The End of History



18 May – 17 August 2024


The End of History explores artists’ relationship to history, as it’s made.

At its centre is a group of works from the University of Western Australia Art Collection made between 1985 and 1995, united by mood and motif.

This was a decade of transformational change locally, nationally and globally, in which political philosopher Francis Fukuyama famously declared humanity had reached the ‘end of history’ - and Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery opened its doors to the public.

Although highly partial, this selection suggests shared reoccurring artistic and societal concerns amongst artists working around Australia. It probes the subconscious of an era shaped by the heights of WA INC and the recession we had to have, Australia’s Bicentennial and the fall of the Berlin wall, connection to the Internet and concerns about parochialism. A heady mix of ambition, anxiety, cynicism and hope played out in works of high drama and grand scale.  

These ‘historical’ works are juxtaposed with several recent acquisitions from artists born during and after that decade who self-consciously probe their relationship to history. In dialogue, they describe generational connections or divides, and offer a challenge to linear narratives that tend towards endings.

Including works by: Tom Alberts, Jason Auld, Claire Bailey, Jane Barwell, Mia Boe, Mandy Browne, Emma Buswell, Nicholas Compton, Rosalind Paterson Drake-Brockman, Peter Dailey, Julie Dowling, Stuart Elliott, Susan Flavell, Simon Gevers, Euan Heng, Thomas Hoareau, Marie Hobbs, Theo Koning, Jarrad Martyn, Mary Moore, Phillipa O’Brien, Michael O’Doherty, John Paul, Julian Poon, Geoff Ricardo, Jan Senbergs, Derek Tang, Jon Tarry, Imants Tillers, Paul Trinidad, Valerie Tring, Rick Vermey, Peter Wales, Jenny Watson and Yvette Watt.



Media Release


Cover of THE END OF HISTORY catalogue



Image credits: Rosalind Paterson Drake Brockman, Body of Storm (detail), c1989, charcoal on Arches paper, 153 x 217 cm, University Senate Grant, 1989 © University of Western Australia, photograph by Robert Frith

Connect with us

e0641dca-b792-4ed7-9ab6-94ec2af216d6@2.00x Created with sketchtool.


Follow us for news and events information

1317a098-eccf-409d-b085-ce2bd822efb1@2.00x Created with sketchtool.

Subscribe now

Get the latest news in our monthly newsletter

Sign up form
b2a21eb1-9700-4493-a8e9-8c21b4766ac7@2.00x Created with sketchtool.

Become a friend

Join the conversation and become a friend of the gallery

Become a friend


Behind-the-scenes information, updates and more