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Queensland Art Gallery | John McDonald

Queensland Art Gallery

Ethel Carrick & E. Phillips Fox

April 30, 2011
Ethel Carrick Fox, Flower market, Nice c.1925. Oil on canvas. 60 x 73cm.

Words such as “delightful” do not play much of a role in this column, but if ever there were an occasion for such a lapse, it would be Art, Love & Life: Ethel Carrick & E. Phillips Fox, at the Queensland Art Gallery. The Foxes were a successful partnership, both as man and wife, and … More

21st Century

January 8, 2011
Mitra Tabrizian, City, London, 2008

In 1942 Peggy Guggenheim opened her Art of this Century gallery in New York, designed by the Austrian architect, Frederick Kiesler. The gallery’s Abstract Room featured paintings suspended in mid-air. A Surrealist Room had concave walls, from which pictures were cantilevered on wooden joints made from sawn-off baseball bats. In a Kinetic Room the viewer … More

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future

September 18, 2010
Screen shot 2012-01-12 at 12.08.34 PM

Philosophers should make a comprehensive study of  Valentino Garavani, because if he isn’t a genuinely happy man this proves human happiness is an unobtainable ideal. The great couturier retired in 2008 at the peak of his fame, adored by the world’s most glamorous and influential people. His life-style, as revealed in Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary, Valentino: … More

Hats and James Fardoulys

April 24, 2010
James Fardoulys, The start of Burke and Wills 1860, 1972, Oil on board, 77 x 93cm; 88 x 101.5cm

Lewis Carroll cannot take complete credit for the expression: “as mad as a hatter”. Even before he created the most famous tea party in world literature, hatters had quite a reputation. The mercury compounds used in 19th century hat making induced a range of symptoms including trembling fits and mood swings. It is unlikely that … More

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

American Impressionism and Realism

July 25, 2009
Thomas Eakins, The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton, 1900, Oil on canvas 82 x 42 in.

“Balzac had described many cities,” wrote Henry James in his late novel, The Ambassadors, “but he had not described Woollett, Massachusetts.” Neither did Balzac get around to describing Brisbane, although to be fair, there was not much to describe in his day. “Woollett”, for James, was a bastion of New World earnestness, industry and ambition. … More

Tim Johnson

May 2, 2009
Tim Johnson, Yantra, 2008, Acrylic on linen In 5 parts, overall 180 x 320 cm

Tim Johnson once had a vision of the Buddha in his kitchen in Newtown. “The moment after I saw it,” he told an interviewer in 1991, “it somehow took over my thoughts, said ‘Don’t be afraid’, and floated towards me very quickly, merged into my body, and then said ‘I’ll always be here.’” Neither is … More