Ian Strange is a transdisciplinary artist whose work explores architecture, space, and the home. His practice includes collaborative community-based projects, architectural interventions, and exhibitions resulting in photography, film, sculpture, installation, site-specific works, research, and documentary works. His studio practice includes painting and drawing, as well as ongoing research and archival projects. Additionally, he has created collaborative projects with other practitioners and institutions in the fields of dance, music, performance, and film.
Strange is best known for his ongoing series of architectural interventions, film, and photographic works that subvert the archetypal domestic home. These works and exhibitions have been created in the United States (‘SUBURBAN’ 2011–13); post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand (‘FINAL ACT’, 2013); Western Australia and Victoria, Australia (‘SHADOW’, 2015) (‘TARGET’, 2017) (‘DALISON’, 2022); Katowice, Poland (‘ZŁOTY’, 2015); and in the United States throughout Ohio’s rust-belt region, (‘ISLAND’, 2015–17) ('PENUMBRA', 2022). Strange’s practice has resulted in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Canterbury Museum, FORM Gallery, RMIT University, UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art, Standard Practice NYC, John Curtin Gallery, Cockatoo Island’s Turbine Hall, FotoFocus Biennial, the Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC), Moore Contemporary, and as a part of the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art (‘LANDED’, 2014) at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
These bodies of work have included a number of collaborative projects: ‘DALISON’ (2022), a site-based installation, film, and sound work with US-based musician Trevor Powers (Youth Lagoon); a collaborative series of works and installations with designer and artist Virgil Abloh, including major sculpture commissions for Off-White Melbourne, Sydney, and New York (‘Nothing is Finished’, 2017); ‘TRACES’, (2017–2020) a collaboration with contemporary dance company Chunky Move and their creative director, choreographer Anouk Van Dijk; and ‘345 Franklin’ (2016), a collaborative architectural intervention work with Detroit-based architect and artist Catie Newell and SiTE:LAB for ArtPrize 2016, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.
In 2019 Strange began a series of site-specific light installations with not-for-profit organization OFFICE, as he was invited by the Lyon Foundation to create ‘LIGHT INTERSECTIONS’ (2019) for 'Enter', the inaugural exhibition at the Lyon Housemuseum’s new galleries. In 2021, Strange created ‘LIGHT INTERSECTIONS II’ (2021), a major light-based architectural intervention in the city of Sydney, Australia, commissioned for the city's 2021 ‘Art and About’ public art program.
Between 2020 and 2021 Strange served as the Guest Artistic Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia—Western Australia’s largest public art museum.
In 2020, John Curtin Gallery exhibited ‘SUBURBAN INTERVENTIONS 2008 – 2020’, a comprehensive mid-career survey that included all Strange’s aforementioned film and photographic works, archival material from past projects, as well as offering a deep dive into Strange’s creative process. In 2022 the FotoFocus Biennial exhibited 'Disturbed Home', a survey exhibition of Strange's works at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, curated by FotoFocus artistic director, Kevin Moore.
In 2022, publishing house Damiani Editore released ‘Disturbed Home’, the first comprehensive monograph of Strange’s work to date, including scholarly essays by FotoFocus artistic director and curator Kevin Moore and Britt Salvesen, curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
In 2022, Strange premiered 'PENUMBRA' (2022), a significant new commission for the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial. He released ‘TRACES’, (2017–2020), created in collaboration with contemporary dance company Chunky Move and Dutch choreographer Anouk Van Dijk, and opened a series of exhibitions and screenings of the work ‘DALISON’ (2022), including at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.
In addition to these projects and collaborations, Strange maintains an active studio-based research and development practice. This includes a 2017–2019 archival and research project ('The Corley Archive') commissioned by the State Library of Queensland and the Asia Pacific Design Library, working with the State Library’s Corley photographic archive. In 2017 he also developed a pilot vertical studio program with RMIT University to explore new avenues of artist/university collaboration and transdisciplinary studio practice.
Strange’s drawings, paintings, publications, and sculptures have been exhibited globally in spaces such as Whitewall Galleries, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, ThinkSpace, MCA, The Lyon Housemusem, The Queensland State Library, Allouche Gallery, Standard Practice Gallery, Strychnin Gallery Berlin, Fremantle Arts Centre, as well as at arts festivals including Underbelly, PUBLIC, NuArt, Auckland Festival of Photography, and SPRING/BREAK.
Strange has spoken and lectured widely about his practice, including at Harvard Graduate School of Design (2020), RMIT University (2019), TEDxSydney (2018), Columbia College Chicago (2017), and Parsons School of Design (2014), among others.
In 2017, ABCTV released HOME: The Art of Ian Strange, a 6-part documentary series looking at Strange’s career and work to date. He has been featured in numerous publications and journals including: ICON (2022); Document Journal (2022); The Politics of Public Space vol. 1 & 2 (2020); ABC Radio National (2022, 2020); Assemble Papers (2020); Architecture AU (2019); Grazia (2018); The Saturday Paper (2018, 2022); Hypebeast Magazine (2018); Street to Studio (2018); Art Almanac (2017); Vice (2017); Artist Profile (2017), OSMOS (2014) Kerb Journal (2014), Imagine Architecture (2014), Dazed and Confused (2014), and Hyperallergic (2013), among others.
Strange's work sits in museum and institution collections including: the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA), Canterbury Museum, State Library Victoria, State Library of Queensland, FotoFocus, John Curtin University, City of Sydney, NGA Research Library Archives, and the Asia Pacific Design Library.