sculpture

Guanxi

October 15, 2011
Li Wei, Hero-Chorus (2), 2010

Guanxi is a curious word. It is usually translated as  “contacts”, but there is no single English-language term that captures all the connotations it has for a Chinese speaker. Guanxi refers to a special kind of relationship between people whereby one may always be counted on to help the other. Such relationships are long-term and … More


White Rabbit: Beyond the Frame

October 8, 2011
Ai Weiwei, Oil Spill, 2006

Back again is Ai Weiwei’s Oil spill (2007) – a series of shiny black porcelain discs that sit flat on the floor, mimicking drops of black gold. In typical fashion, Ai Weiwei takes a substance associated with toxic pollution and transforms it into an aesthetic delicacy. Such ironic turnarounds and dislocations are characteristic of his … More


Abstraction

September 17, 2011
Aida Tomescu, Welt II, 2005, mixed media and collage on paper

Among the unsolicited art emails that appear in my mail-box every week, one recent posting came from the Martos Gallery in New York, who were holding an exhibition called We Regret to Inform You There is Currently No Space or Place for Abstract Painting. The image that came with the email showed this sentence written … More


Sculpture by the Sea, Denmark 2011

June 24, 2011
Phil Price, Nucleus. Photo Anders Hede

Spend a day walking around Copenhagen and it becomes apparent that the Danes are crazy about sculpture. The immaculate buildings of the ‘Golden Age’ (roughly 1800-50) are encrusted with heads, figures and other forms of sculptural decoration. There are statues galore, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek – one of the most elegant museums in Europe … More


Paul Hopmeier

March 1, 2011

“When we have said that sculpture is not sculptural, not an object, not a game, demonstration, machine, architecture or theatre – what is it? It is a figuration with a presence, a thing of modern lineage, learned about always from previous sculpture, and the idea so passed on to anyone who can get it.” Sidney … More


Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

November 6, 2010
Anthony Caro's Erl King

In one of her detective stories Dorothy Sayers wisely observes: “For some reason, the word ‘artistic’ produces the most alarming reactions in those who know anything about art.” As such, it would be inadequate and belittling to describe Sculpture by the Sea as one of Sydney’s most eagerly awaited ‘artistic’ events. This annual sculpture-fest is an … More


Ron Mueck

February 27, 2010
Ron Mueck, ‘Old Woman in bed’, (detail) 2002

There is no place in the upper echelons of contemporary art for a reasonable person: to be a success one has to be an extremist. There are artists whose work is so sloppy it might have been thrown together the day before an opening, and those with an obsessive eye for detail. Many curators and … 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


Sculpture By the Sea in Denmark

August 1, 2009

There was considerable trepidation leading up to the international launch of Sculpture by Sea in the Danish city of Aarhus. This prodigiously popular show, which has occupied the Sydney heads, from Bondi to Tamarama every year since 1997, had never previously been seen outside of Australia. Although the exhibitions at Bondi, and more recently at … 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