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Tag: contemporary art

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

White Rabbit: And Now

Thursday, June 18th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As art in Sydney creeps back into the light, White Rabbit Gallery is embarking on its second decade. Over its first ten years, Judith Neilson’s private museum of contemporary Chinese art has charted the social, political and cultural changes in a turbulent country. The collection now includes more than 3,000 works by 700 artists, all […]

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, […]

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 […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Art and Propaganda

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“All art is propaganda…” wrote George Orwell. “On the other hand, not all propaganda is art.” He was talking about Charles Dickens, but I thought of this line when watching the new Netflix series, Hollywood, which sets out to overturn the racist and homophobic attitudes of the movie business in the late 1940s. As “art” […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Shock Therapy

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When he opened his Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart in January 2011, David Walsh warned visitors they would be shocked and offended by what they saw, but the greatest shock proved to be the almost universal enthusiasm of those first day crowds. From Wim Delvoye’s poo-making machine to Greg Taylor’s plaster casts […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Christian Louboutin: The Exhibitionist

Saturday, March 14th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This weekend sees the launch of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, the first ever to showcase the work of indigenous artists from around the world. I’ll be taking a look at the Biennale next week, while keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve learned in the past that it’s best not to go into this event with […]

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

Wansolwara: One Salt Water

Saturday, February 29th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Contemporary art’s great wave has taken its time to engulf the Pacific. The voyages of Captain Cook and other explorers may have opened up the region to European influence and the depredations of colonialism but the post-colonial era has seen a resurgence of indigenous expressions. Traditional forms and new means have combined to produce a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Perth Festival 2020: The Art

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Sydney and Melbourne may consider themselves the nation’s cultural powerhouses but when it comes to the annual festivals Perth now has a greater commitment to the visual arts than any other city. In the years I’ve been attending the Perth Festival it’s never disappointed. First-time director, Iain Grandage, a composer, has put together an exceptional […]