Blog

Tracey in Venice

May 13, 2017
Tracey Moffatt, from the series, Body Remembers (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


Danny Goldberg …or the perils of philanthropy

May 5, 2017
Picture by Nic Walker

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


Sydney Ball 1933-2017

March 10, 2017
Sydney Ball, 2014. Image courtesy of Sullivan+Strumpf.

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


Tracey Moffatt

March 3, 2017
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

“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


Bernie Doesn’t Just Shake! Parkinson’s Disease & Art

February 17, 2017
Bernie McGrath. Image courtesy of It's Not Funny

In April this year the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney hosted an unusual exhibition called Bernie doesn’t just shake! It was a four-day event, launched by an evening function that included speakers from many different walks of life – the majority were sufferers from Parkinson’s disease. The star of the show was Bernie … More


Body

December 2, 2016
Hans Bellmer
La demie poupée 1971
wood, paint and assemblage, doll, 90 cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales. Purchased 1996
© Hans Bellmer, 1971. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Purchased 1996 89.1996 
© Hans Bellmer. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia.

Published in the SMH Art Column, 20 September 1997 Last Saturday, after a second look at the Art Gallery of NSW’s exhibition, Body, I spent much of the evening immersed in the catalogue. Having reached my limits, I sat down in front of the box to watch Roy and HG, only to find that their … More


David Hockney

November 24, 2016
Installation view of David Hockney: Current at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.© David Hockney Inc.

David Hockney is crazy about those tiny drawings Vincent Van Gogh would include in letters to his brother, Theo. “These days he’d be sending them on his iPhone,” says Hockney, who has emailed thousands of iPhone drawings to friends around the world. His romance with the iPhone continued until the iPad came along. In a … More


Vincent Van Gogh: The Lost Arles Sketchbook

November 18, 2016
BW 47 Field of Sunflowers August-September 1889, Saint-Remy from Vincent van Gogh: The Lost Arles Sketchbook by Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov.  © éditions du Seuil

Most people have dreamt of finding a valuable work of art in a junk shop or an attic, but the fantasies of art historians are much more modest. For Ronald Pickvance, who organised two legendary Van Gogh exhibitions for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1984 and 1986, it was a career highlight to … More


LOUISE HEARMAN: AGAINST THE GRAIN

October 14, 2016
Untitled #1118, 2005, oil on composition board, Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael Hawker, 2009

I think I surrendered obediently to the secret laws which led me to form, as best as I could, and following my dream, the things into which I have put my entire being.[1] Odilon Redon, To Myself Like Des Esseintes, the antihero of Huysmans’s cult novel of 1884, Against the Grain (À rebours), Louise Hearman … More


ARTHUR McDONALD 1933 – 2016: A Eulogy

September 16, 2016
Dad in his Prime c. 1963

Much of my childhood led me to believe that fathers came in two major categories: introverts and extroverts. In the afternoon on the way home from high school, I’d often stop at a friend’s house. His father – big, burly, taciturn – would invariably be sitting in front of the TV with a can of … More


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