Recent Sydney Morning Herald

The title of Art Basel's special installations section said it all...

Art Basel 2017 & Documenta 14

June 22, 2017

Contemporary art can be a punishing obsession for its true believers but rarely do the art die-hards get the chance to attend four major events during a single visit to Europe. The Venice Biennale, which has been running since the second week in May, has now been joined by a uniquely bifurcated version of Documenta, … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Urs Fischer, 'Al Dente' (2016)

Eurovisions

June 14, 2017

This year’s Financial Review Rich List reveals that Australia today has no fewer than 60 billionaires. For an economy in perpetual crisis, demanding sacrifices from the lowest wage earners, things are obviously working well for some people. Looking at this list it’s remarkable how few of our billionaires do anything at all for the arts. … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Elisabeth Cummings, 'Edge of the Simpson Desert (Diptych) (2011)

Elisabeth Cummings

June 6, 2017

In the annals of Australian art Elisabeth Cummings was an almost invisible presence for the first 30 years of her career. The story would change in the early 1990s when she began to attract serious attention from private collectors, who are always quicker off the mark than public institutions. After a slow start, partly due … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Untitled 1969-70 (the artist's uncle, Adyn Schuyler Senior, with assistant and driver, Jasper Staples, in Cassidy Bayou, Sumner, Mississippi)

William Eggleston: Portraits

June 1, 2017

In By the Ways, an off-beat documentary about William Eggleston, there is a sequence in which the photographer answers questions from an unseen German interviewer. Straining after profundity the interviewer asks: “Do you understand your work as an expression of your existence?” There’s an agonising pause, then a response in Eggleston’s southern drawl: “Probably.” Eggleston … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the 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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Sydney Ball, 2014. Image courtesy of Sullivan+Strumpf.

Sydney Ball 1933-2017

March 10, 2017

Sydney Ball spent much of his career as a painter riding the waves of the avant-garde. Over the decades he had over 70 solo exhibitions, embracing Hard-Edge, Colourfield, Lyrical Abstraction, and even New Figuration, before returning to high-keyed modular abstract paintings in his final years. As the eye of advanced taste – or if you … More

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Tracey Moffatt, Up In The Sky # 18, 1997, series of 25 images, off set print, 61 × 76cm, 72 x 102 paper size, Edition of 60

Tracey Moffatt

March 3, 2017

“Make it up! Make it up!” says Tracey Moffatt when we start to talk about her background. “Miss Moffatt said: Go ahead and make it up. Give ‘em a great story.” It may be the era of post-truth and ‘alternative facts’ but I’m still not ready to fictionalise the artist who will represent Australia in … More

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