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The Archibald Prize 2022: Blak Douglas is the winner

Saturday, May 14th, 2022 Blog,

Politics is never far away from the Archibald prize, but it’s often that nebulous strain called “art politics”. This year, with the winner being announced in the middle of a federal election campaign, it was always going to be hard to keep attention focused on the aesthetics. Blak Douglas (AKA. Adam Hill), proved to be […]

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Peter Powditch: Remarks at a Memorial Exhibition

Friday, May 13th, 2022 Blog,

I feel like a bit of a fraud opening Peter Powditch’s memoral show, when so many other people in this room knew him a lot better than I did. – I didn’t ‘get’ Peter’s work at all when I first encountered it and didn’t meet him until some time after I’d first written – rather […]

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The Archibald Prize 2022: A First Look

Monday, May 9th, 2022 Blog,

It was predictable that after last year’s orgiastic celebrations of the Archibald Prize’s hundredth birthday, the following year would bring the hangover. But it’s not worth complaining about the quality of the 2022 exhibition, as the Archibald is never better than mediocre, with a few standouts. The dominant aspect of this year’s selection is a […]

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Ken Whisson 1927 – 2022

Friday, May 6th, 2022 Blog,

Ken Whisson was one of the great originals of Australian art. Had he ever become a household name he would have felt something was wrong. Whisson had no desire to live or paint in a conventional way. Like Giacometti, even when he began to sell work for higher prices he continued to live like a […]

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The NGA’s Gender Agenda

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022 Blog,

Last week, with the fanfare usually reserved for the announcement of a blockbuster exhibition, the National Gallery of Australia released its Gender Equity Plan – a document of 48 pages, filled with glossy pictures, including a team photo of the 15-member Gender Equity working group, a procession of mission statements, commitments, and even definitions of […]

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Peter Powditch 1942 – 2022

Sunday, March 27th, 2022 Blog,

Few contemporary Australian artists become well-known names, but Peter Powditch had his 15 minutes of fame. In 1972 the Sydney Morning Herald was putting together a front page feature on who was going to win that year’s rugby league grand final and Powditch was one of the celebrities contacted for an opinion. In later years […]

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First Test, Old Trafford, 1993. In Memoriam Shane Warne

Friday, March 11th, 2022 Blog,

No facet of the game holds more undeniable aesthetic pleasure than watching the leg-spinner plying his trade – and the First Test was dominated by the wrist-spin of 23-year old Shane Warne, who sent shockwaves through the entire series with his first delivery in England-Australia tests. That ball, known as “The Ball”, or “Warne’s Wonder […]

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A lecture & a bequest at the NMA

Friday, February 25th, 2022 Blog,

For decades, Rupert Myer AO has been one of this country’s most consistent advocates for arts and culture. On Tuesday night Myer delivered a keynote lecture titled Growing Australia’s Cultural Inheritance at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. An impassioned argument for greater cultural awareness and support on behalf of both government and the […]

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Jutta Feddersen 1931 – 2021

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 Blog,

Jutta Feddersen, who has died peacefully at the age of 90, belonged to a generation whose lives were permanently shaped and scarred by the Second World War. Born in 1931, in a German town called Briesen that is now part of Poland, Jutta Schley enjoyed an idyllic rural childhood. One of five children, she was […]

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Hossein Valamanesh 1949 – 2021

Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 Blog,

When Hossein Valamanesh arrived in Australia in 1973, Gough Whitlam was Prime Minister, Patrick White was Australian of the Year, and change was in the air. The first Biennale of Sydney was held at the Opera House, and John Kaldor brought out Gilbert & George as “the living sculptures”. James Mollison purchased Jackson Pollock’s Blue […]