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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024

Friday, April 19th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

After Rain, the theme of the second Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, refers to that moment when a storm has passed, and the desert comes alive. It’s a moment Australians who live in the Outback know well, when flowers spring up out of nowhere and animals go partying. In a world growing hotter and drier, this […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art Basel Hong Kong 2024

Monday, April 8th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Presiding over this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, like the incarnation of the Easter Bunny, was a giant rabbit called Usacchi. The creation of Atsushi Kaga, a Japanese artist who lives in Ireland, Usacchi featured at the Dublin gallery, mother’s tankstation, and Tokyo gallery, Maho Kubota. He appeared in prints with Polígrafa Obra Gràfica from […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art Dubai 2024

Friday, April 5th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For the second year in a row, I’ve come away from Art Dubai with the feeling that it’s distinctly different from every other international art fair. Even as I write, one of the biggest of all fairs is getting ready to launch. Art Basel Hong Kong remains Asia’s premier commercial art event, despite challenges from […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heavenly Beings

Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to immediately fly down to Hobart, look no further. Of all the shows I regret seeing late in the day, and all those that most urgently need to travel to other venues, Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Orthodox Christian World at David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

2024 Biennale of Sydney: Ten Thousand Suns

Saturday, March 16th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ten Thousand Suns may be the most joyous theme we’ve ever had for a Sydney Biennale. Whether we think of the Pharoah Akhenaten trashing the entire pantheon of Egyptian deities in favour of the Sun God, Aton, or the last words of J.M.W. Turner, who allegedly muttered “the sun is God”, it’s axiomatic that the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: A Blueprint for Ruins

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

On a first visit to Suzhou, years ago, I was looking forward to seeing this city of historic canals and gardens. Arriving at night, I wasn’t prepared for the long approach to the CBD, down a boulevard lined with massive buildings, or the skyscrapers that dominated the skyline. I wasn’t prepared, but I should have […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Fairy Tales in Art and Film

Saturday, February 24th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Most fairy tales were written for adults. When Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was compiling the stories we know today as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Puss in Boots, the very idea of “childhood” was relatively new. Or so we understand from French historian, Philippe Ariès, whose influential book Centuries of Childhood (1960), has dominated our […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

In Our Time: Four Decades of Art from China and Beyond. The Geoff Raby Collection

Saturday, February 17th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Many who have lived and worked in China over the past 30 years, have stories about the painting they could have bought for a few hundred dollars that is now worth hundreds of thousands. Geoff Raby, who was Australia’s ambassador to China from 2007-2011, had more opportunities than most, inhabiting a social circle that extended […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NGV Triennial 3

Saturday, February 10th, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Over the past decade I’ve had so many positive things to say about the National Gallery of Victoria that I get accused of favouritism. My response to such charges is very simple: Put in the work and reap the rewards. The NGV owes its success to a busy, dynamic exhibitions program and an unwavering focus […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ann Thomson & Ian Gentle

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Reaching the age of 90 and remaining young is reason enough for us to celebrate Ann Thomson, but for Terence Maloon, curator of the artist’s survey at the S.H. Ervin Gallery, it’s not just a sentimental occasion. He argues forcefully that Thomson’s work “has never stood still, never lost its momentum or intensity, and has […]