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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Joshua Yeldham, Dagmar Cyrulla, Indonesia Calling 2020

November 17, 2020

“I’ve always been interested in how the eye is the trail to the soul, and how my soul projected can look like a painting,” says Joshua Yeldham in a short film he has made for his exhibition, Providence, at Arthouse Gallery. There’s a popular belief that artists are unworldly beings who live in their own […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Michael Zavros, Gunybi Ganambarr, Li Jin

November 10, 2020

Michael Zavros is a very 21st century artist. Known for a fastidious, hyperreal style of painting and a preoccupation with fashion and luxury goods, he would have been anathema in those days when the avant-garde strove to make art that was not a marketable commodity. Marketability is Zavros’s great and abiding theme, although he comes […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Wynne Prize 2020

November 3, 2020

A visitor to the Art Gallery of NSW has written to me, saying that after living through last year’s horror bushfires on the south coast, he was surprised at the lack of fire paintings in the Wynne Prize. He was also disappointed that the Salon des Refusés seemed to ignore the bushfire crisis, although it […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Les Sculpture Refusées & Sculpture in the Vineyards – Wollombi Valley Sculpture Festival

October 27, 2020

At this time of any other year Sydney is getting ready for its regular fix of Sculpture by the Sea (SXS), one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the cultural calendar. But like so many things in the era of COVID-19, the thought of hundreds of thousands of people rubbing shoulders on the trail […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop

October 20, 2020

Lindy Lee grew up in Brisbane in the 1960s, the daughter of Chinese parents who left Guandong when the Communists came to power. She is ethnically Chinese but Australian born and bred, a duality that has coloured her entire life. She remembers being the only Chinese face in her classes at school, which meant she […]

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Sydney Morning Herald Column November 24, 2020

Karl Wiebke, Ebony Russell, Lea Ferris & Dave Teer

It’s almost impossible to imagine ‘pure’ abstraction in art but Karl Wiebke takes us to the brink. His Seven Paintings at Liverpool Street Gallery avoid all the usual associations we habitually attach to an abstract work, being not suggestive of landscapes, figures, or architectonic details such as doors or windows. So what do we see? […]

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Film Reviews

David Byrne’s American Utopia

November 20, 2020

In the liner notes to his 2018 album, American Utopia, David Byrne reflects on the title. “Is this meant ironically? It is a joke? Do I mean this seriously? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political?” These questions, which echo the lists of questions in wellknown songs such […]

Film Reviews

American Dharma

November 13, 2020

Steve Bannon is not stupid, he can even be charming, but he is not the kind of guy you’d like to see loitering-with-intent in the corridors of power. In American Dharma, Errol Morris brings us an extended interview with the man Time magazine called “the Great Manipulator”, interspersed with excerpts from Bannon’s favourite films. Morris, generally […]

Film Reviews

Kajillionaire

November 6, 2020

Miranda July made a big splash with her debut feature, You, Me and Everyone We Know in 2005. She may not have challenged the superhero flicks at the box office, but she became an overnight sensation on the Indie circuit. A performance artist, actor and novelist, July is an all-round creative personality who treats her […]

Film Reviews

Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm’

October 29, 2020

We know what to expect from a new Borat movie: The Worst. We know it will be stunningly vulgar, packed with stunts and gags that seem guaranteed to generate a violent response. The satire will be so broad it offends fans as well as foes. It will be kind of disgusting, with lots of moments […]

Blog

Know My Name: A First Look

November 19, 2020

If the phrase Know My Name makes you think of the theme song of a James Bond movie, you’re a prime candidate for the National Gallery of Australia’s new survey of Australian women artists, 1900 to the present. You might even draw a twinge of masculine panic from Chris Cornell’s lyric: The odds will betray […]

Blog

Streeton: A First Look

November 13, 2020

When the title of a show is simply the artist’s surname it sends a message. If you don’t know who Streeton is, well… you should. It’s like saying “Picasso”, rather than “Pablo Picasso” or “Rembrandt” rather than “Rembrandt van Rijn”. The unattended surname signifies greatness. It’s a warning you’ll miss out on an essential Australian […]

Blog

Brett Whiteley Catalogue Raisonné

September 30, 2020

Last week the Brett Whiteley Catalogue Raisonné 1955-1992 arrived on my doorstep. When I bent down to pick it up, I thought I’d need a forklift. Lugging it inside I made straight for the bathroom scales, which registered 22.9 kilos. Upon opening the package I discovered a gleaming white case in which seven white volumes […]

Blog

Paul Higgs: Material Energy

August 25, 2020

Art is revolution, improvisation, impetus, enthusiasm, record-setting, elasticity, elegance, generosity, superabundance of goodness, drowning in the Absolute, struggle against every hindrance, an aerial dance on the burning summits of passion… Filippo Marinetti   “Scattering” in physics, is what happens when waves of energy are forced to change direction due to a collision with various particles. […]