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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Andrew Sullivan

January 12, 2021

All children seem to be mad about dinosaurs, many of us never outgrowing that fascination. Dinosaur exhibitions are among the best attended events at international museums, while there have been five films in the Jurassic Park franchise since 1990, with another in the pipeline. Anyone requiring a dinosaur hit over the holidays might consider a trip […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Paradise on Earth

December 22, 2020

Marion Mahony Griffin has long stood in the shadow of her husband, Walter Burley Griffin, but nowadays the couple are viewed as a partnership, rather like Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In Paradise on Earth, the Museum of Sydney celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of a formidably talented woman. It’s ironic that the MoS has […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Peter Kingston: First Light

December 15, 2020

Before seeing Peter Kingston: First Light at the S.H.Ervin Gallery, I was reminded that the late Giles Auty once compared ‘Kingo’ to Raoul Dufy (1877-1953). Although I would hesitate to endorse most of Giles’s observations about art and life, he may have been onto something. Although the Frenchman commands a place in the pantheon of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Just Not Australian

December 8, 2020

Just Not Australian made its debut at Artspace early last year but will be touring ten regional galleries in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia until October, 2022. I caught the show at the Wollongong Art Gallery where it may be seen over the holiday period. The longevity of the tour suggests this is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2020

December 1, 2020

Most children draw instinctively as a way of understanding and taking control of the world. If the great majority of us stop drawing at a certain age it’s not because we have attained a level of mastery. On the contrary, at around 9 or 10, so psychologists tell us, we become self-critical, feeling we don’t […]

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Film Reviews January 15, 2021

Ammonite

An ammonite is a mollusc with a distinctive spiral shell that flourished in the Devonian period, (400 million years ago) and died out at the end of the Cretaceous, (roughly 66 million BCE). In biological terms that was a pretty good run. Homo sapiens will be lucky to survive for even a fraction of this […]

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Alex Seton: Meet Me Under the Dome

January 15, 2021

In The Ghost of Wombeyan Alex Seton has created a life-sized marble figure that lies prone on a slab beneath a heavy shroud. Should we see it as a body, or merely the impression of a body preserved in solid marble? Either way, the piece has a strong funereal connotation. The ‘ghost’ is a childhood […]

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The Art Market in the Time of COVID

December 1, 2020

A new Australian auction record for Brett Whiteley’s painting, Henri’s Armchair, puts the star on top of the Christmas tree for the local art market in a year when only doom and gloom were predicted. Indeed, one local auction supremo tells me that things have never been better. The plague year 2020 has seen a […]

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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 […]

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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 […]