Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Watters Gallery: Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Figurative Paintings and Preoccupations

November 15, 2018

It was a typically understated opening night at Watters Gallery last week for Tony Tuckson 1921-1973, Figurative Paintings and Preoccupations. If the atmosphere was a little sombre it was because this was the last hurrah for a Sydney institution and icon. After 54 years Watters is closing, and none of the visitors on that final … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage

November 8, 2018

Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage is the offspring of Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection, held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris at the end of 2016. Having seen that exhibition, which was one of the great experiences of decades spent in art museums, it’s hard to get too excited about … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sculpture by the Sea 2018

November 2, 2018

This weekend is the last chance to catch Sculpture by the Sea, which has become one of the annual rituals of life in Sydney. Every October or November we trek dutifully from Bondi to Tamarama (and usually back again), with the devotion of pilgrims visiting a holy shrine with a full range of relics on … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Bangkok Art Biennale

October 26, 2018

“Follow your bliss” was the signature pronouncement of Joseph Campbell, an American writer on comparative mythology who became a guru for many of his readers. Campbell took the idea from the Indian holy books, the Upanishads, in which the Sanskrit word for “bliss” is “ananda”. It may be pure coincidence that the inaugural Bangkok Art … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the blog

Charles Blackman 1928-2018

August 23, 2018

It’s a cliché when the death of an artist also represents ‘the end of an era’, but the death of Charles Blackman draws a line under a heroic generation of Australian figurative painters. Although it represents only a small episode in a long career, Blackman was the last of The Antipodeans – a group brought … More

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Li Huayi: Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold

August 2, 2018

Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold is a title that western audiences might view ironically, as a deliberately florid, over-the-top tease. For this we may thank an artist such as Jeff Koons, who has blurred the line between kitsch and fine art so successfully it’s no longer possible to draw the sharp distinctions that … More

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Sun Xun: Shapeshifter

July 13, 2018

“Whenever I find people putting a tag on my work I try to prove it untrue,” says Sun Xun. “I take pride in the fact that no-one can catch me. I will change the medium of my work or the style of my work. I’ll aim to be different every time, so that nobody can … More

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John Mawurndjul: Bark Maestro

June 22, 2018

Here’s an art trivia question: “Who was the first Australian artist to be given a retrospective at two major European museums?” Answer: John Mawurndjul of western Arnhem Land, who in 2005-06 had his work shown at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. If you don’t remember seeing the exhibition when … More

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