contemporary art

6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

December 12, 2009
Gonkar Gyatso, Buddha Sakyamuni Dissected, 2010, mixed media, pencil and Indian ink over silkscreen,  280 x 230 cm

Has it been fifteen years already? In its sixth installment the Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery shows no signs of settling into a predictable pattern. On the contrary: the APT is the most dynamic contemporary art exhibition in Australia and quite possibly the world. It may not be the biggest of shows, … More


Rebecca Horn and Medicine & Art

December 5, 2009
Patricia Piccinini, Game Boys Advanced, 2002-2003, Silicone, acrylic, human hair, clothing, hand-held video games, edition of 3, 140 cm × 36 cm × 75 cm

It’s appropriate that the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art is staging Japan’s first-ever Rebecca Horn retrospective at the same time the Mori Art Museum is hosting the show, Medicine and Art. Of all those who dwell in the upper echelons of international contemporary art, no-one has been more dedicated than Horn when it comes to … More


Sculpture by the Sea & The Miniature Show

November 14, 2009
Jan King, Abyssinia, slate, steel, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, 2009

Sculpture by the Sea is thirteen years old and – judging by its current incarnation – still in the throes of puberty. Aside from long-running institutions such as the Archibald, or the Mosman Art Prize, most annual competitions and group exhibitions never last for a decade. The most dramatic example must be the one-and-only Melbourne … More


40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects

October 31, 2009
Tatzu Nishi: War and peace and in between, Art Gallery of NSW, 2009

Ever since Christo and Jeanne-Claude put Little Bay under wraps in October 1969, John Kaldor has enjoyed a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative art patrons. The current exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW is both a survey and a celebration of the projects that Kaldor has initiated over the past four decades. … More


Museum of Contemporary Art: Making it New

October 10, 2009
Raquel Ormella, I’m worried this will become a slogan, 1999–2002, Double-sided banner, sewn wool and felt, 220 x 200 cm

“Have you noticed that maps are like newspapers, shirts and obsessions? Once you’ve unfolded them there’s no way you can get them folded up again.” Fred Vargas ‘Maps and obsessions’ could serve as a subtitle for the range of work currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art. On the top floor one finds Louisa … More


Echigo-Tsumari Triennial 2009 & Niigata Water and Land Art Festival

August 8, 2009
Pedro Reyes,The House for Computer Cavemen, 2003

Last week I sat in a community hall in rural Japan, drinking sake and eating Australian beef. The local school choir sang, and toasts were proposed in honour of the friendship that exists between the Urata region and Australia. Around the walls stood local people wearing red aprons emblazoned with the word: “Aussie”. Unusually for … More


Doubletake: The Anne Landa Award

July 4, 2009
Cao Fei, Whose Utopia?, 2006, Video installation, 20 minutes

It may enjoy a ‘cutting edge’ reputation, but too much new media art translates into an aimless, shapeless sequence of images grouped around one or two central ideas. These works are not valued for what they are, but for what they represent. Australia’s official contribution to the Venice Biennale provides an excellent example. To read … More


53rd Venice Biennale

June 20, 2009
Yelena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Artist Asleep, 1998,  Installation (bed in front), Central Asia pavillon

Making Worlds – Fare Mondi is the theme for this year’s Venice Biennale, the 53rd installment of the world’s leading contemporary art exhibition. In the words of Daniel Birnbaum, the Swedish-born, Frankfurt-based director, the title expresses a wish “to emphasise the process of creation.” This may sound a very modest ambition but Birnbaum does have … More


Sculpture by the Sea in Denmark

June 13, 2009
Lene Desmentik, Rollercoaster by Lene Desmentik, Sculpture by the Sea, Denmark, 2009

Denmark is a glorious place on a sunny day, and the week leading up to the Sculpture by the Sea launch in Aarhus was especially pleasant. Alas, by the day of the media preview, Thor, the ancient God of thunder, finally lost patience with the protracted installation process. While a large part of the Australian … More