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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Barbara McKay & Hadyn Wilson

August 9, 2019

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

August 3, 2019

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

July 26, 2019

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

July 18, 2019

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

July 11, 2019

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 […]

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Film Reviews August 16, 2019

Once Upon a Time… in America

Quentin Tarantino is the flawed genius of contemporary cinema. As a director he has such an assured touch that almost three hours of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood slip by in no time at all. The flaw lies in his love of extreme violence that leaves a nasty taste, no matter how much we […]

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