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Tag: portraiture

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2015

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There was such a hullaballoo about the Packing Room Prize this year one might have thought that former Frenchman, Bruno Grasswill, had won both the Archibald and several versions of the Nobel Prize. In fact, he had won the kiss-of-death award, traditionally given to a picture of a good bloke or a good sort, as […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2014

Saturday, August 9th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

So much has already been written about Sydney’s $9.3 million public sculpture proposals that I’m in two minds whether to comment or leave it alone. Nevertheless, it’s an issue that won’t go away. It’s depressing that the very idea of a city council spending money on art brings out the philistine in a large proportion […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2014

Saturday, July 19th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Imagine if the Archibald Prize banned all portraits that relied on photographs. The number of entries would drop from 884 to something less than 100, while the exhibition would be dominated by amateurs and unknown artists. Even the subjects would be strangers to most viewers because it’s unlikely that anyone mildly famous could spare the […]

Blog

Bigger is Better

Friday, November 8th, 2013 Blog,

David Hockney broke all previous attendance records at the Royal Academy of Arts last year, with his show A Bigger Picture. The RA tells us that 650,000 people crowded through those galleries to see a show largely devoted to landscapes of Yorkshire, the artist’s birthplace. It sounds hard to believe, until one sees David Hockney: A Bigger […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon de Refusés 2013 & Jenny Sages

Saturday, April 20th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This year’s Archibald Prize was one of the most even contests in decades, but also one of the least memorable. There have been pictures in previous competitions that would have romped home in this year’s field, but the luck and timing was with Del Kathryn Barton, not with the ghosts of Archibalds past. If there […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2013: A Review

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This column comes from Japan, where like a character in a horror story pursued by an implacable nemesis, I’m writing about… the Archibald Prize! This venerable portrait competition is an Australian institution that is simply incomprehensible to the rest of the world. To outsiders the popularity of the prize, and of portraiture in general, is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2013: A Comment

Friday, March 22nd, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This year’s Archibald throws up one nagging question: “What’s that animal Hugo Weaving is holding?” Perhaps it’s something the special effects crew from the Matrix movies dreamt up. According to the news reports, Del Kathryn Barton, says the indefinable creature “demonstrates facets of the actor’s personality” – an explanation that raises more questions than it […]

Art Essays

Impressions: Painting Light & Life

Saturday, February 4th, 2012 Art Essays, Australian Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A survey of portraiture by Australian artists of the late nineteenth century would seem to be long overdue. Despite the institutional obsession with all things contemporary, the works of the so-called Australian Impressionists – Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Fred McCubbin and Charles Conder – remain the most popular drawcards in our public collections. The problem […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refuses, Wynne & Sulman Prize

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Nothing could make this year’s Archibald Prize exhibition look good, although the Salon des Refusés at the S.H.Ervin Gallery makes it more understandable. After examining those works rejected from the official hang one may feel a twinge of sympathy for the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW who had to work their way through […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2010

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column, Uncategorized,

No form of human activity nowadays comes without the possibility of therapy. Tiger Woods had to call in the specialists over his sex addiction, Michael Clarke has seen a psychologist to get his mind off his personal problems and back onto cricket. When Kevin Rudd apologised to the stolen generation, counselling services were reputedly made […]