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Tag: National Gallery of Victoria

Sydney Morning Herald Column

She-Oak and Sunlight

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Do we really need another survey of Australian Impressionism? It’s been 14 years since the National Gallery of Victoria’s previous overview of the field and one wonders what new breakthroughs have occurred since then. In 2007 it still seemed a novel idea that we might call this group of artists “Impressionists” in place of more […]

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

Keith Haring Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Some artists are shooting stars, others get their names carved into the annals of art history. The trick is to distinguish one from the other. Disgusted by the rampant commercialism of the New York art scene of the 1980s, Robert Hughes wrote a mock-epic poem, The SoHoiad, in which included throwaway references to “Keith Boring” […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s an unspoken convention that museums display modern art in brightly-lit white boxes while ancient artefacts are picked out by spotlights in darkened rooms. It may be symbolic that the art of our time is to be viewed with maximum clarity, nothing concealed, while the shadows and gloom of historical displays reflect the partial state […]

Blog

Overshadowing the Empire

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 Blog,

Cai Guo-Qiang gives the impression of being a truly happy man. Tall and lean, he has the crew cut favoured by the marines, but unlike those artists who need to appear terribly earnest, he is quick with a smile and a laugh. Why wouldn’t he be happy? Cai was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Playful” is the word on everyone’s lips as they go around the National Gallery of Victoria’s Alexander Calder survey. Yet for Sandy Rower, the artist’s grandson, who manages the Calder Foundation in New York, the term is completely taboo. Rower argues that to imagine Calder (1898-1976) was “playful” is to completely misjudge his character. Based […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hans and Nora Heysen

Friday, March 29th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There’s a study to be written on artists who are the son or daughter of an already famous artist. In Australia there are many examples but the best story is that of Hans Heysen and his fourth daughter, Nora. This relationship is explored in Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art, at the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Escher X nendo

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

M.C.Escher is one of those artists that exerts an irresistible fascination on young minds. I remember being entranced by the Dutchman’s drawings while still at school after an art teacher suggested I look at his work. Even if the name is unfamiliar, at some stage you will have probably seen one of Escher’s signature images […]

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

The Field Revisited

Friday, May 25th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

No exhibition of Australian art has been more mythologised than The Field. Indeed, its only historical competition might be the 9 by 5 Impression exhibition of 1889, in which artists such as Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton scandalised Melbourne by calling themselves “Impressionists”. The Field proved equally controversial when it launched the new St.Kilda Road […]