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Chelsea Lehmann is a painter who lives and works on Gadigal land (Sydney). Lehmann has an exhibition history spanning two decades, and has received numerous awards, grants, and international residencies. Her current work explores the representation of the human body, specifically focusing on its fragmentation and evolving meanings in the 21st century. The surfaces of Lehmann’s painting frequently employ a palimpsest of painted layers, allowing earlier traces of work to remain visible. Utilising dramatic formal contrasts and painterly gesture, Lehmann emphasises the performativity and artifice of Baroque and surrealist bodies, echoing the way Western art has traditionally grafted constructs of feminine identity onto the illusions of representation itself. Lehmann’s work offers creative interventions which ‘undo’ these constructs by imaging the the female form in conflict with painting’s weighty history and stable surfaces. Lehmann holds a PhD from UNSW Art & Design (2019).


2019                       PhD, UNSW Art & Design

2004-07              Master of Fine Arts (Research), College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales

1995-98                Bachelor of Visual Art (Hons), Adelaide Central School of Art, South Australia

1994                       Certificate, Visual Art Practice, North Adelaide School of Art, South Australia



2021                      Counter Histories (with Chris Aerfeldt, France) Praxis Artspace, Adelaide, SA

2020                     Corporealities, Home @ 735, Sydney

2020                     Persona, Flinders Street Gallery, Sydney

2018                      The Articulate Surface, UNSW Galleries, Sydney

2016                      Archive, MOP Projects, Sydney

2016                      Efface (collaboration with Luke Thurgate) Strange Neighbour, Vic

2015                      The Original of Laura, Interlude Gallery, Sydney

2014                      Contested Surfaces, SAS Gallery, Sydney

2011                       Mise en Scène, Greenaway Gallery, SA

2011                       La Chasse, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2010                      Time is Then, Adelaide Central Gallery, SA

2007                     Nabokov’s Garden, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2006                     Sample Locations, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2003                     Lehmann/Graham (with Damien Graham), Adelaide Central Gallery, SA

2002                     Shadow, Depot Gallery, Sydney

2002                     Shadow [Preview] , Cube Contemporary Art, Bowden SA



2023                      Not Fair (curated by Darren Tanny Tan & Linsey Gosper), Melbourne, Vic (selected)

2023                      Gesture (curated by Michelle Chanique), Stanley Street Gallery, Sydney, NSW

2023                      Horny Jail, NASHA gallery, Sydney, NSW 

2023                      A Female Gaze, MARS gallery, Melbourne, Vic

2022                      Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award, Grafton Regional Gallery, NSW (finalist)

2022                      Group exhibition (online), GAG Projects, Adelaide, SA

2022                      Substratum (curated by Lewellyn Riley-Haynes), Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, NSW

2019                       June, MARS Gallery, Vic

2018                       The Drawing Exchange, Rayner Hoff Gallery, National Art School, Sydney

2018                       2018 Invitational, Home@735 Gallery, Sydney, NSW

2018                       Bad Mannerism, Galerie pompom, Sydney (curator)

2017                       FRAN Fest (Feminism Renewal Art Network) exhibition, BMG Gallery, Adelaide, SA

2016                       Painting Twice, Praxis ArtSpace, SA

2016                       Kennedy Art Prize Exhibition,  Adelaide SA (finalist)

2016                       PG Research Conference exhibition, AD Space, UNSW Art & Design

2016                       Tim Olsen Drawing Prize exhibition, Kudos Gallery, UNSW Art & Design (selected)

2015                       PG Research Conference exhibition, IDG gallery, UNSW Art & Design

2015                       Tim Olsen Drawing Prize exhibition, Kudos Gallery, UNSW Art & Design (selected)

2015                       Drawing Now, AD Space, UNSW Art & Design

2015                       Iconoclasts, Airspace Projects, NSW

2014                       Telling, Adelaide Central Gallery, SA

2014                       Through the mirror ball, BMG Gallery, Adelaide SA

2014                       Monochrome, Sheffer Gallery, Sydney

2014                       The Democracy of Drawing, Airspace Projects, Sydney

2013                       Green-growth International Art Exhibition, Incheon Art and Culture Centre, Incheon, Korea

2013                       Portia Geach Memorial Award exhibition, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney (finalist)

2013                       Drawing Now, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

2012                       Portia Geach Memorial Award exhibition, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney (finalist)

2012                       nVisage, Adelaide Central Gallery, SA

2011                        Lethbridge Small Painting Prize, Lethbridge Gallery, QLD (finalist)

2010                      Advertiser Business SA Contemporary Art Prize Exhibition, Advertiser building, SA (finalist)

2009                     Whyalla Art Prize exhibition, Whyalla, SA (finalist)

2008                     FLESH 08, Arthouse gallery, Sydney

2007                     Shades of the Real, Adelaide Central Gallery, SA

2007                     Portia Geach Memorial Award exhibition, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney (finalist)

2006                     Westpac Redlands Art Prize exhibition, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney (selected)

2006                     Drawcard, National Art School, Sydney

2006                     Swan Hill Print and Drawing Acquisitive Award, Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery (finalist)

2006                     Group Exhibition, Mori Gallery, Sydney

2006                     The Colour of Saffron, SASA gallery, Adelaide

2005                     SODA Small Painting Prize, Sydney (finalist)

2005                     Elastic, COFA Student Association Emerging Art Award (finalist)

2004                     Freudian Slip, BMG Gallery, Adelaide, SA

2004                     Drawing Today, Adelaide Central Gallery (selected for touring exhibition, SA)

2004                     FLESH, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2004                     Barcelona Room and Other Spaces, Greenaway Art Gallery, SA (collaboration with Jonathan Dady)

