Art Essays

Art Essays

Tim Storrier

Saturday, November 26th, 2011 Aboriginal Art, Art Essays, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Pablo Picasso is not the only highly successful artist to imagine himself as an outsider. In Australian art, Timothy Austin Storrier presents a perfect case study. A 2000 monograph by Catherine Lumby was even called: Tim Storrier: The Art of the Outsider. If you’re wondering how someone as prominent as Storrier can imagine himself anywhere […]

Art Essays


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

The Portia Geach Memorial Award

Saturday, October 29th, 2011 Art Essays, Australian Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One of the small paradoxes of colonial Australian art is the question as to why there were so few notable female artists at a time when women art students continually outnumbered their male counterparts. Looking at photos of the graduating classes of the National Gallery of Victoria School in the late 1800s, there is always […]

Art Essays

Robert Malherbe, Rhys Lee, Peter Godwin & Guan Wei

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 Art Essays, Australian Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is a romantic expectation that an artist will keep producing works that are wholly original. This can create a debilitating pressure, as some feel obliged to produce a new twist with every exhibition. But art is not created in a vacuum, and all artists take something from their predecessors. As Picasso is famously alleged […]

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


Saturday, October 15th, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Guanxi is a curious word. It is usually translated as  “contacts”, but there is no single English-language term that captures all the connotations it has for a Chinese speaker. Guanxi refers to a special kind of relationship between people whereby one may always be counted on to help the other. Such relationships are long-term and […]

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 […]