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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Biennale of Sydney 2020. Part 2

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Another week, another avalanche of statistics about infections and fatalities. As I write, the Biennale of Sydney, which has made heroic efforts to remain open, has just announced it will be switching to a digital platform. This is a poor substitute for the first-hand experience of works of art but it’s better than a total […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Biennale of Sydney 2020. Part 1

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Every morning in Sydney we wake to news of cancellations and closures because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. By the time this column appears there may be few major (or minor) venues that remain open, but – following that perennial advice about keeping a cool head in a crisis – I’m going to proceed as […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Christian Louboutin: The Exhibitionist

Saturday, March 14th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This weekend sees the launch of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, the first ever to showcase the work of indigenous artists from around the world. I’ll be taking a look at the Biennale next week, while keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve learned in the past that it’s best not to go into this event with […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Adelaide Biennial 2020: Monster Theatres

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

 “Monster” is a word that invites the most contradictory responses. We think of a monster as something hideous, out-of-the-ordinary, dark and dangerous, but given the opportunity to see one we come running. This is borne out by the popularity of horror movies, the freak shows that drew audiences to carnivals and fairs, the perennial fascination […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Wansolwara: One Salt Water

Saturday, February 29th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Contemporary art’s great wave has taken its time to engulf the Pacific. The voyages of Captain Cook and other explorers may have opened up the region to European influence and the depredations of colonialism but the post-colonial era has seen a resurgence of indigenous expressions. Traditional forms and new means have combined to produce a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Perth Festival 2020: The Art

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Sydney and Melbourne may consider themselves the nation’s cultural powerhouses but when it comes to the annual festivals Perth now has a greater commitment to the visual arts than any other city. In the years I’ve been attending the Perth Festival it’s never disappointed. First-time director, Iain Grandage, a composer, has put together an exceptional […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Dhaka Art Summit 2020

Thursday, February 13th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If one can measure progress by the volume of pollution and traffic congestion, Dhaka must be one of the most progressive cities on earth. In the two years since my last visit the fallout from a boom economy means that everything seems to have grown grimier, more manic, more chaotic. At some stage the construction […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

India Art Fair 2020

Friday, February 7th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Seen one art fair, seen ‘em all? Not when it’s the India Art Fair in New Delhi. Like everything else on the subcontinent the premier commercial art event is very different in character to the fairs one sees in Europe or America, or even Hong Kong. This is largely because of its proudly provincial stance. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hugh Ramsay

Friday, January 31st, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“While it is undeniably a temptation to ask what might have been had Ramsay lived longer, the same is seldom asked of Keats,” writes curator, Deborah Hart, in the excellent catalogue that accompanies the Hugh Ramsay retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia. “Instead,” she continues, “let us contemplate and engage in the richness of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Matisse & Picasso

Friday, January 10th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Two boxers circling each other in the ring: a favourite image used to describe the relationship between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. One wonders if it inspired those notorious promotional photos of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat as boxers in the 1980s. Indeed, it says a great deal about the evolution of the art market […]