Tag: abstract art

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 […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Philip Guston Now

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

We are forever hearing about artists whose work is “challenging” and “subversive”, usually in the context of some prestigious museum survey. In the pageant of contemporary art, the oppositional artist has become a stock figure. He, she, or they know exactly what buttons to push to win the esteem of institutions that passionately need to […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Les Sculptures Refusées 2021

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Of all the art events stifled by the pandemic, Sculpture by the Sea must be among the hardest hit. Until last year the annual stroll along the shore between Bondi and Tamarama had become part of Sydney life and a reliable tourist magnet. At its peak SXS has posted attendances of more than 500,000, a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Valerie Olsen, William Kentridge

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It would be wrong to say Valerie Marshall Strong Olsen waited a long time for her retrospective. Any suggestion of waiting disappeared with the artist’s death ten years ago. What makes this show at the National Art School’s Rayner Hoff Project Space so special is that it is also Olsen’s first-ever solo exhibition. Today, when […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Dhambit Mununggurr, Karl Wiebke, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Helen Eager

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Like all businesses in Sydney, the commercial galleries were quick to open their doors last week. Private and online sales have continued during lockdown but it must be reassuring to see flesh-and-blood customers again. First stop, for me, was Dhambit Mununggurr’s Durrk – I can fly, at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Like so many talented […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Paintings and Music

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There’s only one way to begin a piece on paintings inspired by music – with a famous line by the Victorian aesthete, Walter Pater. In an essay of 1873, Pater wrote: “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” It’s an idea that took on added significance with the development of abstract painting, particularly […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hilma af Klint

Friday, August 27th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) may be the biggest thing to come from Sweden since Abba but she was anything but an overnight success. Originally known as a painter of relatively conventional landscapes, portraits and botanical pictures, af Klint led a double life. Her posthumous claim to fame rests on a remarkable series of spiritualist works […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Unknown Masterpiece

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Honoré de Balzac’s story, The Unknown Masterpiece (Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu), the painter, Frenhofer, tells us: “the aim of art is not to copy nature, but to express it. You are not a servile copyist, but a poet!” This brief tale, first published in 1831, has remained a favourite of artists down the ages. The […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Five Artists, Seven days

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It seems like an age ago but in September 2019 I travelled with five artists and a film crew to Mount Zero Taravale in far north Queensland, a property owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). We spent a week in the bush preparing for an exhibition that has just opened at Defiance Gallery, Mary […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Karl Wiebke, Ebony Russell, Lea Ferris & Dave Teer

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s almost impossible to imagine ‘pure’ abstraction in art but Karl Wiebke takes us to the brink. His Seven Paintings at Liverpool Street Gallery avoid all the usual associations we habitually attach to an abstract work, being not suggestive of landscapes, figures, or architectonic details such as doors or windows. So what do we see? […]