National Gallery of Australia

Man With a Blue Scarf

September 1, 2010

Man With a Blue Scarf On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud By Martin Gayford In 1980 James Lord published a slender book called A Giacometti Portrait. It detailed his experience of sitting for a portrait by Alberto Giacometti, whose biography he would write five years later. The book struck a chord with readers … More


Hans Heysen and Marion Borgelt

June 20, 2010
Hans Heysen, Bronzewings and sapling, 1921, watercolour on paper, 56.7 (h) x 76.4 (w) cm

Travelling to the Flinders Ranges last year with a group of artists, I read my way through Colin Thiele’s Heysen of Hahndorf (1968) the standard biography of Australia’s most celebrated gum tree Meister. Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968) was the first artist to make Australians aware of the rugged beauty of the Flinders region, with a … More


Masterpieces from Paris

January 2, 2010
Paul Cezanne, Kitchen table, Still-life with basket, 1888-90, oil on canvas, 65.0 (h) x 80.0 (w) cm

Question time in Canberra: “Is Masterpieces from Paris the most important exhibition ever shown at the National Gallery of Australia, as NGA director, Ron Radford, has claimed?” Answer: No. This is a silly, opportunistic thing to say, as it is a show without an original thesis. Think back to the NGA’s Surrealism: Revolution by Night … More


McCubbin: Last Impressions & Aida Tomescu

October 24, 2009
Frederick McCubbin, Violet and gold, 1911, oil on canvas, 72.0 h x 130.0 w cm

There can be few more disconcerting feelings than being the only one at a party who isn’t having a good time, but this is roughly how I felt as I wandered through the exhibition, McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907-17, at the National Gallery of Australia. Having never thought much of this period of McCubbin’s work I … More