Australian artist

Joshua Yeldham

October 18, 2014
Joshua Yeldham, 'Prayer for Protection', carved board with oil, shellac, resin and cane, 152 x 120cm

Artists are always happy to portray their work as a spiritual journey but Joshua Yeldham is more convincing than most. His mid-career survey at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum is a unique experience – less of an exhibition than a single work of art divided into different segments that unfold over time. This holistic … More


The Acute Misfortune of Adam Cullen

October 18, 2014
Acut-Misfortun

Adam Cullen’s brief but eventful career was one long exercise in attention-seeking behaviour. My habitual reaction to such antics is to ignore them – to refuse to provide the oxygen of commentary, criticism, indignation that feeds self-obsession. Now that it’s all over, and Erik Jensen has immortalised the artist in a small, tragic memoir titled … More


Arthur Boyd: An Active Witness

June 28, 2014
Arthur Boyd, Australia, (1920 – 1999), 'Persecuted lovers', 1957-58.

Arthur Boyd (1920-99) was one of Australian art’s leading painters and one of its greatest mysteries. In the preface to her comprehensive biography, published in 2007, Darleen Bungey quotes Boyd’s youngest daughter, Polly, who calls her father “an enigma, probably one of the most secret people on earth.” This also acts as a disclaimer for … More


Encounters with Bali & Une Australienne: Hilda Rix Nicholas

June 14, 2014
Une Australienne 1925, Paris, oil on canvas , 103 x 81cm. J. B. Hawkins Antiques, image courtesy Mosman Art Gallery

It would be fascinating to know how many art collections begin with an epiphany. The term, immortalised by James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, refers to a sudden revelation, a moment of heightened consciousness. For Dr. John Yu that moment arrived one day in the late 1970s, when his … More


George Gittoes

June 7, 2014
George Gittoes, 'Congregation' (2013)

George Gittoes has given us the most horrible show in Sydney in 2014, or perhaps it’s the year’s greatest horror show. However one defines it, George Gittoes: I Witness at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery is a harrowing experience. Gittoes (b.1949) cut his teeth in the early 1970s with psychedelic paintings and puppet shows at Sydney’s … More


Bill Brown

May 3, 2014
Bill Brown, 'Canard' (2010), acrylic on canvas, 92 X 97cm. Photography: Mikaela Burstow

Many years ago, when I was still a baby art critic, I remember Bill Brown at a party bawling drunkenly that he was the best painter in Australia. Having never seen his work I was in no position to argue. Shortly afterwards, Brown had a solo exhibition at the old Macquarie Galleries. If he was … More