Image above: Arthur Streeton, Near Streeton’s Camp at Sirius Cove, 1892
Friday 28 December 2018 David Goldblatt Photographs 1948-2018, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
On a hot summer’s day at the peak of the tourism season, crowd crush on Circular Quay, on entering the gallery, amazed to find a large gathering quietly focussed, reflective, taking in the narrative of an era expressed through the power of the camera. “A career spanning seven decades during the rise and dismantling of Apartheid, David Goldblatt documented the people and places, industry and landscape of South Africa.” Uncompromising social commentary, desolate landscapes, focussed on the human condition, a reminder that the country produced Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, on the long road to reconciliation. Confronting reality, one of the most important exhibitions this year.
Happy Days Store. Flagstaff, Transkei, Eastern Cape. 9 October 1975
Quaggamaag, Bushmanland, Northern Cape, 2004
House 288, Khayalitsla, Hanover, Northern Cape, 2005
In the time of AIDS – The first day of spring at Lategan’s Truck Inn on the N1, Laingsburg, Western Cape 2006
Ref: David Goldblatt’s kind, calm photographs of South Africa exist in a morality minefield, Prudence Gibson, The Conversation, 22 October 2018
“the point of Goldblatt’s life’s work: to insist that we do not look away and pretend it didn’t happen.”
Tuesday 11 December 2018 Destination Sydney: Re-imagined, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney
This exhibition part of a collaboration with two other Sydney public galleries, Mosman Art Gallery and S.H. Ervin Gallery, ‘responding to the important influence of Sydney as subject and theme’.
Ethel Carrick Fox – quintessential Australian classics.
Adrian Feint – refined restraint, interesting compositions and perspective. Largely unknown artist, disappointing that the works not reproduced in print in the catalogue due to copyright.
Ken Done, commercial or not, no argument about the colour and life in the works.
Ethel Carrick Fox, Watching the Australian Fleet coming through Sydney Heads, 1913
Adrian Feint, The Jetties, Palm Beach, 1942
Adrian Feint, Tim and pigeon, 1944
Ken Done, Looking to the beach, 2005
Ken Done, Beach and Sailing, 2014
Some installation views
Wednesday 5 December 2018 Nick Cave – Until, Carriageworks, Sydney
First impression scale, kinetic, immersive experience, a blast of creativity and imagination, statements about race relations, gun violence, racial profiling, and gender politics. Some extracts from the catalogue.
Kinetic Spinner Forest 1,800 hanging mobiles of metallic spinning garden ornaments but at their centre bullets and hand guns.
Cloudscape assemblage of found objects, a collection of American racist memorabilia.
Hy-Dyve video installation, exploration into states of anxiety and agitation fuelled by the pervasive notions of surveillance and racial profiling.
Beaded Cliff Wall ten curtains constructed from millions of plastic hair pony beads, strung onto shoe laces and woven over industrial cargo netting, luscious textiles and powerful protest flags.
Nick Cave, Kinetic Spinner Forest
Nick Cave, Cloudscape
Nick Cave, Hy-Dyve, (video shot)
Nick Cave, Beaded Cliff Wall
Wednesday 21 November 2019 Melanesian art: redux, AGNSW
“Forty works from the Gallery’s Pacific collection, some on display for the first time in four decades.” Powerful works with spirit, personality. The exhibition coincides with the Tony Tuckson the abstract sublime exhibition. Tuckson was instrumental in building the Pacific collection during the 1960s.
Sawos people Papua New Guinea, Gable mask from ceremonial house facade mid 20th century
Dano people Papua New Guinea, Holosa (mud mask) early 1960s
Some installation views
Wednesday 21 November 2018 Tony Tuckson the abstract sublime, AGNSW
Tony Tuckson was an artist hiding in plain sight while assistant to the Director, then Deputy Director, AGNSW from 1950 to 1973, first solo exhibition not until 1970, but when he finally did emerge caught the abstract expressionist zeitgeist, with ‘distinctive strong local light, colour and line, and references to his engagement with Indigenous art’, now considered ‘one of Australia’s finest abstract expressionists. Influenced by developments in European and American abstraction and admiring the work of fellow Australian artist Ian Fairweather, the vital force behind his approach was his lifelong interest in Aboriginal and Melanesian art’.
Ref: Passion and beauty: the paintings of Tony Tuckson, Joanna Mendelssohn, The Conversation, 28 November 2018
Tony Tuckson, Black on White 1958-61
Tony Tuckson, Black, yellow, blue, 1958-61
Tony Tuckson, Japanese, 1964
Some installation views
Wednesday 7 November 2018 Noŋgirrŋa Marawili: from my heart and mind, Art Gallery NSW
A deep sense of a quiet presence. Clan designs, country and seasonal change, Yirrkala, northeast Arnhem Land – wind, water, dynamism, living landscapes.
Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Lightning, 2017
Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Baratjala, 2014
Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Baratjala lightning and the rock, 2018
Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Baratjala lightning and the rock, 2018
Some installation views
Friday 26 October and 2 November 2018 Sculpture by the Sea
22nd year, 130 artists from 21 countries, 107 sculptures.
