Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hayden Wilson: Fake Truths

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Art can never be ‘fake news’ – it is by definition a work of the imagination, but that doesn’t mean it can’t imitate reality, can’t indulge in forms of masquerade and impersonation. It’s this twilight zone between truth and fiction that fascinates Hadyn Wilson, the 2020 artist-in-residence at the State Library of NSW. The fruit […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ramsay Art Prize 2021

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Still basking in the success of its Clarice Beckett survey the Art Gallery of South Australia is now pushing hard in the field of contemporary art. The Beckett exhibition was a major feat of historical restitution but the 2021 Ramsay Art Prize is focused on the future. The $100,000 first prize is awarded not simply […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Lumen

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Lumens may sound like alien beings from a science fiction novel but they are units of measurement for “the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time.” Any light source may be measured in this way but lumens are usually spoken about in relation to projectors. By titling its current […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Home Of The Arts Opens

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s been a long time coming but last weekend the Gold Coast finally opened its new gallery, modestly titled Home Of The Arts. A few minutes drive from the concrete heart of Surfers Paradise it’s virtually impossible to miss the building – the latest concoction by Melbourne postmodernists, Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM). A six-storey block […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tree of Life

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One could hardly imagine a more universal subject than the tree. It’s one of the first things children draw, as a familiar lollipop shape. It lies at the centre of almost every major cosmology, from Adam and Eve’s misadventures in the Garden of Eden to Yggdrasil, the tree at the centre of the old Norse […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

She-Oak and Sunlight

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Do we really need another survey of Australian Impressionism? It’s been 14 years since the National Gallery of Victoria’s previous overview of the field and one wonders what new breakthroughs have occurred since then. In 2007 it still seemed a novel idea that we might call this group of artists “Impressionists” in place of more […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The National 2021

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Conceived as “a celebration of contemporary Australian art”, The National has been a strange beast ever since its inception in 2017. One of the problems of this event – a biennial collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks – is that it has occasionally seemed to be a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Dobell Drawing Prize 2021

Monday, April 19th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If anyone should know about drawing it’s Guy Warren – he’s been doing it for about 90 years, although he only began taking lessons in his teens. When I spoke with Warren last week, as he was closing in on his century, he related drawing, and art in general, back to prehistoric times. “Making a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

William Yang: Seeing & Being Seen

Monday, April 5th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

William Yang is a Sydney institution but a Queenslander born and bred. Last week he was reclaimed by his state of origin for a retrospective at the Queensland Art Gallery that allows us to read one artist’s career as a tale of social evolution. Even allowing for the wrong turnings of the present day, over […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

On a rainy day in Sydney it feels completely appropriate to be writing about Clarice Beckett. She was an artist for whom the ideal atmospheric conditions were overcast, a bit misty. Her work is all about the weather. As a subject it couldn’t be more commonplace but it transports us into a realm of indistinct […]