Richard Bell (b. 1953, Charleville, Queensland) is a member of the Kamilaroi, Kooma, Jiman and Gurang Gurang communities.
Bell grew out of a generation of Aboriginal activists and has remained committed to the politics of Aboriginal emancipation and self-determination. One of Australia’s most significant artists, Bell’s work explores the complex artistic and political problems of Western, colonial and Indigenous art production.
In 2003 he was the recipient of the Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award, establishing him as an important Australian artistic figure. Bell is represented in most major National and State collections, and has exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions at important institutions in Australia and America. In 2013 he was included in the National Gallery of Canada’s largest show of International Indigenous art, Sakàhan, and at the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2014, Bell’s solo exhibition Embassy opened at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth. In 2015, Bell was a finalist in the Archibald Prize, presented a collaborative exhibition of new work with Emory Douglas at Milani Gallery, and exhibited his major work Embassy 2013-ongoing as part of Performa 15, New York City and the 16th Jakarta Biennale, curated by Charles Esche. Bell also premiered a body of new work as part of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art’s 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane. In 2016, BELL invites… an exhibition of Bell and work by friends and collaborators opened at the Stedelijk Museum SMBA, Amsterdam. Bell also presented Embassy as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney, curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, and premiered a new sculptural commission in Sonsbeek 2016 at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, Netherlands. In 2017, EMBASSY travelled to e-Flux, New York City, in the Toxic Assets exhibition, and the Indigenous New York, Artists’ Perspectives program curated by Alan Michelson at the New School. In 2018, Bell won in the fourth iteration of the biennial painting award, The Gold Award.
Bell lives and works in Brisbane, Australia.