2004                     Universal Playground Exhibition, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide

2004                     MCQ International Art Prize exhibition, Sydney (finalist)

2003                     Kedumba Drawing Award Exhibition, Wentworth Falls NSW (finalist)

2003                     Group Exhibition, Kendalls Fine Art, Chelsea Gallery, London

2002                     Steinhoff Scholarship Exhibition, Fleurieu Biennale, McLaren Vale, SA (finalist)

2002                     Cube Contemporary Art at the Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1999                       Student Exhibition: Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

1999                       Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition, Gerard & Goodman Building, SA (selected)

1998                       The Nexus Fleurieu Scholarship Exhibition, McLaren Vale, SA (finalist)

1998                       Ruth Tuck Scholarship Award Exhibition, Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide (winner)



2021                      Academic Staff Development Grant, National Art School, Sydney

2018                      Art and Design Grant (Arc UNSW)

2016                      PRSS Conference Travel Grant, Graduate Research School, UNSW 

2016                      Research funding, Ide Advanced Imaging Lab, Kyoto University, Japan

2015                      Research funding, Ide Advanced Imaging Lab, Kyoto University, Japan

2015                      Faculty Student Travel Grant UNSW Art & Design

2015                      NSW Artists Grant

2014                      COFA Art and Design Grant

2014 -2017          Australian Postgraduate Award, UNSW

2010                      Résidence copiste, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris

2010                      Independent Makers and Presenters Project Grant, Arts SA

2010                      Project Grant, Helpmann Academy, SA

2009                     Recipient, Reunion Island ADCNI Biennale Residency (not undertaken)

2008                     Listed, ‘50 Most Collectable Artists’ Australian Art Collector Magazine

2007                     Artist in residence, Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery, SA

2007                     NAVA Marketing Grant, NSW

2005                     Recipient, Sanskriti Kendra Residency (Helpmann Academy), New Delhi, India

2003                     Artist in residence, Pembroke High School, Adelaide

2002                     Artist in residence, St Ignatius College, Adelaide

1999                       Visiting student: BA Fine Art (Hons) Glasgow School of Art, Scotland

1998                       Selected, Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition (merit-based selection, highest achieving graduates)

1998                       Ruth Tuck Scholarship Award (Glasgow School of Art)



Painting Desires, Schmick Contemporary, April 2023

Bad Mannerism, Galerie pompom, May 2018

Iconoclasts, Airspace Projects, Sydney, February, 2015

Telling,  Adelaide Central Gallery, SA, SALA Festival Exhibition, 22 July–19 August, 2014



Aksman-Glosz, James, 'An echo of how we live'; review of exhibition ‘The Original of Laura’ (online), 19 August 2015

Adelaide Central School of Art, education feature: Chelsea Lehmann, The Adelaide Review, Dec 2014

Art Interview, SALA Festival, Radio 5MV, ABC Riverland SA, 20 August 2002

'Bad Mannerism', Sydney Morning Herald, (The shortlist), 4 May 2018

Bull, Chris,’ Exploring the interaction between realism and painterly expression’, Update magazine, Issue no.69, Sept–Nov 2010

‘Different View’, Adelaide Matters (digital edition), 27 October 2011

'Chris Aerfeldt and Chelsea Lehmann: Counter Histories', Australian Art Collector (online) November 2021

Dutkiewicz Adam, 'Different Strokes', The Advertiser, November 5th 2003

Dutkiewicz, Adam, ‘So Long Bugs Bunny, Hello South Park’, The Advertiser, 22 July 2002

Fortescue, Elizabeth, ‘Thief had his eye on Fine Art’, The Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2011

Frost, Andrew, 'Chelsea Lehmann: Persona' Art Collector Magazine, April-June 2020

Gearon, Sally, ‘The women painters looking through the female gaze’, March/April print edition of Art Guide Australia, 2023.

'Group Exhibition: Christian Lock, Johnnie Dady and Chelsea Lehmann', Australian Art Collector (web) Oct 17th 2011

McDonald, Rosa Stella, 'Raining on the inside', catalogue text accompanying exhibition 'Archive', MOP projects, 2016

Lloyd, Tim, ‘Playground of Paint’, The Advertiser, 26 February 2004

McDonald, Patrick, ‘The Very Highest Art Form’, The Advertiser, 26 July 2003

Neylon, John, ‘Little Gems’, Adelaide Review, 16 July 1999

Neylon, John, ‘The Sentiment Is Bittersweet’, Adelaide Review, 15 November 2003

Nunn, Louise, ‘Chelsea in a small world after all’, The Advertiser, 5 July 2010

Nunn, Louise, ‘Interview’, Weekend Magazine, The Advertiser, 3 August 2003

Rackham, Melinda, 'Regarding the Gaze' essay for exhibition catalogue, Praxis ARTSPACE, Nov 2021

Taylor, Rod, Chelsea Lehmann: La Chasse, exhibition catalogue, 2011

Walker, Wendy, ‘The Young Figure It Out’, The Advertiser, 29 July 2000

Walker, Wendy and Dutkiewicz, Adam, ‘Galleries Come Alive’, The Advertiser, 18 August 2001



Private collection of director Claude d’Anthenaise, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris

Ide Advanced Imaging Lab, Kyoto university, Japan

Private collections in Australia, France and London



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