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Sun Xun: Shapeshifter

Friday, July 13th, 2018 Blog,

“Whenever I find people putting a tag on my work I try to prove it untrue,” says Sun Xun. “I take pride in the fact that no-one can catch me. I will change the medium of my work or the style of my work. I’ll aim to be different every time, so that nobody can […]

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John Mawurndjul: Bark Maestro

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 Blog,

Here’s an art trivia question: “Who was the first Australian artist to be given a retrospective at two major European museums?” Answer: John Mawurndjul of western Arnhem Land, who in 2005-06 had his work shown at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. If you don’t remember seeing the exhibition when […]

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Harrie Fasher: The Last Charge

Friday, February 16th, 2018 Blog,

How many artists can look back on their careers and identify an ‘I have arrived’ moment? For Picasso that moment came in 1907 with Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, for Sidney Nolan, it was the first Ned Kelly series of 1946-47. Damien Hirst exhibited his dead shark in formaldehyde in 1991, the following year Jeff Koons showed […]

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Guy Warren

Friday, February 2nd, 2018 Blog,

Guy Warren is part of the landscape of Australian art, which may be the reason he has been so often overlooked. An exact contemporary of artists such as Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Jeffrey Smart, Warren has lived happily enough with a much lower profile. This is partly a reflection of his personality, which displays […]

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Ray Hughes 1946 – 2017

Friday, December 15th, 2017 Blog, Uncategorized,

With the death of someone truly unique it seems the only words that leap to mind are clichés. I’m already counting the number of times I’ve heard that Ray Hughes, who died last week at the age of 72, after a bout of pneumonia, was “larger than life”, a “legendary” art dealer. Such epithets may […]

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Xu Zhen

Friday, December 8th, 2017 Blog,

In 2009 Xu Zhen decided he would “set aside his identity as an individual artist” and become a corporate entity. For the next four years, MadeIn Company (as in “Made in China”) would produce a dazzling variety of work for international museums and galleries. In 2013, its booming success encouraged the Company to release its […]

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Louvre Abu Dhabi

Friday, November 24th, 2017 Blog,

“Let there be light,” said Jean Nouvel, when invited to work on the billion dollar project that has become Louvre Abu Dhabi. The acclaimed French architect refers to himself as a “contextual artist” whose first responsibility is to the broader culture in which a building takes its place. In this instance, his starting point was […]

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Lore of the Land: Songlines

Friday, October 27th, 2017 Blog,

Under a blue, cloudless sky the road is one long strip of red earth, hemmed in by expanses of dry, tufty grass and scrub. The dominant colour is a pale yellow-grey, offset with the faintest tinges of green. The major landmark is Mount Conner, a long flat-topped monolith of reddish rock overshadowed by Uluru’s celebrity. […]

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Cressida Campbell: Who wants the world?

Friday, October 20th, 2017 Blog,

Berlin in January was cold, with snow falling in light drifts. Inside the CFA Gallery on Am Kupfergraben, just across the River Spree from the Museum Island, everything was bright, white and climate-controlled. In a large central gallery on the first floor were massive oil paintings by Australia’s most commercially successful painter, Tim Storrier – […]

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Istanbul – The Art of Optimism

Friday, October 6th, 2017 Blog,

“We are a thin-skinned country,” admitted Selim Yenel, “We are intolerant.” There was no argument from the international journalists assembled around the table. In the face of successive questions about government censorship and repression, the Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs Ambassador provided answers no-one could dispute. Asked about the political persecution of […]