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Australian Artists | John McDonald

Australian Artists

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Salon des Refusés 2016

August 5, 2016

Émile Zola gave us a vivid, barely-fictionalised account of the first Salon des Refusés, in his novel, L’Oeuvre (AKA. The Masterpiece): “He could see the visitors’ mouths gaping, their eyes narrowing, from the moment they passed the door; across the room, a group of young people were staggering back against the archway as if someone … More


Arthur Streeton & Kevin Lincoln

May 27, 2016

“If we so choose we can yet be the elect of the world, the last of the pastoralists, the thoroughbred Aryans in all their nobility.” These words were penned by J.S.MacDonald in the special Arthur Streeton Number of Art in Australia, October 1931. At the time MacDonald was director of the National Art Gallery of New … More


William Yaxley & Edwin Wilson

April 14, 2016

This job entails constant requests to open exhibitions but most are politely declined. So it was rare for me, last week, to undertake openings on successive nights in two different parts of the country. The first was a survey by Edwin Wilson at that proudly unfashionable venue, the Royal Art Society, Lavender Bay. The second … More


Art Basel Hong Kong 2016

March 31, 2016

“I hope you enjoy it,” said Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel, making his usual attempt to convince a cynical group of journalists that Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 was all about art, not money. “Well it seems to get a little better every year,” I replied with cautious optimism. “Oh, I think you’ll … More


Biennale of Sydney 2016

March 23, 2016

There’s a lot to like about the 20th Biennale of Sydney, but it isn’t necessarily the art. Curator Stephanie Rosenthal, born in Germany but employed by the Hayward Gallery in London, has proven herself to be one of the most committed of all Biennale directors. Previous incumbents have tended to fly into Australia for quick … More


Perth Festival Art Exhibitions

March 4, 2016

It’s often said that the Perth art scene suffers by its isolation, but nowadays the pain doesn’t seem too intense. In the arts the high point of every year is the Perth International Arts Festival. Of all the festivals that take place in cities around the country, Perth has the best and most dynamic visual … More


Singapore: Art Stage & Beyond

January 28, 2016

Down a long road in Singapore rows of banners announce: “The joy of success is in sharing it. Share success. Give hope.” These words might have been written by the organisers of Art Stage, now in its sixth year. At a time when the Chinese stockmarket has torpedoed the global economy one needs a serious … More


Right Here Now

January 15, 2016

Regional galleries: the crisis that never ends. A few weeks ago I was invited to Canberra by the Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House to view a show called Right Here Now: A Powerful Regional Voice in our Democracy. This event, which has been put together by freelance curators, Holly Williams, Ivan Muñiz Reed … More


Salon des Refusés 2015 & Stars + Stripes

August 8, 2015

Archibald season demands to be taken seriously because it’s the only time of the year most of the public feel motivated to visit the Art Gallery of NSW and associated venues. During the Archibald Prize the AGNSW is full of people – a surge in visitation that has become more crucial than ever. With both … More


The Archibald Prize 2015

July 18, 2015

There was such a hullaballoo about the Packing Room Prize this year one might have thought that former Frenchman, Bruno Grasswill, had won both the Archibald and several versions of the Nobel Prize. In fact, he had won the kiss-of-death award, traditionally given to a picture of a good bloke or a good sort, as … More


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