Sydney Morning Herald Column

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Minimalism.Space.Light.Object.

February 14, 2019

Singapore’s National Gallery is in that honeymoon phase the National Gallery of Australia enjoyed in its early days. Inaugural director, Eugene Tan, has encouraged his curators to set the agenda, resulting in a highly original series of exhibitions exploring the art of South-East Asia and its relationship to the rest of the world. The Gallery … More


Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate

February 8, 2019

Exhibition titles are of the same order of marketing as those advertisements that claim by signing up for some course you can make millions or learn to speak another language in two weeks. Naturally if you don’t succeed it’s always your own fault. So when we come across a show titled Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite … More


Destination Sydney re-imagined

January 31, 2019

In summer 2015 three of the city’s leading public galleries combined forces to stage an exhibition called Destination Sydney, bringing together work by nine prominent local artists, past and present. Although it would be hard to think of a less inspiring title the show seemed to work. At the very least it worked well enough … More


Taipei Dangdai Art Fair 2019

January 24, 2019

Taiwan is only 180 kilometres from the coast of China but it displays an utterly different cast of mind. So when President Xi Jinping unleashed another round of sabre rattling rhetoric this month, declaring that Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with the mainland, one thinks instinctively of what might be lost rather than gained. … More


Nongirrna Marawili

January 18, 2019

A talking point with the Tony Tuckson show at the Art Gallery of NSW is that the artist’s first solo exhibition came at the age of 48. Most of today’s art students would probably think anyone who leaves it so late must be doomed to failure. At nearly 50, surely one should be thinking about … More


Tony Tuckson: The Abstract Sublime

January 11, 2019

In a review of Tony Tuckson’s second and final solo exhibition, held at Watters Gallery in April, 1973, James Gleeson spoke of a “rare, wild energy that is without parallel in Australian painting.” Four decades later that claim still holds true. Over the years there have been plenty of artists who qualify as ‘Abstract Expressionists’ … More


Escher X nendo

December 20, 2018

M.C.Escher is one of those artists that exerts an irresistible fascination on young minds. I remember being entranced by the Dutchman’s drawings while still at school after an art teacher suggested I look at his work. Even if the name is unfamiliar, at some stage you will have probably seen one of Escher’s signature images … More


9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

December 14, 2018

It’s been 25 years since Brisbane staged its first-ever Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. It was a bold experiment at the time – and it paid dividends, helping to put the Queensland Art Gallery on the international art map. Everyone who felt the need to keep in touch with the latest developments in contemporary … More


Lynette Wallworth: Awavena

December 6, 2018

Not many artists have been personally invited by the chief of a South American tribe to come and make a virtual reality film in the Amazonian jungle. None, in fact, until Lynette Wallworth received such a summons. It came about when Tashka, chief of the Yawanawa tribe saw Wallworth’s previous VR piece, Collisions (2016), at … More


Nick Cave: Until

November 30, 2018

One truly astonishing story last week concerned Sandra Parks, a 13-year-old in Milwaukee who was killed by a random bullet fired into her house from the street. What made this pointless crime even more bizarre was that two years ago the same girl had written an award-winning essay called Our Truth, on the problem of … More


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