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Tag: S.H. Ervin Gallery

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Destination Sydney

Friday, January 22nd, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Destination Sydney is an inelegant title. It may be that Australian audiences only respond to the most banal and descriptive titles but that’s no reason for making shows sound like tourism initiatives. At the risk of coming across as a snob, I can only describe it as vulgar. Complaint registered, I’m happy to record that […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2015 & Stars + Stripes

Saturday, August 8th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Archibald season demands to be taken seriously because it’s the only time of the year most of the public feel motivated to visit the Art Gallery of NSW and associated venues. During the Archibald Prize the AGNSW is full of people – a surge in visitation that has become more crucial than ever. With both […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

William Dobell: Painter in Paradise

Saturday, July 4th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Although he was one of Australia’s best-known artists, William Dobell (1899-1970) was inordinately sensitive to criticism. After the notorious court case over his Archibald Prize win of 1943, Dobell withdrew to his hideaway in Wangi where he suffered from a series of nervous complaints. He broke out in severe dermatitis and at one point lost […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Roy Jackson

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In an era when art has plumbed new depths of frivolity, Roy Jackson (1944-2013) was almost too serious for his own good. He stubbornly believed the only thing that counted was the quality of the work, not the ephemeral ego gratifications artists enjoy during their 15 minutes of fame. He wasn’t even sure about the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Five Decades at Watters Gallery

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

On 18 November Watters Gallery will be celebrating its 50th birthday. This is an amazing achievement in a field in which most players never make it through a decade. Commercial art galleries are the economic equivalents of the canary in the coal mine – being the first to suffer in times of recession as people […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Salon des Refusés 2014

Saturday, August 9th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

So much has already been written about Sydney’s $9.3 million public sculpture proposals that I’m in two minds whether to comment or leave it alone. Nevertheless, it’s an issue that won’t go away. It’s depressing that the very idea of a city council spending money on art brings out the philistine in a large proportion […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness

Saturday, June 28th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Arthur Boyd (1920-99) was one of Australian art’s leading painters and one of its greatest mysteries. In the preface to her comprehensive biography, published in 2007, Darleen Bungey quotes Boyd’s youngest daughter, Polly, who calls her father “an enigma, probably one of the most secret people on earth.” This also acts as a disclaimer for […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Bill Brown

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Many years ago, when I was still a baby art critic, I remember Bill Brown at a party bawling drunkenly that he was the best painter in Australia. Having never seen his work I was in no position to argue. Shortly afterwards, Brown had a solo exhibition at the old Macquarie Galleries. If he was […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Utzon’s Opera House

Monday, January 6th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“It has made me feel glad I am alive in Australia today,” wrote Patrick White in 1965, after a tour of the Sydney Opera House with architect, Jorn Utzon. “At last we are going to have something worth having.” The official opening in 1973 was overshadowed by the long and painful building process, which began […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Windows to the Sacred

Saturday, September 14th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” was the personal motto of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) once known to the headline writers as “the Great Beast” and “The Wickedest Man Alive.” It was a philosophy that would endear him to the counter-culture of the sixties and make him a hero for rock […]