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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Contemporary Art Fair 2019

Thursday, September 12th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ask any art dealer and they’ll tell you the market has gone flat, as collectors brace themselves for a Trump-led recession. Ordinarily this should put a cloud over an event such as the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, now in its sixth iteration, but the atmosphere and sentiment is absurdly up-beat. When I visited Carriageworks last […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Nusra Latif Qureshi & Adam Chang

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Before moving to Melbourne in 2001 at the age of 27, Nusra Latif Quereshi was trained as musaviripainter in her birthplace, Lahore. The term refers to a type of Islamic and Indian miniature painting that requires a high degree of skill and patience. Before moving to Australia in 1997, aged 37, Adam Chang studied painting […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Basquiat’s Defacement: The Untold Story

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s a sign of the times when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, one of the standard bearers for modern art, hosts an exhibition exposing the brutality of the city’s police force. In the age of Trump the United States has become a radically divided nation where issues such as refugees, racism and […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

An Idea Needing to be Made: Contemporary Ceramics

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

No definition of ‘contemporary art’ is acceptable to everyone. Is it simply the art being made today, or is it something else? The chronological definition holds scant appeal because artists would like to believe their work has a special quality that sets them apart from the amateurs and the traditionalists. With all the charm of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Barbara McKay & Hadyn Wilson

Friday, August 9th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In May the National Gallery of Australia launched a campaign called Know My Name, which aims to raise awareness of the work of Australian women artists. Call me a cynic, but when a leading institution takes up the cause of a supposedly neglected minority, one may assume the battle is already over. Historically-speaking there’s no […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Charlie Sheard: Absolute Abstraction

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Absolute Abstraction is an uncompromising title for an uncompromising show at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum. So far removed is this event from the laidback norms of Australian painting that it would surely read better in German: Absolute Abstraktion. That hard ‘k’ makes all the difference. Charlie Sheard (b.1960) always knew he wanted to be […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow

Friday, July 26th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

We all have our blind spots and Shaun Gladwell (b.1972) is one of mine. For almost two decades I’ve watched people getting excited about his slow-motion videos of a figure on a skateboard, on a BMX bike, on a motorbike, on a surfboard, on a train… As someone who has never had the slightest desire […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tracey Moffatt & Kartika Kain

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

On a rare week when I was able to get back to the commercial galleries there were a few tempting propositions. Chief among them, Peter Godwin’s Mask, Music and Studio at Defiance at Mary Place (until 25 July) – a really tough collection of still lifes that push the boundaries of the genre, picking up […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Indonesia: Contemporary Worlds

Thursday, July 11th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When the Reformasi era began in 1998 Indonesian art burst out like a tightly-coiled spring released from its bonds. It wasn’t just artists that rejoiced in their newfound freedom – the entire population was now able to imagine itself as a citizenry of the world rather than subjects of Suharto’s corrupt, oppressive regime. Matters would grow […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life ( + Quilty)

Thursday, July 4th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

On a Saturday morning in Brisbane one doesn’t expect to find a long queue extending from the entrance of the Gallery of Modern Art. It was the sort of queue that forms when people are waiting to buy tickets for rock concerts or be first into the Boxing Day sales. The goal this time was […]