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Tag: portraiture

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Salon des Refusés 2021

Friday, June 11th, 2021 Blog,

When the Art Gallery of NSW moved the opening of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes from September to June, it was bound to have consequences for the quality of the exhibitions. The 2021 Archibald season kicks off this weekend, less than five months after the closure of last year’s shows on 10 January. This […]

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Archibald of Archibalds

Friday, June 11th, 2021 Blog,

If we imagine the history of the Archbald Prize for portraiture as one big competition featuring every winner from 1921 to the present, which painting would emerge on top? It may sound tantalising but as with most of the competitions I’ve seen, it’s quite easy to pick. For sheer painterly bravura, for a unique blend […]

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Archibald & Others: The results are in

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 Blog,

It’s tempting to say justice was done this year with Peter Wegner’s portrait of 100-year-old artist, Guy Warren, taking out the 100th Archibald, but it was a virtual inevitability. Had the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW decided to do something daring and different they may have been lynched by an angry mob of […]

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Packing Room Prize & more

Monday, May 31st, 2021 Blog,

In this ever changin’ world in which we’re livin’, as Paul McCartney sang, it’s reassuring that some things remain the same. One of those fixed points is the annual Archibald Prize for portraiture which comes around with mind-numbing regularity, sometimes looking a little better, sometimes a little worse. Godzilla has a son and so too […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

William Yang: Seeing & Being Seen

Monday, April 5th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

William Yang is a Sydney institution but a Queenslander born and bred. Last week he was reclaimed by his state of origin for a retrospective at the Queensland Art Gallery that allows us to read one artist’s career as a tale of social evolution. Even allowing for the wrong turnings of the present day, over […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Wendy Sharpe: Ghosts

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When a gallery offers virtually its entire exhibition space for an artist to do whatever she likes it’s both tempting and intimidating. Nothing, however, is too much for Wendy Sharpe. Ever since she took on the challenge of creating eight mural-sized works for the Cook & Philip Park Acquatic Centre in 1997, Sharpe has never […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2020

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There must be a limit to the industrial quantity of portraits served up annually to the Australian public. This year we’ve already had the Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H.Ervin; the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award in Bega; the National Photographic Portrait Prize and the Darling Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2020: A Trilogy

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

The Archibald Prize 2020: A First Look   Scomo is out, but Albo is in. And so is Jacinda Adern. If the Art Gallery of NSW were not a steadfastly apolitical institution, one might imagine there is some comment intended in the selection of finalists for the 2020 Archibald Prize. In olden days a portrait […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2019

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

May has been the month of miracles. This was the way our highly devout Prime Minister described his election victory, which arrived on the back of three years of dysfunctional government and a campaign devoid of policies. It was also the way Tony Costa responded to his victory in this year’s Archibald Prize, for a […]

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 […]