Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Joshua Yeldham, 'Prayer for Protection', carved board with oil, shellac, resin and cane, 152 x 120cm

Joshua Yeldham

October 18, 2014

Artists are always happy to portray their work as a spiritual journey but Joshua Yeldham is more convincing than most. His mid-career survey at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum is a unique experience – less of an exhibition than a single work of art divided into different segments that unfold over time. This holistic … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Marble Statue of a Discus Thrower (Diskobolus) (2nd century AD)

The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece

October 11, 2014

There is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom. (Nietzsche) It’s slightly surprising that one must travel to Bendigo to see an exhibition such as The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece. Sourced from the holdings of the British Museum this show would be a major drawcard in any state gallery, but the … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Chiharu Shiota's 'Accumulation Searching for Destination' (Photos courtesy of the Busan Biennale)

Gwangju, Busan & SeMA Biennale

October 4, 2014

In South Korea the word “exhibition” seems to be translated as “biennale”. At the moment the Koreans are hosting at least four biennales, if one includes the Daegu Photography Biennale (until 19 October). Last week I managed to catch the other three, two of which have begun in an atmosphere of high controversy. The most … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Richard Larter, 'Pause for thought' (detail) (1973)

Five Decades at Watters Gallery

September 27, 2014

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 … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the blog

Acut-Misfortun

The Acute Misfortune of Adam Cullen

October 18, 2014

Adam Cullen’s brief but eventful career was one long exercise in attention-seeking behaviour. My habitual reaction to such antics is to ignore them – to refuse to provide the oxygen of commentary, criticism, indignation that feeds self-obsession. Now that it’s all over, and Erik Jensen has immortalised the artist in a small, tragic memoir titled … More

Posted in: Blog

Image courtesy Art Month Sydney

Philanthropy and art: why Australia’s wealthy don’t invest in culture

September 22, 2014

Last week found me at a function in Brisbane, discussing the state of philanthropy and patronage with art dealer, Philip Bacon – one of the few gallerists who can afford to be a philanthropist in his own right. The familiar talking point was: “Why do so few corporations and wealthy individuals sponsor the visual arts?” … More

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Giambattista Tiepolo
Italian 1696–1770, worked in Spain 1762–70
The Immaculate Conception (L’Immacolata Concezione) 1767–69
oil on canvas
281.0 x 155.0 cm 
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00363)
Spanish Royal Collection

The Prado and the World

May 24, 2014

In 1982 I paid my first visit to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Spain was still in the process of awakening from the Franco era, which ended with the dictator’s death in 1975, and its museums were poor and neglected. The Prado was a cold, austere place with a stupendous collection. In a single … More

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Tokyo-based artist Kota Takeuchi.

Fukushima: Art & Disaster

March 15, 2014

Disaster haunts the Japanese psyche. Think of the great fires that have swept up Tokyo, or the major earthquakes that have struck the country at unpredictable intervals. Think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all the ways that nuclear energy has been portrayed in popular culture. This ranges from Tezuka Osamu’s popular cartoon hero, The Mighty … More

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