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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Cornelia Parker

Friday, November 15th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A good deal of contemporary art is wilfully opaque but the work of Cornelia Parker is distinguished by a consistent, lucid intelligence – which is not to say there aren’t plenty of puzzles. I’ve never been a fan of wall labels that explain a work but with the survey Rachel Kent has put together for […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Guan Wei

Friday, November 8th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

 This is Guan Wei month in Sydney, with the Museum of Contemporary Art displaying its holdings of this popular Chinese-Australian artist; the University of Western Sydney hosting an exhibition at its Parramatta South Campus, and Martin Browne Contemporary showing new work. Not many artists can say they’ve had three exhibitions running sumultaneously in the same […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sculpture By the Sea 2019

Friday, November 1st, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Proof arrived this week that climate change is real and urgent. The standard beginning of Sculpture by the Sea (SXS) sees visitors plodding around the coastal trail between Bondi and Tamarama in the pouring rain, but the first day of this year’s show was a scorcher. When the magical rain-bringing powers of this event are […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tarnanthi 2019

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Since its inception in 2015, Tarnanthi has rapidly become one of this country’s essential art events. The word, in the Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains means “to rise, come forth, spring up or appear,” but a more appropriate verb might be: “to mushroom”. The major attraction of this sprawling festival of indigenous culture is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

De Chirico

Saturday, October 19th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) had no doubts as to his own greatness. “I am an exceptional man,” he writes in his Memoirs, “who feels and understands a hundred times more strongly than others.” In the 1940s de Chirico began signing his works: “Pictor Optimus” (‘The best painter’). It was a riposte to an Italian art […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Steirischer Herbst 2019: Grand Hotel Abyss

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Welcome to the Grand Hotel Abyss. The phrase was coined in 1933 by Marxist literary critic, György Lukacs, as a put-down of another group of Marxist intellectuals – the so-called Frankfurt School, whose ranks included luminaries such as Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and Jürgen Habermas. Lukacs argued that the Frankfurt School practised a form of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

River on the Brink

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When your Prime-Minister is admiring a McDonalds in Ohio while other world leaders are attending a United Nations summit on climate change, it gives a pretty clear indication of the importance this government assigns to environmental policy. The PM likes to present himself as a real Aussie bloke and his solution to global warming could […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Scientists have disproved the old adage about lightning never striking the same place twice, and John Kaldor has confirmed their findings. In 2009 the Art Gallery of NSW hosted the exhibition 40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects. Today the AGNSW’s major exhibition is Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects. The story […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Savanhdary Vongpoothorn: All That Arises

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

How dreary Australian culture would be if it wasn’t for refugees. In every generation since the Second World War there have been significant artists who came to this country because of conflict or persecution in their homelands. This is worth remembering at a time in which xenophobia and insularity are making a comeback, aided by […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Contemporary Art Fair 2019

Thursday, September 12th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ask any art dealer and they’ll tell you the market has gone flat, as collectors brace themselves for a Trump-led recession. Ordinarily this should put a cloud over an event such as the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, now in its sixth iteration, but the atmosphere and sentiment is absurdly up-beat. When I visited Carriageworks last […]