International Art

Art Essays

Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ever since Sensation hit the headlines in 1997, contemporary British Art has been synonymous with scandal. When the show appeared at the Royal Academy in London, the catalyst was Marcus Harvey’s huge portrait of the murderess, Myra Hindley, made from hundreds of children’s handprints. In Brooklyn, two years later, the flashpoint was Chris Ofili’s The […]

Art Essays

John Hoyland, Charles Nodrum Gallery

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 General Art Essays, International Art,

One often reads about an artist’s ‘late style’, an autumnal period where a painter feels his mortality, slows down and mellows his palette. John Hoyland, who will be 77 this year, has obviously never heard of this concept. The paintings Hoyland is producing today are more raw, more free, more experimental than the works he […]

Art Essays

Lucian Freud 1922 – 2011

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

With the passing of Lucian Freud, British art has lost not only one of its great painters, but a legendary conversationalist. Perhaps it was a skill acquired while staring at people for hours in the studio, deciding whether or not to put a microscopic dab of paint on the end of a nose. Freud’s anecdotes, […]

Art Essays

Surrealism at GoMA

Saturday, July 30th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“This life is a hospital in which every patient is tormented by the yearning to move to another bed. – André Breton It’s probably been said many times, but Queensland is a highly appropriate setting for a Surrealism show. Not only does one meet the most surreal personalities north of the border, only a few […]

Art Essays

Tell Me Tell Me

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 Art Essays, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This is an exhibition that generates a profound sympathy for those critics who had to review art in the 1970s. If the seventies was the decade fashion forgot, it was also a time that lost faith in art, seeing it as a specious commodity that had to be brought down from its pedestal and dragged […]

Art Essays

The Poetry of Drawing

Friday, July 15th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Britain’s historic love of the written word has tended to overshadow all other cultural expressions. Shakespeare or Charles Dickens may be universally admired, but try to name a notable British composer for the period from the death of Henry Purcell in 1695, to the rise of Edward Elgar, (b. 1857). The visual arts have been […]

Art Essays


Thursday, June 30th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Edouard Manet (1832-83) was the complete Parisian and Paris is the ideal place to see his work – and not only because so many of his greatest paintings are to be found in the Musée d’Orsay. A short stroll across the Pont Royal takes us to the Louvre, where Titian’s Fete Champetre (c.1509) provided a […]

Art Essays

Sculpture by the Sea, Denmark 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011 Australian Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Spend a day walking around Copenhagen and it becomes apparent that the Danes are crazy about sculpture. The immaculate buildings of the ‘Golden Age’ (roughly 1800-50) are encrusted with heads, figures and other forms of sculptural decoration. There are statues galore, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek – one of the most elegant museums in Europe […]

Art Essays

54th Venice Biennale

Friday, June 17th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Never has a more glamorous bag accompanied such a tawdry exhibition. A dazzling gold carry-all, advertising Hany Armanious’s installation in the Australian pavilion, was to be seen all over Venice during the vernissage of the 54th Biennale. The only more prominent bag may have been the bright red one with ‘Free Ai Weiwei’ emblazoned in […]

Art Essays

Art Hong Kong 2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It is scarcely believable that the Hong Kong Art Fair is only four years old. As the infant prodigy among the many, many fairs that have been breeding, virus-like, in all parts of the world, Hong Kong’s growth has been freakish. It started out as a shrewd, optimistic idea in 2008; struggled through the GFC […]