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Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hassall Collection

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Last week I had occasion to reflect at length on that strange beast, the art collector. The immediate stimulus was a talk at Artspace during a private view of the Michael Hobbs Collection. The late Michael Hobbs was a mainstay of the Sydney art scene for many decades, and his children are honouring his legacy […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Perth Festival Art 2019

Thursday, February 28th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In 2018 the Art Gallery of Western Australia chose to opt out of the Perth Festival. This year AGWA has made an impressive comeback with Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley – the stand-out event in the 2019 visual arts program. It’s an exhibition that has been six years in the making, and the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Instead of asking: “How are you?”, the Chinese might greet you with words: “Have you eaten?” If ever one required confirmation of the Chinese love of food please note that the most famous and popular works in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, are two miraculous carvings: one of a cabbage, the other a piece of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Minimalism.Space.Light.Object.

Thursday, February 14th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Singapore’s National Gallery is in that honeymoon phase the National Gallery of Australia enjoyed in its early days. Inaugural director, Eugene Tan, has encouraged his curators to set the agenda, resulting in a highly original series of exhibitions exploring the art of South-East Asia and its relationship to the rest of the world. The Gallery […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate

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

Exhibition titles are of the same order of marketing as those advertisements that claim by signing up for some course you can make millions or learn to speak another language in two weeks. Naturally if you don’t succeed it’s always your own fault. So when we come across a show titled Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Destination Sydney re-imagined

Thursday, January 31st, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In summer 2015 three of the city’s leading public galleries combined forces to stage an exhibition called Destination Sydney, bringing together work by nine prominent local artists, past and present. Although it would be hard to think of a less inspiring title the show seemed to work. At the very least it worked well enough […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Taipei Dangdai Art Fair 2019

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

Taiwan is only 180 kilometres from the coast of China but it displays an utterly different cast of mind. So when President Xi Jinping unleashed another round of sabre rattling rhetoric this month, declaring that Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with the mainland, one thinks instinctively of what might be lost rather than gained. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Nongirrna Marawili

Friday, January 18th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A talking point with the Tony Tuckson show at the Art Gallery of NSW is that the artist’s first solo exhibition came at the age of 48. Most of today’s art students would probably think anyone who leaves it so late must be doomed to failure. At nearly 50, surely one should be thinking about […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tony Tuckson: The Abstract Sublime

Friday, January 11th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In a review of Tony Tuckson’s second and final solo exhibition, held at Watters Gallery in April, 1973, James Gleeson spoke of a “rare, wild energy that is without parallel in Australian painting.” Four decades later that claim still holds true. Over the years there have been plenty of artists who qualify as ‘Abstract Expressionists’ […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Escher X nendo

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

M.C.Escher is one of those artists that exerts an irresistible fascination on young minds. I remember being entranced by the Dutchman’s drawings while still at school after an art teacher suggested I look at his work. Even if the name is unfamiliar, at some stage you will have probably seen one of Escher’s signature images […]