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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ultra Unreal

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Things have been quiet at the Museum of Contemporary Art this year, but Ultra Unreal aims at a reboot. It’s an exhibition that pushes beyond the contemporary, drawing us into virtual realms, both futuristic and animistic. These imaginary worlds have been created by new technology and populated with supernatural beings. It all sounds breathlessly exciting. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Hadley’s Art Prize 2022 & MONA

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Unlike Errol Flynn and Douglas Mawson, I’d never stayed at Hadley’s Orient Hotel in Hobart – until it hosted an art prize. Established in 1834, Hadley’s is one of the oldest hotels in Australia, and it trades lavishly on its historical connections. There are plenty of hotels that are more up-to-date and luxurious, but not […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: I Loved You

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Anybody who has seen the Marriage Market in Shanghai’s People Park will never imagine the Chinese as a nation of desperate romantics. Every weekend the Market is swarming with parents eager secure an advantageous match for their son or daughter. One gets the impression that marriage is primarily an economic transaction, with love being a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Robert Wilson: Moving Portraits

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Germany’s all-time literary giant, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once suggested to Caspar David Friedrich he should paint landscapes that systematically depicted each type of cloud identified in a famous treatise. Friedrich, by all accounts, was horrified at the suggestion. Being atttracted by the freedom and mutability of clouds, he resisted the idea of placing them […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Colin Lanceley: Earthly Delights

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For more than a thousand years the west was obsessed with the classical culture of Greece and Rome. In the cyber-age of today when all knowledge is available on the mobile phone, we can barely remember the cultural achievements of the past twenty years. This is partly because those who have been entrusted to preserve […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles, at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, is a daring but necessary exhibition for an Australian art museum. Daring, because local audiences have grown so accustomed to a diet of ‘masterpiece’ shows it’s difficult to imagine them flocking to see the work of a contemporary Japanese artist whose name will be […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Picasso Century

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Nothing is excluded,” said Picasso, when asked about his methods. The Picasso Century at the National Gallery of Victoria provides the evidence for that sweeping claim. The show uses the iconic artist as the key to unlock an overview of the Modernist epoch. We see how Picasso’s innovations helped shape very different movements and tendencies; […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize in Ten Pictures

Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

No fewer than 816 works were entered in this year’s Archibald Prize, with 52 being selected as finalists. I should be used to it by now, but I’m still amazed that so many artists plunge in, year after year, in the forlorn hope of making it into the charmed circle that hangs at the Art […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2022

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This week has served up a powerful reminder that fame in art may be long, but celebrity in politics is strictly ephemeral. The Archibald Prize rolls around every year with cosmic regularity, but governments come and go, and when they change, the entire personality of a nation is changed. Last week I felt I was […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s said there are distinct personality differences between those who prefer the mountains or the seashore. While it would be hard to argue all beach lovers are extroverts while mountain people are introverts, it’s probably true that most of us harbour an innate preference for one or the other. For Sculpture by the Sea, the […]