Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Cook, Majority Rule (Tunnel), 2014, inkjet print on paper, 98 x 140 cm or 140 x 200 cm.

19th Biennale of Sydney (Part 2)

April 19, 2014

In a dream I’m walking through a vast international exhibition with Juliana Engberg, director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney – You Imagine What You Desire. We both have notepads on which we list those works we find especially interesting. Strangely enough we never stop in front of the same work. The things I like, … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Roger Brown, 'Untitled (Figure/Tree/Shrubs)'
c. 1968

Roger Brown

April 12, 2014

In a week in which former President George W. Bush revealed his secret passion for painting it’s a neat coincidence that the Hughes Gallery is holding a survey of Roger Brown (1941-97), a Chicago artist with a fascination for politics. Having spent much of his working life in an era in which New York was … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

"A souvenir of Velazquez 1868" (detail) by Sir John Millais.

Genius and Ambition: The Royal Academy

April 5, 2014

If there is one issue that divides the art of the past from the art of today it is how we assess quality. A primary motivation for the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 was to establish standards of excellence by which artworks may be judged. The members of the R.A. formed … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Mircea Cantor, Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, 2012 (video still), HD video, 4 mins. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris; Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv; and Magazzino, Rome. Sound: Semantron of Putna Monastery.

19th Biennale of Sydney

March 29, 2014

Biennales thrive on controversy but there is a feeling of unease about this year’s headlines. No-one envisaged artists boycotting the Biennale because the founding sponsor has government contracts to manage detention centres. It was no cause for celebration when Transfield’s Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, one the few dedicated patrons of the arts in corporate Australia, felt obliged … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

View all SMH articles   >

From the blog

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

Posted in: Blog

'Blue Jasmine' star Cate Blanchett with the film's director Woody Allen.

The Sins of the Director

February 22, 2014

At this year’s Academy Awards presentation all the talk will be about Our Cate. Will her chances of taking out the Oscar for Best Actress be damaged by that open letter to the New York Times in which Dylan Farrow claimed to have been molested at age seven by her stepfather, Woody Allen? “What if … More

Posted in: Blog

ANCLAS & the Embassy of Paraguay present the book launch of:
“The Apocalypse According to Benedict”

Esteban Bedoya

January 11, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I met the Paraguayan ambassador to Australia, Esteban Bedoya, after having read his short novel, The Apocalypse Acording to Benedict. It seems to be a minor Latin America tradition to have diplomats who are also writers. Octavio Paz was Mexican ambassador to India, while Pablo Neruda was Chile’s ambassador in … More

Posted in: Blog

Installation piece: Xu Zhen's In Just a Blink of an Eye, in the 27th Kaldor Art Project 13 Rooms. Photo: Janie Barrett

2013: The Best & Worst of the Visual Arts

January 6, 2014

My best art experience of the year happened on the other side of the planet, in a retrospective celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch. The show, divided between the National Gallery and the Munch Museum in Olso, revealed an unrelenting intensity of vision. It featured the most complete collection of paintings … More

Posted in: Art Essays, Blog

View all blogs   >