Tag: National Gallery of Victoria

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Rembrandt – True to Life

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When the exhibition, Rembrandt: A Genius and His Impact, was shown in Melbourne at the end of 1997, viewers were surprised by the quality of the loans. It was widely assumed that leading museums would never lend us major works by the Dutch Master, but this did not take into account the negotiating skills of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Matisse and Picasso, those twin towers of modern art, had one serious point of disagreement: Pierre Bonnard. In her tell-all memoir, Life with Picasso, Françoise Gilot recounts her former husband’s scathing opinion of Bonnard: “That’s not painting, what he does. He never goes beyond his own sensibility. He doesn’t know how to choose… The result […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

2022 and Beyond

Monday, January 2nd, 2023 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There’s been plenty to think about in 2022, including war in the Ukraine, a looming global recession and floods along the north coast, but if one had to nominate Australia’s most momentous event of the year it would have to be the change of government. Whether this was equally momentous for the visual arts remains […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Alexander McQueen: Mind Mythos Muse

Monday, December 26th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“I don’t see fashion as curing cancer or AIDS – or anything else for that matter,” said Alexander McQueen. “At the end of the day they are just clothes.” This statement, like so many others uttered by this prodigiously talented designer, testifies to the contradictions that defined his career and character. For McQueen (1969-2010), fashion […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Picasso Century

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Nothing is excluded,” said Picasso, when asked about his methods. The Picasso Century at the National Gallery of Victoria provides the evidence for that sweeping claim. The show uses the iconic artist as the key to unlock an overview of the Modernist epoch. We see how Picasso’s innovations helped shape very different movements and tendencies; […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column


Saturday, June 11th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Art is a queer business. That seems to be the overriding message in a monumental show at the National Gallery of Victoria dedicated to shedding light on many aspects of art and social history that have been shunned, misrepresented, or left shrouded in darkness. Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection is an extraordinary exhibition that […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“I am not a heroine,” Gabrielle Chanel told one of her biographers. “But I have chosen the person I wanted to be and am. Too bad if I am disliked and unpleasant.” Like most things this famous couturiere said, this statement requires unpacking. Madame Chanel could be extremely unpleasant, but also wildly generous. She was […]

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” […]