Jordan Marani

Jordan Marani makes darkly humorous work involving personal narratives, cynical observations of the human condition and explorations of family, loss and the past. Through painting and sculpture employing bright colour, humour and word play, he explores the funny side of the dark side. 

Marani makes art of of the everyday, reflecting his immediate surroundings and community. His work is drawn from such crude and everyday references as suburban life, popular culture, booze, football, the art world and family history. Early works used materials from scavenged, recycled and reclaimed rubbish, such as paintings on boards salvaged from skips, bottletops, and food packaging, and from basic and impoverished materials, such as cardboard and house paint. Recent works continue to utilise humble materials, such as bed sheets and handkerchiefs, alongside more formal and polished works on board and canvas. Marani blends lowbrow culture with high art, with an insistence on the value of the working class and crass. 

Over the last 30 years Marani’s work has been littered with profanity drawn from the ugly vernacular of Australian politics and the pub. He started creating text and four-letter word paintings in the late 1980s, with a series of ‘Shit Paintings’, and has been exploring word play, profanity and the joys of four-letter words ever since. His multi-faceted practice includes figurative and narrative-driven paintings alongside ongoing series of text-paintings, installation and found-object sculptures.

From 2008-2011 Jordan was co-founder and director of Hell Gallery. His work has been exhibited at Tate Modern, the National Gallery of Victoria, NADA New York, the Spinnerei Leipzig, Shepparton Art Museum, Static Gallery Liverpool, Switchback Gallery, 200 Gertrude Street, Daine Singer, Neon Parc, Utopian Slumps, Ryan Renshaw, Ray Hughes Gallery, Powell Street Gallery and at ARIs including Death Be Kind, Inflight, Seventh, and West Space. 

Recent projects include publication of his first book, EGGS, which launched at the National Gallery of Victoria (2016), solo exhibitions at Daine Singer (2018 and 2016) and at Ararat Regional Art Museum (2016), a public artwork for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2016), a residency at the Leipzig International Art Programme in Germany (2017) and group exhibitions in Leipzig and New York (2018). His work is held in the collections of the Yarra City Council, Moreland City Council, LIA Leipzig, and Ararat Regional Art Gallery.

View Jordan Marani’s most recent exhibition >>


Jordan Marani

Education/ Professional
1988 – 1990    Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), Victoria College, Prahran
2008 – 2011    Founder/ Co-director, Hell Gallery, Melbourne >>

Solo exhibitions
2019 (forthcoming) ResArtis, Melbourne
2018  Autobiography, Daine Singer, Melbourne
2016  SHIT Happens, Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Ararat
2016  Plonk, Daine Singer, Melbourne
2015  BULLSHITDrawing Wall commission, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton
2014  Colourful Language: The Charm Offensive, Daine Singer, Melbourne
2013  Idiot as an Artist, West Space, Melbourne >>
2013  Xmas is a Four-Letter Word, Daine Singer, Melbourne
2011  Ten Pound Poms and Other Stories, Static Gallery, Liverpool
2011  The Rest is Silence, Death Be Kind Gallery, Melbourne (with Jess Johnson)
2010  Who cut the cheese? Two giants of contemporary art talk frankly of monumental tasks, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne (with Jess Johnson)
2009  Home is Where My Hell Is, Gippsland Centre for Art and Design (with Jess Johnson)
2009 Hell is Other People, Inflight Gallery, Hobart (with Jess Johnson)
2009  Flippin Heck, Hell Gallery, Melbourne (with Jess Johnson)
2008  Hellraiser: The Directors Cut, Hell Gallery, Melbourne (with Jess Johnson)
2007  This is Not a Love Schlong, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne (with Jess Johnson)
2001  Recent Works by Jordan Marani, Yelza, Melbourne
1996  For Your **** Pleasure, West Space, Melbourne
1994  Liquid Assets, Saratoga Night Club, Melbourne
1993  Binge, Studio 12, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
1992  Head, Studio 12, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne

Group exhibitions
2018  Bayside Contemporary Art Price, Bayside Art Gallery, Melbourne
2018 Incinerator Art Award, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne
2018 Noel Counihan Commemorative Art Award, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2018 Sedimente, Spinnerei Werkshau/ LIA Leipzig, Germany
2018  NADA New York, USA
2018  Winter Rundgang, LIA Leipzig, Germany
2017  Affects on Absorption, LIA Leipzig, Germany
2017  Open House, True Estate, Melbourne
2017  Icon, Richmond Town Hall, Melbourne
2017  Restless, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne
2017  Bundoora Homestead, Melbourne
2016  ACCA in the City, public art, ACCA, Melbourne
2016  Invited, Spinnerei Leipzig, Germany
2016  Is this thing on? Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2015  Science Friction, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2015  Spring 1883, The Establishment, Sydney
2015  The 3rd Bus Projects Editions, Bus Projects, Melbourne
2014   I Probably Don’t Like You, curated by Nick Devlin and Fergus Binns, The Alderman, Melbourne
2014  Faux Museum, c3, Melbourne
2014  Spring 1883 Art Fair, Melbourne
2014  Melbourne Art Fair Pop-Up, curated by Barry Keldoulis, Melbourne Art Fair at Cutler & Co, Melbourne
2014  No Werk, curated by Ace Wagstaff, Trocadero, Melbourne
2014  Industrial Estate, curated by Kym Maxwell, Melbourne
2014  Moreland Summer Show, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2013  Drunk vs. Stoned III, curated by Geoff Newton, Neon Parc, Melbourne
2012  Deakin Small Sculpture Prize, Finalist, Deakin University Gallery, Victoria
2010  No Soul For Sale, Tate Modern, London
2010   Harrell Fletcher: The Sound We Make Together, National Gallery of Victoria
2010   NotFair, Block Projects, Melbourne
2010  The Memorial, Death Be Kind Gallery, Melbourne
2009  Lorne Sculpture Exhibition, Lorne
2008  Honk If You Love Contemporary Art, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane
2008  Flux Capacitor, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne
2008  Dirty Popsicles, Peloton Gallery, Sydney
2008   Informal Rituals, TCB Gallery, Melbourne
2007  Cut n’ Paste, Peloton Gallery, Sydney
2000 – 2006  Helen Gory Gallery, Artists Garden, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Victoria Park Gallery
1990s  National Gallery of Victoria, George Paton Gallery, West Space, 200 Gertrude Street, Geelong Regional Art Gallery, Linden Gallery, Monash Gallery of Art, Tolarno Gallery, Deutscher Gallery, Ray Hughes Gallery

2019 Leipzig International Art Programme, Germany
2017  Leipzig International Art Programme, Germany
2011  Australia Council Liverpool Residency
1991-1993  Gertrude Street Studios

LIA, Leipzig
Yarra City Council
Moreland City Council
Ararat Regional Art Gallery

2018  Laura Couttie, 'Autobiography', catalogue essay, Daine Singer, 2018
2017  David Wlazlo, 'Restless at VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery', Memo Review, 2018 >>
2016  Sarah Werkmeister, 'Jordan Marani paints four-letter words', Art Guide, Australia >>
2016  Claire Capel-Stanley, 'Jordan Marani: Shit Happens' Art Almanac, Australia >>
2014  Roger Taylor, State of the Arts, PBS FM, 25 November 2014
2014  Steven Rendall, ‘Painting, writing, colour and profanity’, catalogue essay, Daine Singer, 2014
2014  Madeleine Dore, ‘Pop-ups level the playing field’, ArtsHub, 4 November 2014 >>
2014  Dan Rule, ‘Furniture makes way for fine arts in Heidelberg West factory exhibition Industrial Estate’, The Age, 8 January 2014, p.20 >>
2013  Robert Nelson, ‘A year of visual-arts invention from here and afar’, The Age, 27 December 2013>>
2013  Jonathan Nichols, ‘Xmas: Jordan Marani’, Stamm, October 2013 >>
2013  Dan Rule, ‘Xmas is a Four-Letter Word’, The Age, 7 September 2013 >>
2013  Dylan Rainforth, ‘Take a larrikin tour’, The Age, 4 September 2013 >>
2013  Ace Wagstaff, Smartarts, RRR FM, 12 September 2013 >>
2013  Roger Taylor, State of the Arts, PBS FM, 7 September 2013
2013  Nat Thomas, ‘Dodging a Bullet and Going Straight to Hell’, catalogue essay, Xmas is a Four-Letter Word, Daine Singer, Melbourne
2013  ‘Jordan Marani: Xmas is a Four-Letter Word’, The Thousands, 31 August 2013 >>
2013  Xmas is a Four-Letter Word, catalogue, Daine Singer, Melbourne >>
2013  Meg Watson, Concrete Playground >>
2010  ‘Hell Gallery Headed for London‘, Stateline Victoria, ABC >>
2010  Art Nation, ABC TV, 9/5/2010; 7.30 Report, ABC TV, 1 May 2010 >>