Sydney Morning Herald Column

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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


David Goldblatt: Photographs 1948-2018

November 23, 2018

“I was never interested in making propaganda for anybody,” said David Goldblatt, “and didn’t allow my photos to be used that way.” It’s an important point because even Goldblatt’s admirers tend to see him as a political photographer who drew global attention to the injustices of Apartheid. As this landmark retrospective at the Museum of … More


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


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


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


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