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Tag: National Gallery of Australia

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is a simple explanation as to why Chinese contemporary art is so relentlessly satirical: 27 years of ideological rectitude, including that final decade of Mao-induced madness known as the Cultural Revolution. From the time the Communist Party took over in 1949 there was nothing much to laugh about. The workers paradise had been achieved, […]

Art Essays

Fred Williams

Saturday, September 10th, 2011 Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When the previous retrospective of an artist’s work contained no fewer than 417 pieces, it is inevitable that a new exhibition of about 120 pictures will be known as the ‘smaller’ show. That earlier Fred Williams’s mega-retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Australia in 1987, but I still have a vivid recollection of […]

Art Essays

National Gallery of Australia: A New Extension

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 Aboriginal Art, Australian Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Nobody in Australia is more experienced in the ways of gallery building than Andrew Andersons, the chief architect of the new wing at the National Gallery of Australia. Although he is a super professional, Andersons has often been criticised by other architects who find his buildings prosaic, deficient in detail and artistry. To be fair, […]

Art Essays

Man With a Blue Scarf

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 Book Reviews, International Art,

Man With a Blue Scarf On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud By Martin Gayford In 1980 James Lord published a slender book called A Giacometti Portrait. It detailed his experience of sitting for a portrait by Alberto Giacometti, whose biography he would write five years later. The book struck a chord with readers […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hans Heysen and Marion Borgelt

Sunday, June 20th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Travelling to the Flinders Ranges last year with a group of artists, I read my way through Colin Thiele’s Heysen of Hahndorf (1968) the standard biography of Australia’s most celebrated gum tree Meister. Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968) was the first artist to make Australians aware of the rugged beauty of the Flinders region, with a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Masterpieces from Paris

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column, Uncategorized,

Question time in Canberra: “Is Masterpieces from Paris the most important exhibition ever shown at the National Gallery of Australia, as NGA director, Ron Radford, has claimed?” Answer: No. This is a silly, opportunistic thing to say, as it is a show without an original thesis. Think back to the NGA’s Surrealism: Revolution by Night […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

McCubbin: Last Impressions & Aida Tomescu

Saturday, October 24th, 2009 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There can be few more disconcerting feelings than being the only one at a party who isn’t having a good time, but this is roughly how I felt as I wandered through the exhibition, McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907-17, at the National Gallery of Australia. Having never thought much of this period of McCubbin’s work I […]