Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Fred Williams, 'You Yangs Landscape' (1963)

Fred Williams in the You Yangs

September 21, 2017

Last year the Geelong Art Gallery held an exemplary survey of Arthur Streeton’s paintings made in Victoria’s Western Districts from 1920-32. The exhibition was a swansong for retiring director, Geoffrey Edwards. This year the gallery has marked the arrival of new director, Jason Smith, with a show of comparable importance: Fred Williams in the You … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hahan, with his soon-to-be carved up mural

Sydney Contemporary 2017

September 15, 2017

It was both pleasing and wryly amusing to learn that sales at this year’s Sydney Contemporary Art Fair topped $16 million. For a commercial gallery sector feeling unloved and unvisited this figure represents a resounding endorsement. Nevertheless, before breaking out the champagne it’s worth putting that achievement into perspective with a glance at Day One … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Jenny Watson, '60s Dolly Bird' (2014)

Jenny Watson

September 8, 2017

One imagines teachers at the Julian Ashton Art School sending their pupils across the road to the Museum of Contemporary Art, to see Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy. For the traditionally-minded it’s an object lesson in how not to make art. If there are any cynics among those students, they might say: “…nevertheless, it … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

You may have seen this one before somewhere...

Hokusai

September 1, 2017

If ever an image deserved to be called “iconic” it is The great wave off Kanagawa (1830-34), by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Everyone knows this famous print of two boats menaced by a monstrous surge of water that reaches out like a hungry predator with a hundred talons. This was exactly the way the picture struck … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the blog

Last day at Stills. 4th, 5th & 6th from the left: Sandy Edwards, Kathy Freedman, Bronwyn Rennex

Farewell Stills

July 15, 2017

Twenty-six years is a long time to be running a commercial gallery, let alone a gallery specialising in photography. When Kathy Freedman and her partners close Stills Gallery in mid-July, it will spell the end of a long adventure in convincing Sydney audiences that photography is art. Stills began life in a Paddington terrace house … More

Posted in: Blog

Wendy Loefer, Last Light, from the sequence, Elsewhere (2015-17)

Wendy Loefler 1950-2017

July 7, 2017

In the weeks leading up to her exhibition at Australian Galleries in Melbourne, Wendy Loefler emailed me about the work she had been doing over the past two years. “It’s fairly unusual and considerably more ambitious than my usual fare. I’m making one continuous immersive desert landscape in the round, on twelve abutting large canvasses.” … More

Posted in: Blog

Tracey Moffatt, from the series, Body Remembers (2017)

Tracey in Venice

May 13, 2017

Success at the Venice Biennale, the world’s biggest, most prestigious art event, may be measured in many different ways. One is the length of the queue that extends from the doorway of a national paviliion, making viewers wonder if they can bear to waste an hour standing in the sun. But hey, if so many … More

Posted in: Blog

Picture by Nic Walker

Danny Goldberg …or the perils of philanthropy

May 5, 2017

Danny Goldberg is the only Australian to appear in Artnews’s annual list of the world’s top 200 collectors of contemporary art. His modern harbourside home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is crowded with works by figures such as David Hammons, Rudolf Stingel, Urs Fischer, Danh Vo, and other high-priced superstars you’ve probably never heard of. The … More

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