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Tag: portraiture

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 […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

William Robinson: Genesis

Friday, August 31st, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Perhaps the strangest part in these famous words from the Book of Genesis is the emphasis on the word “was”. It makes God sounds like an audio […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2018

Friday, June 29th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

After the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW have plucked the choicest morsels from the Archibald and Wynne buffet, it’s left to the Salon des Refusés to clean up the leftovers. This time there was less to choose from, as the Incredible Expanding Archibald Prize had swelled to 59 finalists, removing many good options […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Archibald Prize 2018

Friday, May 11th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Well I got it completely wrong this year, although Vincent Namatjira got a “highly commended” as runner-up. Yvette Coppersmith’s Archibald Prize winner: Self-portrait after George Lambert wouldn’t have been in my top 20. After due consideration, it still wouldn’t be in my top 20. It seems to me like a stiff, mannered picture that bears […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

Friday, November 17th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It may be the acid test of political correctness but it should be possible to dislike Robert Mapplethorpe’s work without being viewed as homophobic. Mapplethorpe often said he didn’t wish to be known as a “gay artist”, but he is such an icon for the LGBT community it’s virtually impossible to dissociate his work from […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2017

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Every year I nurture a dim fantasy of a Salon des Refusés bristling with masterpieces rejected from the Archibald and Wynne Prizes by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Every year I relinquish this thought almost as soon as I step into the S.H.Ervin Gallery. The Refusés was a great idea when it […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The 2017 Archibald Prize

Friday, July 28th, 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

By the usual Archibald Prize standards 2017 is a low key year. There are plenty of neat, correct entries, a touch of quirkiness, a bit of thick impasto, but nothing to get the pulse racing with delight or indignation. Unless, perhaps, you’re a lunatic right-winger who starts to foam at the mouth at the merest […]