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Tag: International Art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Melancholia

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When it appeared in 2011, Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, was billed as “a beautiful film about the end of the world”. The story was apocalyptic, the narrative slow and moody, reflecting the way sensations are muffled by depression. Tell a depressive the world ends tomorrow, and the reply might be, “Whatever”. Some of Von Trier’s […]

Journals

It All Started with a Stale Sandwich

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Kaldor Public Art Projects, a testament to the persistence of a Hungarian migrant who needed to share his obsession with an entire city, if not a country. The birthday celebrations will continue to spread the Kaldor gospel via an unorthodox retrospective at the Art Gallery of New […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NGV Triennial 2020

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s an old adage that success breeds success but it’s just as true that success breeds complaints. In recent years no Australian art institution has come within coo-ee of the National Gallery of Victoria when it comes to organising spectacular, ambitious exhibitions. These shows have been intended to draw the biggest possible audiences and in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Art of the Spanish Flu

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Anyone who thinks COVID-19 has claimed a huge number of lives should look at the Spanish flu of 1918-20. In Pale Rider (2017), a compelling history of that earlier pandemic, Laura Spinney writes: “Between the first case recorded on 4 March 1918, and the last sometime in March 1920, it killed 50-100 million, or between […]

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 […]

Blog

Christo – His legacy in Australia

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Blog,

Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia. The most important piece of avant-garde art ever made in this country, or the the work of a madman? Both views got plenty of traction at the end of October 1969, when Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009), undertook the monumental task of wrapping part […]

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

Solitude

Friday, May 15th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A successful artist needs more than talent. There has to be a taste – perhaps a need – for solitude. The movies portray artists as great Bohemians who carouse in bars and cafés, have fierce arguments about art and embark on passionate, doomed love affairs, but this is only what they do in their spare […]

Blog

Tales from the Woods

Friday, April 17th, 2020 Blog,

From Goya’s The Third of May, 1808 (1814) to Picasso’s Guernica (1937), to countless, politically correct projects by contemporary artists, the modern era has used art as a megaphone for speaking the truth to power. Yet it remains hard to think of a single instance when a work of so-called ‘political art’ has had any […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Can Indigenous be International?

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

This year sees the first ever Biennale of Sydney with an exclusively indigenous theme. It’s not the only large exhibition to have taken this approach – the Havana Biennial has been devoted to ‘the developing world’ since its inception in 1984 – but it’s probably the most high-profile. It’s an irony that such a globalised […]