Recent Sydney Morning Herald

Minimalism.Space.Light.Object.

February 14, 2019

Singapore’s National Gallery is in that honeymoon phase the National Gallery of Australia enjoyed in its early days. Inaugural director, Eugene Tan, has encouraged his curators to set the agenda, resulting in a highly original series of exhibitions exploring the art of South-East Asia and its relationship to the rest of the world. The Gallery … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate

February 8, 2019

Exhibition titles are of the same order of marketing as those advertisements that claim by signing up for some course you can make millions or learn to speak another language in two weeks. Naturally if you don’t succeed it’s always your own fault. So when we come across a show titled Love & Desire: Pre-Raphaelite … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Destination Sydney re-imagined

January 31, 2019

In summer 2015 three of the city’s leading public galleries combined forces to stage an exhibition called Destination Sydney, bringing together work by nine prominent local artists, past and present. Although it would be hard to think of a less inspiring title the show seemed to work. At the very least it worked well enough … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

Taipei Dangdai Art Fair 2019

January 24, 2019

Taiwan is only 180 kilometres from the coast of China but it displays an utterly different cast of mind. So when President Xi Jinping unleashed another round of sabre rattling rhetoric this month, declaring that Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with the mainland, one thinks instinctively of what might be lost rather than gained. … More

Posted in: Sydney Morning Herald Column

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From the blog

Charles Blackman 1928-2018

August 23, 2018

It’s a cliché when the death of an artist also represents ‘the end of an era’, but the death of Charles Blackman draws a line under a heroic generation of Australian figurative painters. Although it represents only a small episode in a long career, Blackman was the last of The Antipodeans – a group brought … More

Posted in: Blog

Li Huayi: Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold

August 2, 2018

Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold is a title that western audiences might view ironically, as a deliberately florid, over-the-top tease. For this we may thank an artist such as Jeff Koons, who has blurred the line between kitsch and fine art so successfully it’s no longer possible to draw the sharp distinctions that … More

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Sun Xun: Shapeshifter

July 13, 2018

“Whenever I find people putting a tag on my work I try to prove it untrue,” says Sun Xun. “I take pride in the fact that no-one can catch me. I will change the medium of my work or the style of my work. I’ll aim to be different every time, so that nobody can … More

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John Mawurndjul: Bark Maestro

June 22, 2018

Here’s an art trivia question: “Who was the first Australian artist to be given a retrospective at two major European museums?” Answer: John Mawurndjul of western Arnhem Land, who in 2005-06 had his work shown at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. If you don’t remember seeing the exhibition when … More

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