International Art

William Kentridge: Five Themes & A Universal Archive (Parts 7-23)

March 17, 2012
William Kentridge, Five Themes, 840 x 646

“Thinking against oneself,” was a phrase used by the German philosopher, Theodor W. Adorno, whose late work was filled with melancholy reflections on the Holocaust. He was referring to the Nazis, who clung to a set of beliefs that allowed them to divide humanity up into a master race and a disposable remainder. This is … More


Parallel Collisions: The 2012 Adelaide Biennial

March 10, 2012
Tim Silver, 'Untitled' (object), 2011-12.

“We love language,” confessed the curators of Parallel Collisions: the 12th Adelaide Biennial. This may not sound controversial – for the purposes of communication it’s very useful. It was only as I read through the boxed, brick-heavy catalogue for this exhibition that I began to feel Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor may love language not … More


Love Lace

February 25, 2012
Alice Vokac,First Day Wonder -Lace panel: bobbin lace in cotton and silk threads,195 x 265 x 2 mm

Over the past few years the Powerhouse Museum has attracted plenty of critics, but turn up on a Saturday and the place is full of people. Does this mean the criticisms are baseless – the mere bleating of snobs and elitists? Well no, actually. Since its grand opening in 1988, the building has always been … More


Fred Sandback; Wim Delvoye; Abstract Canvas; Philip King

February 18, 2012
Wim Delvoye: Dump Truck (scale model 1:4,75), 2010 lasercut corten steel 200 × 47 × 69cm

Over the years Andrew Jensen has edged his way north, starting in Christchurch, moving to Wellington, on to Auckland, and last year crossing national lines and arriving in Sydney. What makes the Jensen Gallery unusual is that the exhibition program consists of 70-80 per cent international art – the kind of art we normally only … More


Wim Delvoye

January 28, 2012
Wim Delvoye, Cloaca Professional, 2010

Adolf Loos, the outspoken Austrian designer and critic, argued: “the modern person who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate.” Loos was writing in 1929, and one can only wonder what he would make of the present day vogue for tattoos that cover an arm and half a torso. He would probably see … More


Renaissance in Canberra

January 7, 2012
Giovanni BELLINI, Madonna and Child (Alzano Madonna), c.1488

There will be some in Canberra who find it ironic that Ron Radford is hosting a show devoted to the Renaissance at the National Gallery of Australia, when his first significant act as director in 2006 was to send the museum’s small collection of Old Masters on permanent loan to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. As … More


Matisse: Drawing Life

December 17, 2011
Henri Matisse, Henri Matisse gravant (Henri Matisse etching), Drypoint on wove paper, 1900–03

Henri Matisse was almost certainly the finest colourist in modern art but the bulk of his work contained no colour at all. Although the mention of his name conjures up thoughts of The Red Studio, The Joy of Life, or perhaps the kaleidoscopic Woman with a Hat, over the course of a long career Matisse … More


Picasso – In Living Colour

December 15, 2011
Pablo Picasso, Trois figures sous un arbre (Three figures under a tree) 1907–08

Pablo Picasso never travelled to Australia. He never even visited the United States, where his reputation as the leading artist of the twentieth century was set in stone. It’s a different story for those works Picasso loved best, which have recently been seen in Madrid, Helsinki, Moscow and St. Petersburg; before crossing the Atlantic, to … More


Pablo Picasso & the Dobell Prize for Drawing 2011

December 10, 2011
Anne Judell, Breath (triptych), pastel, graphite

According to Hendrik Kolenberg, the Art Gallery of NSW’s Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours, the Dobell Prize for Drawing is the most serious art award in Australia. This doesn’t mean the show is all grey and humourless, it is essentially a comment on the medium. Drawing is the armature of an artist’s … More


Picasso- Five Highlights

December 8, 2011
Michael Sima, "Picasso and Samuel Kootz in Picasso's Studio", Paris, 1947 . Photograph. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

It is difficult to choose only five works from an exhibition which covers all the major periods in Picasso’s career, from the earliest days, through his Blue and Rose periods, his experiments with Cubism, the neo-classical pictures of the post-war years, his flirtation with Surrealism, and the variations of his later life. Neither should we … More


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