contemporary art

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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


Bangkok Art Biennale

October 26, 2018

“Follow your bliss” was the signature pronouncement of Joseph Campbell, an American writer on comparative mythology who became a guru for many of his readers. Campbell took the idea from the Indian holy books, the Upanishads, in which the Sanskrit word for “bliss” is “ananda”. It may be pure coincidence that the inaugural Bangkok Art … More


White Rabbit: Supernatural

October 20, 2018

At a time when the United Nations has just issued an alarming report about the impact of climate change a new show at the White Rabbit Gallery looks at the transformations of nature in contemporary Chinese art. It’s a subject that took a radical turn when the Communist Party came to power in 1949. Prior … More


William Kentridge: That Which We Do Not Remember

October 12, 2018

There is nobody in the upper echelons of contemporary art quite like South Africa’s William Kentridge. There may be artists with more natural talent. There are plenty whose works sell for greater sums. There are artists with a much better feel for colour or texture, or who draw with greater fluency. Kentridge’s works are not … More


Steirischer Herbst 2018

October 4, 2018

In the words of Thomas Bernhard, Austria’s greatest novelist of the late 20th century, the city of Graz was “a nest of Nazis”. In a speech of last year, Georg Friedrich Haas, Austria’s foremost living composer, reeled off a list of Nazis that had remained faithful to the Führer in post-war Graz, including his own … More


Contemporary Istanbul 2018

September 27, 2018

Having left Sydney while one art fair was winding up, I arrived in Istanbul on the eve of another. Shortly afterwards came the news that Sydney Contemporary had secured $21 million in sales, an increase of $5 million on last year’s total. This comes at a time when dealers complain about declining visitation and how … More


Sydney Contemporary 2018

September 14, 2018

This weekend is the high point of the year for the Sydney – and Australian – contemporary art scene. There may be some disagreement from folk in Melbourne, or from those who believe the Sydney Biennale remains the premier contemporary art event in this country. It’s clear though, the Sydney Contemporary art fair at Carriageworks … More


Sun Xun

September 7, 2018

It may be a legacy of those heroic efforts Chairman Mao demanded at the time of the Great Leap Forward, or perhaps it’s mainly down to pressure of competition, but the Chinese art scene has the most stupendous work ethic. Go to any exhibition at the White Rabbit Gallery and there will always be one … More


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards 2018

August 23, 2018

A remarkable thing happened at this year’s 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT): the stand-out work actually won the major prize. The annual circus of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman may have given me a jaundiced view of art prizes, … More


Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018

August 17, 2018

It’s often said that the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale could only happen in Japan. In terms of sheer scale it is the largest contemporary exhibition in the world, spread across 760 square kms of the mountainous regions of Niigata prefecture. This year is the seventh incarnation of a project intended to help revitalise an area that … More


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