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Tag: Art Gallery of NSW

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 […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Wynne Prize 2020

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A visitor to the Art Gallery of NSW has written to me, saying that after living through last year’s horror bushfires on the south coast, he was surprised at the lack of fire paintings in the Wynne Prize. He was also disappointed that the Salon des Refusés seemed to ignore the bushfire crisis, although it […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2020: A Trilogy

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

The Archibald Prize 2020: A First Look   Scomo is out, but Albo is in. And so is Jacinda Adern. If the Art Gallery of NSW were not a steadfastly apolitical institution, one might imagine there is some comment intended in the selection of finalists for the 2020 Archibald Prize. In olden days a portrait […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Khaled Sabsabi: A Promise

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

After the Lebanese civil war an elegant apartment block in Beirut, known locally as the Yellow House, was left disfigured by gaping holes, every surface scarred by bullets. Scheduled for demolition it was saved by a 1994 heritage campaign. Today the building has been artfully restored and turned into a cultural centre called Beit Beirut […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Shadow catchers

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Adelbert von Chamisso’s gothic tale, Peter Schlemihl, the hero sells his shadow to the devil in exchange for a purse perpetually filled with gold, but all the wealth in the world is not enough to compensate for the horror he inspires when his lack of a shadow is noticed. For “shadow” we might read […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Some Mysterious Process

Friday, June 5th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When an art museum celebrates 50 years of its own collecting with an exhibition called Some Mysterious Process, it doesn’t suggest a highly developed sense of irony. One might imagine such a show would stress the insights and knowledge of the curators, the strategic planning involved in tracking and purchasing key works. To say it’s […]