Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Jiang Jin, 'The Orphan Files', (2004)

White Rabbit: Commune

November 1, 2014

In the words of the Chinese philosopher, Mencius, “we survive in adversity and perish in ease and comfort.” This thought may be universally applicable but it is especially relevant to China today, as the horrors of the 20th century recede into the mists. It has been almost 40 years since the end of the Cultural … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

LUCY CULLITON, Self with subject (Domestic Science), (2007), oil on canvas, 70 x 100 cm. Courtesy The Hughes Gallery. Image courtesy of Mosman Art Gallery

Lucy Culliton

October 25, 2014

Matisse said an artist should look at everything as if seeing it for the first time. No Australian artist better captures this thrill of perpetual discovery than Lucy Culliton. Although she is now of an age that permits a mid-career survey, Culliton has an energy and enthusiasm that puts most teenagers to shame. Culliton lives … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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

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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

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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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