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Tag: aboriginal art

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

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards 2018

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A remarkable thing happened at this year’s 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT): the stand-out work actually won the major prize. The annual circus of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman may have given me a jaundiced view of art prizes, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

John Mawurndjul: I Am the Old and the New

Friday, July 27th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This year’s best exhibition title is: John Mawurndjul: I Am the Old and the New. A landmark retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the show demonstrates the paradox of bark painting: as one of the oldest forms of artistic expression and something completely new. This was inconceivable to the organisers of the Cologne Art […]

Blog

John Mawurndjul: Bark Maestro

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 Blog,

Here’s an art trivia question: “Who was the first Australian artist to be given a retrospective at two major European museums?” Answer: John Mawurndjul of western Arnhem Land, who in 2005-06 had his work shown at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. If you don’t remember seeing the exhibition when […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Colony

Friday, May 4th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If I seem to be constantly writing in praise of the National Gallery of Victoria this isn’t because the grass is always greener interstate. It’s because the NGV has been attending so well to the fundamental business of what a gallery should be doing. Arguably the most important task is to provide a vibrant program […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Songlines

Friday, January 12th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters is a show with a story – one of the oldest ever told in this country. It’s an R-rated tale of seven sisters being pursued by a lustful man who first appears in the Pilbara and follows them across the deserts of Western Australia to the very heart of the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tarnanthi 2017

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians is another one of those issues the government would prefer not to think about. Its proponents say it’s a matter of basic human rights but this term has been so weirdly politicised in recent years there are people who interpret a call for rights as opening the door to anarchy. […]

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Lore of the Land: Songlines

Friday, October 27th, 2017 Blog,

Under a blue, cloudless sky the road is one long strip of red earth, hemmed in by expanses of dry, tufty grass and scrub. The dominant colour is a pale yellow-grey, offset with the faintest tinges of green. The major landmark is Mount Conner, a long flat-topped monolith of reddish rock overshadowed by Uluru’s celebrity. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Defying Empire

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

During the Howard years we were constantly hearing about the Culture Wars – a term borrowed from the United States, pertaining to the battle between conservative and liberal values. In Australia the conflict became fixated on whether this continent had been taken by force from its original inhabitants, and what reparations were due. It was […]