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Tag: Art Gallery of NSW

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Archibald of Archibalds

Friday, June 11th, 2021 Blog,

If we imagine the history of the Archbald Prize for portraiture as one big competition featuring every winner from 1921 to the present, which painting would emerge on top? It may sound tantalising but as with most of the competitions I’ve seen, it’s quite easy to pick. For sheer painterly bravura, for a unique blend […]

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Archibald & Others: The results are in

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 Blog,

It’s tempting to say justice was done this year with Peter Wegner’s portrait of 100-year-old artist, Guy Warren, taking out the 100th Archibald, but it was a virtual inevitability. Had the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW decided to do something daring and different they may have been lynched by an angry mob of […]

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Packing Room Prize & more

Monday, May 31st, 2021 Blog,

In this ever changin’ world in which we’re livin’, as Paul McCartney sang, it’s reassuring that some things remain the same. One of those fixed points is the annual Archibald Prize for portraiture which comes around with mind-numbing regularity, sometimes looking a little better, sometimes a little worse. Godzilla has a son and so too […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The National 2021

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Conceived as “a celebration of contemporary Australian art”, The National has been a strange beast ever since its inception in 2017. One of the problems of this event – a biennial collaboration between the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Carriageworks – is that it has occasionally seemed to be a […]

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Cultural death by a 1,000 cuts

Saturday, April 17th, 2021 Blog,

Should we be surprised the Berejiklian government is contemplating a sneaky cut to the operating budgets of major cultural institutions? By now we’re accustomed to those familiar patterns of secrecy, lack of transparency, and the reckless disregard for both public and expert opinion. The rule is: “We know best, so suck it up.” For a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Margel Hinder

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

When Margel Hinder told an interviewer in 1972 that she was “terribly thrilled by all the television towers” it may have sounded like a joke about Sydney’s suburban sprawl, but she was probably quite sincere. Hinder drew inspiration from both natural and mechanical forms, being as fascinated by a spider web as by a metal […]

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2020: The Year in Review

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 Blog,

In March last year a friend in Bangladesh forwarded a news item that said Australia’s borders would be closed until September. “Is it true!!!!” he exclaimed. I was sceptical and replied that neither the economy nor people’s limits of endurance would allow the closures to last that long. I thought we’d be flying again within […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Pat Larter

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

Encountering Pat Larter for the first time, people often said: “I’m sure I’ve met you before somewhere.” Most probably it was in one of the many versions of Pat painted by her husband, Richard Larter. Once seen these pictures were hard to forget. It’s not unusual for an artist to take his wife as muse […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2020

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Most children draw instinctively as a way of understanding and taking control of the world. If the great majority of us stop drawing at a certain age it’s not because we have attained a level of mastery. On the contrary, at around 9 or 10, so psychologists tell us, we become self-critical, feeling we don’t […]

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Streeton: A First Look

Friday, November 13th, 2020 Blog,

When the title of a show is simply the artist’s surname it sends a message. If you don’t know who Streeton is, well… you should. It’s like saying “Picasso”, rather than “Pablo Picasso” or “Rembrandt” rather than “Rembrandt van Rijn”. The unattended surname signifies greatness. It’s a warning you’ll miss out on an essential Australian […]