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Tag: portraiture

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2021

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Entering this year’s Portia Geach Memorial Award at the S.H. Ervin Galley means being virtually assaulted by Janne Kearney’s There’s a rainbow after every storm (Tilly Baker, musician). There may be nothing subtle about this portrait but it sets the tone for a show that greets the end of Sydney’s lockdown with a loud hooray! […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Ugly Truth

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ten years ago in Munich, in an exhibition of German Renaissance portraiture, I came across a startling image from 1550 of Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria on his death bed. The Duke wasn’t expiring in a peaceful, dignified manner, he was already gone. One eye was almost closed, the other staring sightlessly at an angle. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Flattery & Kitsch

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Only art and science can raise men to the level of gods,” wrote Ludwig van Beethoven, in a typically grand pronouncement. For music lovers of the late 19thcentury there was no greater Divinity than Beethoven himself. Wagner may have had a cult following, but Beethoven (1770-1827) was the centre of a full-blown religion. One true […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Real Thing

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In the 1970s Coca-Cola had tremendous success with the advertising slogan, ‘It’s the Real Thing’. The idea behind the campaign may have been to distinguish Coke from its chief competitor, Pepsi, but the company was also responding to research that found “young people seek the real, the original and the natural as an escape from […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archie 100

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Over the past few years there have been times when the Art Gallery of NSW was so empty of visitors it gave the impression someone had just shouted “Fire!”. Right now the opposite applies: the joint is packed to the rafters, with people waiting patiently in queues to see the Archibald Prize. For many this […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Archibald Prize 2021

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s now history that Peter Wegner has won the centenary  Archibald Prize with a portrait of centenarian artist, Guy Warren. Wegner wasn’t the ony one to have that idea – by Guy’s reckoning he sat for “four or five” portraits in the lead-up to this year’s prizes, but here’s little doubt the Archibald winner was […]

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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 […]