Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Xavier Le Roy's 'Temporary Title' at Carriageworks, Sydney.

Xavier Le Roy

November 19, 2015

In 1984 the Tate Gallery in London held an exhibition called Have You Seen Sculpture From the Body? that put apparently abstract sculpture alongside photographs of nude models in motion. I thought of that obscure but innovative show last week when I visited Carriageworks for a rehearsal of Xavier Le Roy’s Temporary Title – an … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

William Robinson, 'Shaded pool Carnarvon', oil on canvas, 92 x 122cm, 2008, Rockhampton Art Gallery collection

Country & Western

November 13, 2015

As Country & Western: landscape re-imagined tours Australia, it will leave a trail of disappointed music fans. The title seems to promise some mystical conjunction of landscape painting and Slim Dusty. In reality it’s all landscape. At the S.H.Ervin Gallery there is not even the sound of a guitar twanging in the background. It makes … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Nicole Foreshew, Remain, 2015, Clay and iron oxide, Images copyright and courtesy the artist.

Wiradjuri Ngurambanggu & Jonathan Jones

November 6, 2015

This weekend is the last opportunity to see Sculpture By the Sea. I can’t justify a full-scale review at this late stage but in its 19th year the event’s popularity shows no sign of waning. When I walked from Bondi to Tamarama one afternoon there was the usual hubbub of foreign languages, the relentless clicking … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

John Singer Sargent, 'Lady Agnew of Lochnaw' (1892)

The Greats

October 30, 2015

At the Art Gallery of NSW the dream of a gleaming new building has become so intoxicating that management seems to have forgotten about the humdrum business of exhibitions. This has been slightly frustrating for old-fashioned types like myself who would prefer the gallery to be a place to see art, rather than a glorified urban … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the blog

Joshua Reynolds, 'The Ladies Waldegrave' (1780-81)

The Greats

October 30, 2015

Entering The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, I felt like a thirsty man in the desert who had stumbled across an oasis. It’s been a very, very long time since the Art Gallery of NSW had an exhibition of such indisputable quality. It is not only the names that are well known, … More

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Peter Godwin. Photography Stephen Oxenbury

Peter Godwin

September 12, 2015

It’s not what the artist does that counts, but what he is. Cézanne would never have interested me a bit if he had lived and thought like Jacques-Émile Blanche, even if the apple he painted had been ten times as beautiful. What forces our attention is Cézanne’s anxiety – that’s Cézanne’s lesson. ” Pablo Picasso … More

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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Alex Gibney Lunch

June 13, 2015

Meeting Alex Gibney for High Tea is almost too civilised. This is the fearless documentary maker who gave us a devastating portrait of a rogue multinational – Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Since that ground-breaking film of 2005 Gibney has directed more than twenty feature-length documentaries and worked on many smaller projects. He … More

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The new Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Australian Pavilion

May 16, 2015

Venice has been thrilled by the idea of a new Australian pavilion in the Giardini, where Biennales have been held since 1893. There has been a lot of press and many photos, the favourite one showing the great black cube leaning out over the canal that bisects the exhibition area. One approaches the new building … More

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