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Tag: modern art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage is the offspring of Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection, held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris at the end of 2016. Having seen that exhibition, which was one of the great experiences of decades spent in art museums, it’s hard to get too excited about […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

MoMA at NGV

Monday, July 23rd, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Museums have an historical mission to preserve a cultural legacy and bring it before the public. It’s a goal shared by all such insititutions, big or small, but there are huge disparities between the leading international museums and their aspirational counterparts. For the art of the 20th century the Museum of Modern Art in New […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Giorgio de Chirico: Major works from the Collection of Francesco Federico Cerruti

Friday, March 16th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Giorgio de Chirico had an irrascible reputation but never lacked self-confidence. Although recognised as one of great modern artists, de Chirico (1888-1978) was a vehement opponent of Modernism. In his eyes, Cézanne, Matisse and Modigliani were no more than “pseudo-artists”, makers of infantile daubs. “Naturally,” he writes in his Memoirs, “in order to see and […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Van Gogh and the Seasons

Saturday, May 13th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When Vincent Van Gogh shot himself in a field near Auvers-sur-Oise in 1890 he was on the verge of a successful career. The tide had turned against Impressionism, which was felt to be too dry and rational in its methods. Up-and-coming critics such as Albert Aurier were championing the role of the imagination, and saw […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sydney Moderns

Saturday, July 20th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When an artist calls a work A Painted Picture of the Universe it means he’s thinking big. It’s rather a grand title for a small abstraction, even if it did take Roy De Maistre 14 years to complete this cosmological fantasy. De Maistre (1894-1968) is one of the central figures in Sydney Moderns: Art for […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Jim Dine & Sam Francis

Saturday, November 17th, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Several friends have sent me the same article from The Guardian about American art critic, Dave Hickey, who says he is quitting the art business because it has become “calcified, self-reverential and a hostage to rich collectors.” This diagnosis is nothing but the unvarnished truth. If we’re shielded from the worst of it in Australia […]

Art Essays

New MCA

Saturday, April 7th, 2012 Australian Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A new Museum of Contemporary Art has been a long time coming. This weekend the public can take a first look and see if the wait has been worthwhile. My own verdict, after an intensive preview, is that it is a qualified success. Some would argue we have been waiting ever since John Wardell Power’s […]

Art Essays

Modern Painting in 15 Easy Pieces: The past 100 years

Friday, August 15th, 2003 General Art Essays, International Art,

All definitions of modern art are bound to end in failure, but that has not prevented artists and writers from making the attempt. In fact, one might see the entire twentieth century as an unbroken sequence of definitions and re-definitions, with each movement taking its cue from an earlier one, but striving to surpass and […]

Art Essays

Art & Politics

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003 General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There was a period of about a decade, starting from the early-to-mid 1980s, when every major art event had to be accompanied by an extensive series of forums. These talk-fests were often boring, and always inconclusive. Some participants gave the impression of having done no preparation whatsoever, others had written papers of impenetrable, theoretical complexity. […]