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Tag: Australian art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Tom Gleghorn

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Robert Hughes once explained his reasons for leaving Australia by saying that if he’d stayed he would have ended up as the world expert on Tom Gleghorn. It wasn’t a swipe at one particular artist so much as an airy dismissal of Australian provincialism, but it left me with a lingering impression of Gleghorn as […]

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

Back to the galleries

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One can look at a million artworks on-line but there’s no substitute for the real thing. It may sound obvious but it’s a point worth emphasising in a world in which the COVID-19 lockdown has transformed public and private galleries into digital showcases. Last week many of the commercial galleries began opening their doors again, […]

Blog

Frank Watters 1934 – 2020

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 Blog,

Frank Watters, who has died at the age of 86, was not only a pillar of the Sydney gallery scene for more than 50 years, he was a truly humane personality in a business that breeds sharks. Although he adored gossip and had a wicked wit, Frank held fast to his own standards. He was […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Biennale of Sydney 2020. Part 2

Thursday, March 26th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Another week, another avalanche of statistics about infections and fatalities. As I write, the Biennale of Sydney, which has made heroic efforts to remain open, has just announced it will be switching to a digital platform. This is a poor substitute for the first-hand experience of works of art but it’s better than a total […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Biennale of Sydney 2020. Part 1

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Every morning in Sydney we wake to news of cancellations and closures because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. By the time this column appears there may be few major (or minor) venues that remain open, but – following that perennial advice about keeping a cool head in a crisis – I’m going to proceed as […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Adelaide Biennial 2020: Monster Theatres

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

 “Monster” is a word that invites the most contradictory responses. We think of a monster as something hideous, out-of-the-ordinary, dark and dangerous, but given the opportunity to see one we come running. This is borne out by the popularity of horror movies, the freak shows that drew audiences to carnivals and fairs, the perennial fascination […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Water

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As Australia burns it seems almost callous to call an exhibition Water. When this show was being planned the  curators at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art could hardly know it would coincide with one of the worst bushfire seasons of all time. They were more likely motivated by the drought that has dragged on since […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Robert Klippel: Assembled

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since Bob Klippel died, and 17 years since his definitive retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW. At the time it was commonplace to hear Klippel (1920-2001) described as “Australia’s greatest sculptor” – a title that generated a good deal of grumbling and dissent among his peers. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Jon Molvig: Maverick

Friday, December 6th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

If art were like rugby league Margaret Olley and Jon Molvig would have been NSW State-of-Origin stars. Instead they will always be associated with Queensland where they spent a significant part of ther lives. This year’s Olley retrospective at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art drew massive crowds. Jon Molvig: Maverick, at the Queensland Art Gallery, […]