Tag: contemporary art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Zoe Leonard: Al río/To the River

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Zoe Leonard’s Al río/To the River is an exhibition that will test local audiences. It’s a deeply serious, critically acclaimed project featuring many hundreds of black-and-white images, that took five years to complete. The show is accompanied by a two-volume Hatje Cantz publication, with parallel texts in English, Spanish and French, in which the artist […]

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

White Rabbit: I Am the People

Saturday, August 12th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In China, art is constantly flirting with politics. It’s a game of approach-and-retreat everywhere in evidence in the new White Rabbit exhibition, I Am the People, which features 27 artists or groups of artists. It’s one of curator, David Williams’s most ambitious, most overtly political shows – perhaps not as attractive or spectacular as some […]

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

proppaNOW & Tennant Creek Brio

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

With the greatest Aboriginal art it’s often the skill and refinement that’s impressive. One thinks of the hypnotic rhythms of Western Desert painting, the infinite patience with which John Mawurndjul applies thin lines of ochre to a piece of bark. There are the stories that hark back to a time of spirits and mythical beings, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ramsay Art Prize 2023

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

To the best of my knowledge, until late last month there had never been a major Australian art prize awarded to   a performance piece. It had to happen eventually, and the breakthrough moment came at the Art Gallery of South Australia, where local girl, Ida Sophia, took out the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize, for her […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The National 4: New Australian Art

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

Surveys of contemporary art are rarely smooth, coherent affairs and The National 4: Australian Art Now is no exception. In her catalogue essay, Jennifer Higgie tries to answer the unanswerable question: “What is Australian contemporary art?” and comes up with a long list of contradictory propositions. It’s not exactly revelatory, but it makes the point […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Fantastic Forms at Bundanon

Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When Bundanon received $2.4 million in the federal budget it was widely viewed as an endorsement of this rural arts oasis, gifted to the nation by Arthur and Yvonne Boyd in 1993. The unspoken reason for the grant was sheer survival: like so many institutions under the Morrison government, Bundanon, located in bushland near Nowra, […]