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Tag: National Gallery of Victoria

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 […]

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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 […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Kathryn Del Barton: The Highway is a Disco

Saturday, January 20th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

A friend in Melbourne thinks he’s found the key to the mysterious pictures of Del Kathryn Barton: Smarties. His theory goes that in the formative years of childhood Del had a desperate, unrequited desire for Smarties. As a result she has been compelled forever after to fill her paintings with these small, brightly coloured lollies. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Gareth Sansom: Transformer

Saturday, December 30th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Invited to nominate a masterpiece for a Radio National interview, Gareth Sansom decided to talk about Ingmar Bergman’s movie, The Seventh Seal (1957), which he first saw when he was 18 years old. Decades later he was still thinking about the film, making it the subject of large-scale paintings in 2007 and 2013. The Grim […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NGV Triennial 2017

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Melbourne has long been envious of the Sydney Biennale, which has just announced the artist list for its 21st iteration in 2018. At the opening of the inaugural NGV Triennial this week there was much talk of the one-and-only Melbourne International Biennial, held in 1999, under a title that in retrospect sounds a little tragic: […]