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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Art is long but lockdowns are short – even if they seem interminable. With museums and galleries closed, or open by appointment only, this presents a rare opportunity to trawl back over the history of art looking for subjects that illuminate the present. We often hear that a great work of art is “timeless”, meaning […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Artemisia Gentileschi

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

History tells us any socially progressive idea that at first seems unthinkable has a good chance of becoming an orthodoxy. Look, for instance, at Feminism, which no longer attracts the overtly misogynist comments directed at ‘women’s libbers’ in the 1970s. There may be plenty of battles still to be won but few males today would […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archie 100

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Over the past few years there have been times when the Art Gallery of NSW was so empty of visitors it gave the impression someone had just shouted “Fire!”. Right now the opposite applies: the joint is packed to the rafters, with people waiting patiently in queues to see the Archibald Prize. For many this […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

John Olsen: Goya’s Dog

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Only a few weeks ago the Olsen family featured in dual episodes of the ABC’s Australian Story, clearing some skeletons out of the closet. The main storyline concerned Tim Olsen’s battles with drink and drugs, and his efforts to get his life back on-track. There was no disguising that Tim’s problems began with his relationship […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2021

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s now history that Peter Wegner has won the centenary  Archibald Prize with a portrait of centenarian artist, Guy Warren. Wegner wasn’t the ony one to have that idea – by Guy’s reckoning he sat for “four or five” portraits in the lead-up to this year’s prizes, but here’s little doubt the Archibald winner was […]

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 […]