is, in fact, an elaborate cast of a table with a vase. Adding another layer of complexity, that’s a Picasso bust contemplating the banal domestic vase (well, actually a cast of a styrofoam copy of Picasso’s sculpture). Armanious’ subtle take on Duchamp’s readymade has earned him comparisons with Joseph Beuys, though his work also draws on a wide range of references. Noses are a particular obsession in his pavilion at the Biennale, including a strange and sinister take on Giacometti’s Le Nez.
The Egyptian-born Australian artist is representing Australia at the Venice Biennale in a pavilion curated by Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum. Work by Armanious can be found at Foxy Production in New York, Raucci/Santamaria Gallery in Naples, Roslyn Oxley 9 in Australia, and Michael Lett Gallery in New Zealand.