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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2019

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

May has been the month of miracles. This was the way our highly devout Prime Minister described his election victory, which arrived on the back of three years of dysfunctional government and a campaign devoid of policies. It was also the way Tony Costa responded to his victory in this year’s Archibald Prize, for a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Villa Cerruti

Friday, May 17th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A little over a year ago I was in Turin for the announcement of one of the most remarkable private bequests ever handed to a museum of contemporary art. Francesco Federico Cerruti, a local industrialist who made his fortune from the perfect binding process that allowed the spines of books to be glued instead of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Asad Raza: Absorption

Friday, May 10th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Archibald madness may be raging in Sydney this week, but I’m in Europe, feeling a slightly guilty pleasure at being so far from the frontline. Looking at the entries on-line proves the point that it’s impossible to judge works of art from photos. Every year at the preview I feel pretty confident that I can […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Old Masters in Shenzhen

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Thirty years ago Australia began to export Aboriginal art to major venues in the United States and Europe. Unlike earlier international forays, Dreamings (1988) and Aratjara (1993) were framed as art exhibitions, not as collections of ethnographic artefacts. Nowadays, with China unassailable as our largest trading partner, the National Museum of Australia is repeating the exercise with […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The National 2019: New Australian Art

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In its second “edition”, The National: New Australian Art,  is just as hard to love as its predecessor of 2017. A collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks, the show is intended as an overview of the best and the brightest work being produced in Australia today. It’s […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Suzanne Archer: The Song of the Cicada

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Suzanne Archer’s career as an Australian artist began in a blaze of publicity in 1969. Her first solo exhibition at Sydney’s Clune Gallery was written up in the papers, and splashed on radio and TV. It helped that Archer was young and glam, and that the local gallery scene was limited to a handful of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Historical Expression of Chinese Art

Thursday, April 11th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Look no further, we have a winner for the competition for this year’s least sexy exhibition title. The Historical Expression of Chinese Art: Calligraphy and Painting from the National Museum of China, at the National Museum of Australia, will take a lot of beating. Perhaps it sounds better in Mandarin, but this is only too […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art Basel Hong Kong 2019

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“They really exhibit all the nice stuff here,” said Amy Lo, Head of Wealth Management at UBS Hong Kong, by way of justifying the Swiss bank’s continuing sponsorship of Art Basel Hong Kong. That statement might serve as a succinct review of this year’s fair, but it’s actually a bit more complicated. In the whirlwind […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hans and Nora Heysen

Friday, March 29th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There’s a study to be written on artists who are the son or daughter of an already famous artist. In Australia there are many examples but the best story is that of Hans Heysen and his fourth daughter, Nora. This relationship is explored in Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art, at the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Janet Laurence: After Nature

Thursday, March 21st, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“What need has nature of thought, of care?” asked Confucius in the 5thC. BCE. “Plenty” is the answer he’d receive today, as we struggle with the effects of global warming, deforrestation, salination, loss of species and habitat. In the so-called ‘Anthropocene’ era nature needs all the help it can get. Having worked so dilgently to […]