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Journals

Journals

Fred Williams, Werribee Gorge (10)(1977-78)

Friday, December 16th, 2022 Journals,

By the time he discovered Werribee Gorge, in 1977, Fred Williams had nothing left to prove. He was the country’s leading landscape painter, and one of the most highly respected figures in Australian art. He sat on the Acquisitions Committee of the Australian National Gallery, as it was then known, and had served as a […]

Journals

Jeffrey Smart, Study I for Bus Terminus (1972-73)

Friday, December 16th, 2022 Journals,

A painting by Jeffrey Smart might begin with a sudden epiphany, a flash of inspiration found by the side of the road. Smart would make a quick sketch, and maybe a snapshot, then store the motif on an imaginary shelf, awaiting its day in the studio. At this point, the hard work would begin. An […]

Journals

Jeffrey Smart, Ticket Boxes, Catania (1964)

Friday, December 16th, 2022 Journals,

There’s a peculiar melancholy about an empty space designed to accommodate a crowd. Anybody who has ever visited a resort town out-of-season can testify to the sense of desolation one feels in such places, in which shops, restaurants and hotels are geared to the needs of tourists and pleasure-seekers. The brazen trappings of the leisure […]

Journals

Lynn Chadwick Maquette II Diamond (1984)

Friday, December 16th, 2022 Journals,

Lynn Chadwick’s career will always be remembered for one extraordinary moment, when he represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale of 1956, and won the International Sculpture Prize. The Englishman was a surprising and controversial choice because it was widely believed the recipient should have been Alberto Giacometti. It had been a convention that the […]

Journals

Jeffrey Smart: Portrait of Germaine Greer (1984)

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 Journals,

 It’s a testimony to the public perception of Germaine Greer that viewers are surprised Jeffrey Smart has made her seem so prim, so demure. Surely, the outspoken author of The Female Eunuch (1970) should be shown making some provocative gesture, staring challengingly at the viewer. Instead, Smart has portrayed the 45-year-old Greer sitting stiffly on […]

Journals

Brett Whiteley: Self-Portrait (1977)

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 Journals,

Brett Whiteley was never shy when it came to measuring himself against the masters. At the age of 16, while boarding at Scots College in Bathurst, he came across a book on Vincent Van Gogh and painted a self-portrait in emulation of the famously misunderstood Dutchman. At 16 we are all misunderstood and ready to […]

Journals

Whiteley: the Opera

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

Ever since John Adams gave us Nixon in China in 1987, the possibilities for opera have been limitless. Unlike the Greek tragedians who were obliged to set every play in a mythical age of Gods and heroes, contemporary composers have drawn subjects from the news cycle, and from the tawdry lives of latter-day celebrities. Elena […]

Journals

Patrick Hall

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

A popular way of praising an Australian artist is to proclaim that his or work should be better known overseas. It’s ironic that Hobart-based artist, Patrick Hall, is probably better known overseas than he is on the other side of Bass Strait. Steven Joyce of Despard Gallery has shown Hall’s work at the renowned Chicago […]

Journals

It All Started with a Stale Sandwich

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Kaldor Public Art Projects, a testament to the persistence of a Hungarian migrant who needed to share his obsession with an entire city, if not a country. The birthday celebrations will continue to spread the Kaldor gospel via an unorthodox retrospective at the Art Gallery of New […]

Journals

Michael Armitage

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

Michael Armitage is one of today’s most acclaimed young English artists, the only problem is that he’s Kenyan. Born in Nairobi in 1984, Armitage attended boarding school in England, and went on to have an impeccable English art education at the Slade School of Art and the Royal Academy. Yet as so often happens, the […]