Tag: Australian art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Elisabeth Cummings: Radiance

Sunday, September 17th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s the supreme test of a great artist that their work never grows stale. Upon repeated viewings, conducted over years or even decades, there are paintings that retain their freshness, renewing themselves in front of one’s eyes. As it has been only six years since a survey of Elisabeth Cummings’s work at the S.H. Ervin […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Contemporary 2023

Wednesday, September 13th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Contemporary art is forever making statements about political and social justice, but there’s no escaping the fact that art fairs are massive commercial enterprises in which artworks are, first and foremost, commodities. Is there anything wrong with that? No, not unless you are making work that is a strident denunciation of the capitalist system. In […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art in Conflict

Friday, August 25th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As it awaits the unveiling of its new galleries in 2025, the Australian War Memorial (AWM) has had to defend itself against hostile forces. At a proposed cost of more than $500 million the renovation has attracted criticism from architects, academics and heritage groups, not to mention the envy of other institutions that can only […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Darwin 2023

Saturday, August 19th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Another hot August night in Darwin, another National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. It was the 40th occasion this event has been celebrated at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT), and rarely has it gone off so smoothly. Things felt a little tentative last year as the industry emerged […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

In the Arms of Unconsciousness: Women, Feminism & the Surreal

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

André Breton’s Surrealists styled themselves as professional troublemakers, sworn enemies of social and cultural convention, but in their attitudes towards women the boys were remarkably old-fashioned. If one ignores the rhetoric, it’s clear that women were viewed as either sexual objects or muses, but rarely as active subjects. The Surrealists may have wanted their women, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Michael Zavros & eX de Medici

Tuesday, July 25th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Post-pandemic, the art museums are finding international blockbusters prohibitively expensive and loans hard to secure. For some, the only solution has been to fall back on the permanent collection, but in Brisbane, the Gallery of Modern Art has been more proactive. Dual mid-career surveys of Michael Zavros and eX de Medici are distinguished by the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Francis Giacco

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Controversy is the constant companion of the Archibald Prize, but not always because it has been awarded to some wild and crazy picture. In 1994, when only 32 works were hung, the winner was an elaborate group portrait that owed a greater debt to Vermeer than to any artist of the past three hundred years. […]


Jeffrey Smart, ‘The Bather, Bondi’ (1962)

Friday, June 16th, 2023 Journals,

JEFFREY SMART (1921-2013) The Bather, Bondi 1962 oil on board 49.0 x 72.0 cm signed lower left: JEFFREY SMART Provenance: South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne, 1962 Jean Parker (formerly Ramsey), Melbourne Estate of the above Amanda Addams Auctions, Melbourne, 13 April 2008, lot 285 Private collection, Melbourne Exhibited: Jeffrey Smart, South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne,11-24 November 1962, cat.7 […]


John Olsen, ‘Lake Alexandrina and Dirt Roads’ (1997-98)

Friday, June 16th, 2023 Journals,

JOHN OLSEN Lake Alexandrina and Dirt Roads 1997-98 oil on canvas 199.0 x 183.0 cm signed and dated lower right: John/ Olsen/ 97-98 signed and inscribed verso: Dirt Roads & Lake John/ Olsen Provenance: Savill Galleries, Sydney Private collection, Melbourne Exhibited: John Olsen: Recent Work 1995-1998, Olsen Carr Art Dealers, Sydney, 7-25 April 1998, cat.13 (illus. […]


Bob Edwards: A Eulogy

Friday, June 16th, 2023 Blog,

Bob Edwards once asked me if I’d like to be director of a wellknown art institution. I said “No”, and have no regrets, but if I had wanted the job, I know he would have worked behind the scenes to make it a reality. He did this – discreetly – for others whom he had […]