John Spiteri

John Spiteri

John Spiteri (b.1967, Sydney) has been making paintings, sculptures and videos since the early 1990s. Traversing the distances (great or small) between figuration and abstraction, his practice has seen a gradual shift towards non-representational painting on canvas, linen and glass. Recently, these abstract terrains have been populated by vague figures. Implementing a full index of painterly gestures, and utilising a range of tools and processes, Spiteri’s work is an ongoing, personal experiment that unpacks the many possibilities of painting production. Spiteri’s compulsive and inventive mark-making aims to preserve the uncertainty of material outcomes, which act unpredictably in his highly idiosyncratic compositions. The tentative quality of Spiteri’s paintings activates a deep sense of discovery. The surface—layered, stripped and embellished—acquires meaning in a similarly progressive manner. Ambiguous compositions and their fictional titles revel in the slipperiness of reality.

John Spiteri completed a Master of Fine Arts at UNSW College of Fine Arts in 2001 and studied at Goldsmiths College, London in 1996 and 2002. Recent notable exhibitions include Painting. More painting (2017), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; Learning to Leave (2014), VCA Gallery, Melbourne; There’s no Time (2011), The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne; Negotiating this world (2013), The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Daydream Believers (2012), Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. Spiteri's work has also been included in the Liverpool and Gwangju biennials. His work is held in major public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victory (NGV), Melbourne; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney; and Monash University Gallery, Melbourne.

Selected works

    Broken Bongo

    John Spiteri

    Broken Bongo 2018

    Modesty Curtain

    John Spiteri

    Modesty Curtain 2018

    Ancient Weddings

    John Spiteri

    Ancient Weddings 2019

    Small Amusements

    John Spiteri

    Small Amusements 2017

    Forestry Commission

    John Spiteri

    Forestry Commission 2015

    Gold digger

    John Spiteri

    Gold digger 2017


  • Group Show 46

    Group Show 46

    John ArmlederMatthys GerberChristopher HanrahanLucina LaneNicola SmithJohn SpiteriKoji RyuiOliver Wagner

    5 February - March 6, 2021

  • Chaperone


    Koji RyuiJohn Spiteri

    17 October - November 16, 2019

  • Silver Jubilee

    Silver Jubilee

    Julie FragarMatthys GerberTodd McMillanChristopher HanrahanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheJohn NixonElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithJohn SpiteriBrendan Van Hek

    2 May - June 15, 2019

  • India before Humans

    John Spiteri

    India before Humans

    8 February - March 3, 2018

  • little league

    little league

    Matt HinkleyJohn NixonJulie FragarJonny NiescheJohn SpiteriJohn NicholsonKoji RyuiMaria CruzGemma SmithHuseyin SamiTodd McMillanJan van der Ploeg

    19 January - February 4, 2017

  • Trophy Wife

    John Spiteri

    Trophy Wife

    4 - February 27, 2016

  • Faceless Men

    John Spiteri

    Faceless Men

    11 July - August 2, 2014

  • 20 200

    20 200

    Hany ArmaniousMatthys GerberJohn NixonMikala DwyerMaria CruzAnne-Marie MayA.D.S. Donaldson & Andreas ExnerSylvie FleuryKerrie PolinessJohn ArmlederOlivier MossetAndreas Reiter RaabeGail HastingsTony SchwensenPaul SaintGerold MillerDiena GeorgettiMelinda HarperRuark LewisJohn SpiteriJan van der PloegJulia GormanJames LynchDavid GriggsElizabeth NewmanRobert PulieSimon BarneyPeter WüthrichTim SilverMary TeagueHuseyin SamiRachel ScottOscar YanezElizabeth PulieStephen BramRose NolanKoji RyuiGemma SmithSimon DennyMatt HinkleyJohn NicholsonChristopher HanrahanJulie FragarJustin TrendallMoya McKennaRon AdamsSandra SeligJamie NorthTodd McMillanJonathan ZawadaJustene Williams

    13 March - April 17, 2014

  • Mascara Memories

    John Spiteri

    Mascara Memories

    18 July - August 10, 2013

  • Paint a Rumour

    John Spiteri

    Paint a Rumour

    26 February - March 21, 2009

  • New Moon

    New Moon

    Julie FragarChristopher HanrahanMatt HinkleyElizabeth PulieHuseyin SamiJohn SpiteriGemma SmithJustin TrendallJonathan Zawada

    7 March - April 12, 2008

  • Taster of Tastes

    John Spiteri

    Taster of Tastes

    2 - February 24, 2007

  • we're open

    we're open

    Simon BarneyStephen BramMarco FusinatoMatthys GerberKatharina GrosseReuben KeehanJohn NixonRose NolanElizabeth PulieAndreas Reiter RaabeKoji RyuiGemma SmithJohn Spiteri

    6 - September 30, 2006

  • John Spiteri

    John Spiteri

    2 - May 26, 2001