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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Asad Raza: Absorption

May 10, 2019

Archibald madness may be raging in Sydney this week, but I’m in Europe, feeling a slightly guilty pleasure at being so far from the frontline. Looking at the entries on-line proves the point that it’s impossible to judge works of art from photos. Every year at the preview I feel pretty confident that I can […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Old Masters in Shenzhen

May 2, 2019

Thirty years ago Australia began to export Aboriginal art to major venues in the United States and Europe. Unlike earlier international forays, Dreamings (1988) and Aratjara (1993) were framed as art exhibitions, not as collections of ethnographic artefacts. Nowadays, with China unassailable as our largest trading partner, the National Museum of Australia is repeating the exercise with […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The National 2019: New Australian Art

April 25, 2019

In its second “edition”, The National: New Australian Art,  is just as hard to love as its predecessor of 2017. A collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks, the show is intended as an overview of the best and the brightest work being produced in Australia today. It’s […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Suzanne Archer: The Song of the Cicada

April 18, 2019

Suzanne Archer’s career as an Australian artist began in a blaze of publicity in 1969. Her first solo exhibition at Sydney’s Clune Gallery was written up in the papers, and splashed on radio and TV. It helped that Archer was young and glam, and that the local gallery scene was limited to a handful of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Historical Expression of Chinese Art

April 11, 2019

Look no further, we have a winner for the competition for this year’s least sexy exhibition title. The Historical Expression of Chinese Art: Calligraphy and Painting from the National Museum of China, at the National Museum of Australia, will take a lot of beating. Perhaps it sounds better in Mandarin, but this is only too […]

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Sydney Morning Herald Column May 17, 2019

Villa Cerruti

A little over a year ago I was in Turin for the announcement of one of the most remarkable private bequests ever handed to a museum of contemporary art. Francesco Federico Cerruti, a local industrialist who made his fortune from the perfect binding process that allowed the spines of books to be glued instead of […]

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Film Reviews

Little Woods

Little Woods is a defiantly little movie – the story of two mismatched sisters in the backwoods of North Dakota, struggling with poverty and crime. In an age when films are valued in terms of big budgets, box office and celebrity power, Nia DaCosta’s directorial debut gives the impression that it was shot in a remote […]

Film Reviews

Peterloo

May 10, 2019

Rise, like lions after slumber In unvanquishable number! Shake your chains to earth, like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you: Ye are many – they are few! Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, thought by many to be the greatest political poem ever written, was inspired by one, singular event. In the […]

Film Reviews

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

May 2, 2019

Hollywood legend has it that Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) was the longest running – and most expensive – shoot in screen history. More than 400 days were spent on set, as costs (and Liz Taylor’s paypacket) continued to skyrocket. Yet if we measure the sheer amount time spent on any film, from first conception to […]

Film Reviews

1985

April 25, 2019

It’s become a reflex action nowadays to judge every film about America’s recent past as a comment on the present. Movies such as BlacKKKlansman or Vice make it easy to draw the connections. Others, such as 1985, by Malaysian-born director, Yen Tan, take a more oblique approach. Shot in melancholy black-and-white, the scenario is small and intimate, […]