contemporary art

Anish Kapoor

January 26, 2013
Anish Kapoor, Memory, 2008

Some artists have greatness thrust upon them, others keep waiting but it never seems to turn up. Even if you are among that select group of the rich and famous, with every museum and collector clamouring for your latest creation, there is no guarantee it will make life easier. Material success has a strange tendency … More

7th Asia Pacific Triennial

December 22, 2012
Huang Yong Ping, China/France, Ressort, 2012, Aluminium, stainless steel

Bad acronym of the year is undoubtedly QAGOMA. To spell it out that means: Queensland Art Gallery Of Modern Art, which is irredeemable. One hopes that vast sums of money have not been spent on the rebranding process, because this new title should be binned before too many people notice. It might be a first … More

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro

November 3, 2012
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Future Remnant, 2011

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro may be the first Australian artists to take full advantage of the new globalised art world. Over the past decade they have travelled incessantly, undertaken residencies in Europe and Asia, and exhibited their work in museums and private galleries from Kathmandu to Washington DC. The Museum of Contemporary Art has … More

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture

October 13, 2012
Yu Youhan, ‘Untitled (Mao Marilyn)’, Oil on canvas, 2005. 150 x 149 cm

There is a simple explanation as to why Chinese contemporary art is so relentlessly satirical: 27 years of ideological rectitude, including that final decade of Mao-induced madness known as the Cultural Revolution. From the time the Communist Party took over in 1949 there was nothing much to laugh about. The workers paradise had been achieved, … More

Markets & mindsets

September 11, 2012
On site 1

In China last week for Shanghai Contemporary, it began to dawn on me why Australia’s commercial gallery scene seems to be struggling to keep afloat: while the contemporary art market has become completely globalised we remain a stubborn provincial outstation. This is no reflection on the quality of Australian art but it is a growing … More

William Robinson, Aida Tomescu, Evelyn Kotai

August 25, 2012
William Robinson: Afternoon light Springbrook 2011, oil on linen, 110 x 162cm

Fred Williams used to say that if you can’t paint a portrait then your art is in trouble. He would have been surprised to see so many portraits included in his recent retrospective, as they were only ever a diversion from his landscape paintings. For an artist there is always the danger that one day … More

Down the Rabbit Hole

June 9, 2012
Screen shot 2012-06-22 at 3.46.56 PM

Last year, according to The New York Times, 395 museums were built across China. As with most things in this vast, mysterious country, the statistics give only a superficial glimpse of the complexities involved. Firstly one might question the Chinese definition of “museum”, which may be a grandiose word for a lot of small-scale enterprises. … More

Masami Teraoka, Migration

June 2, 2012
Masami Teraoka: New Wave Series / Christine at Hanauma Bay 1992 watercolour on paper 56.5 x 75.0 cm

One of the strangest developments in the Sydney art scene is the sudden upsurge of galleries showing and selling high priced international art. This is surprising, given the fact that these are dismal times for retail and the art business is essentially retail with delusions of grandeur. There are only two explanations: either there are … More

Art Hong Kong 2012

May 26, 2012
Contemporary art installations at Art HK

Hong Kong is ideally located to take advantage an eastern economic boom that keeps defying western prophets of doom. Although it may sound scarcely believable, that defiant attitude is shared by leading western art dealers who have begun opening gigantic new spaces in a city long known as a cultural backwater. Those bad old days … More


April 7, 2012
Exterior of the new MCA on Circular Quay

A new Museum of Contemporary Art has been a long time coming. This weekend the public can take a first look and see if the wait has been worthwhile. My own verdict, after an intensive preview, is that it is a qualified success. Some would argue we have been waiting ever since John Wardell Power’s … More