SUBSCRIBE

International Art

Art Essays

Picasso

Thursday, November 24th, 2011 Art Essays, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Despite his long residence in France, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) always considered himself Spanish. To ignore this is to misunderstand the driving impulses behind so much of his work, as revealed in the landmark exhibition, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National de Picasso, Paris. We see the how powerful that Spanish aspect was, both for a […]

Art Essays

Hypokulturemia in the Hypo-Kulturstiftung

Friday, November 18th, 2011 Art Essays, Blog, International Art,

In Munich last week I began to feel I was suffering from Stendhal Syndrome. It’s been twenty years since I was in this city, but I had vivid memories of those two great museums, the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. Now those galleries have been joined by the Pinakothek der Moderne and the Brandhorst Museum, […]

Art Essays

Sculpture by the Sea 2011

Saturday, November 12th, 2011 Art Essays, Australian Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

To see what Sculpture by the Sea is really all about, one needs to go on a weekend, when the walk between Bondi and Tamarama is teeming with people. For most exhibitions this is the worst scenario for viewing works, but with SXS the open-air setting means that no piece is ever rendered inaccessible. The […]

Art Essays

German idols

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Germany, Ai Weiwei is the new Joseph Beuys. I arrived at this conclusion in Berlin, after seeing an exhibition of film footage of Joseph Beuys in Japan, at the Hamburger Bahnhof; and a show of 220 photos by Ai Weiwei, at the Martin-Gropius Bau. I’ve been in Deutschland for a conference on the Chinese […]

Art Essays

Art and Seoul

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 Australian Art, Blog, International Art,

Regular readers must be starting to wonder in what part of the world they’ll find themselves from week to week. I’m starting to wonder myself. Recently I was in Seoul for the 10th Korean International Art Fair, today I’m on a plane coming back from Shanghai. Without wanting to sound glib, the very fact that […]

Art Essays

White Rabbit: Beyond the Frame

Saturday, October 8th, 2011 Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Back again is Ai Weiwei’s Oil spill (2007) – a series of shiny black porcelain discs that sit flat on the floor, mimicking drops of black gold. In typical fashion, Ai Weiwei takes a substance associated with toxic pollution and transforms it into an aesthetic delicacy. Such ironic turnarounds and dislocations are characteristic of his […]

Art Essays

The Steins Collect

Saturday, September 24th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“There are two geniuses in art today,” Gertrude Stein told Picasso, “you in painting, and I in literature.” Whatever posterity has made of Gertrude Stein’s literary efforts, her self-confidence has rarely been surpassed. For the most part, her cryptic, repetitive prose style ensured that her books found few readers. The outstanding exception was The Autobiography […]

Art Essays

Abstraction

Saturday, September 17th, 2011 Australian Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Among the unsolicited art emails that appear in my mail-box every week, one recent posting came from the Martos Gallery in New York, who were holding an exhibition called We Regret to Inform You There is Currently No Space or Place for Abstract Painting. The image that came with the email showed this sentence written […]

Art Essays

The Mad Square

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column, Uncategorized,

It happens from time to time that I fail to distinguish a cabaret from a crematorium – Joseph Roth From its traumatic birth, at the end of World War One, the Weimar Republic was an unstable experiment. The historian, Eric Hobsbawm charts its rise and fall in an introductory essay for the catalogue of The […]

Art Essays

Vienna: Art & Design

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In that period known as the Belle Époque, from the end of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of the First World War, Europe went through a prodigious burst of creativity. Modernity had arrived in full force, and no centre, with the obvious exception of Paris, was more dynamic than Vienna. Both cities were melting […]