So good I went twice this year, to capture the moment, the works, and the crowds. Gaining heightened appreciation year on year, nothing compares to this unique experience, the location, the high quality works, an event that captures the imagination of 500,000 visitors, a photographer’s paradise from dawn to dusk. For a fleeting moment in time everyone transported to that creative somewhere else, a heightened sense that can’t be explained. Worth the second visit to spend time in the Sculpture Inside exhibition of small contemporary sculpture, and glad to see many sold.
Interview series videos – Orest Keywan, CAFA alumni and teachers, Nicole Monks, Peter Lundberg, Keizo Ushio, and more.
Some of the works
Lubomir Mikle, F.E.H, Slovakia
Nicole Monks, gawura guruwin (whale shark), NSW (foreground)
Cool Shit, Damian Hirst Looking for Sharks, UK (centre)
Rebecca Rose, Sea Scene, New Zealand (background right)
Deborah Halpern, The Face, Victoria
Studiodex@UNSW, Look Inside My Mind, NSW
Leo Loomans, Icarus Rising, ACT
Michael Le Grand, Guardian, ACT
Mu Boyan, Bank (2017), China
Albert Paley, Languorous Repose (2013), USA
Wei Wang, Walking (2015), China
James Parrett, M-fortysix, Victoria (winner)
Philip Spelman, Trapeze, NSW
Ron Gomboc, Time and Motion, WA
A couple from the Sculpture Inside exhibition of small contemporary sculpture
Stephen Hogan, vanishing cultures, NSW
Geoffrey Bartlett, federation, Victoria
Sunday 21 October 2018 Western Desert Sublime – The Craig Edwards Gift to the ANU, Drill Hall, ANU, Canberra
Extracts from the catalogue
Exhibition of some of the 120 works donated to the University’s art collection. The Western Desert movement was born in mid-1971 at Papunya from a school project. Fully formed sublime (beyond explanation, unrepresentable, inexplicable, transcendental). The people, the last of the Pintupi came from the west to the site of the Honey-Ant Dreaming. By the mid-1980s the art movement was shooting towards the art world. The first wave were mostly men, the second wave post-1995 senior women. The paintings depict ancestral country, stories handed down for generations, traditional sites of food gathering, places where ceremonies are performed. In the 1990s, seminal role in transforming the paradigms of a Eurocentric art world, by the end of the century featured in major exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW. Described as “Australia’s only artistic revolution.” Prominent in the collection, a family of high achievers: Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett) (born 1935), and her sisters Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa (born around 1940), Esther Giles Nampitjinpa (born 1948), together with another great family: Naata Nungurrayi (born 1932) sister to Nancy Ross Nungurrayi and George Tjungurrayi.
Some of the works
Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett), Kapi Tjukurrpa, 2006
Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett), Untitled, 2010
Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, Untitled, 2010
Friday 19 & Saturday 20 October 2018 American Masters 1940–1980, Symposia Minimalist/Maximalist, National Gallery of Australia
In the early 1970s a miracle occurred, an inexplicable confluence of events brought together an exceptionally gifted triumvirate: an architect, a gallery director, and a Prime Minister, guided by a collections panel of artists (not donors or trustees), and public funding. This resulted in the collection of some of the best post-war American art for the neophyte National Gallery of Australia (opened 1982), before the American art market and the robber barons woke up. Controversial at the time, the collection policies to focus on modern and contemporary international art, the Pacific and Asia, and not to compete with or duplicate the State galleries holdings of Australian art, captured the headlines in TV bulletins, and on the front pages of newspapers with the purchase of Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles in 1973 and later Willem de Kooning’s Woman V (aka I hate Elaine, she’s a femme fatale) in 1994, among others. Suddenly most Australians had an opinion on art and the national collection, not always favourable, but now the still relatively young National Gallery of Australia has a world class building and a collection of post-war and contemporary American art par excellence on show in this exhibition. A celebration of the full range of labels/movements: the New York School, Abstract expressionism, Colour-field, Post-painterly abstraction, Hard-edge abstraction, Lyrical abstraction, Neo Dada, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual, Anti-form, Soft sculpture, Land art, Photorealism, Funk, Light, Video.
Arshille Gorky, Untitled, 1944
Jackson Pollock, Blue Poles, 1952 & Lee Krasner, Cool white, 1959
Willem De Kooning, July 4th, 1959, Woman V, 1952-53, & Lee Krasner, Untitled, 1953
Mark Rothko, 1957 # 20, 1957
Clyfford Still, 1952-no.2, 1952
Al Held, Skywatch II, 1971, Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 1958, Philip Guston, City, 1969, Philip Guston, Key, 1980
Josef Albers, Homage to the square: On an early sky, 1964
Eva Hesse, Contingent, 1969
Robert Smithson, Rocks and mirror square II, 1971
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1974
Robert Rauschenberg, Albino cactus (scale), 1977
Thursday 18 October 2018 Trevor Dickinson’s Beautiful Bus Shelters of Canberra;
Crafting the house on the hill: art, design and the building of Australian Parliament House; Nolan Collection, Canberra Museum and Art Gallery
Amazing what you can stumble upon when wandering aimlessly, but art about Canberra’s old bus shelters was unexpected. The Nolan Collection always worth a visit, and the works about Parliament House a bonus.
Sidney Nolan, Return to Glenrowan, 1946
Many Martin, Break, 1988
Many Martin, Break, 1988 (detail)
Friday 12 October 2018 Paintings from the Collection, Sate Library NSW
More than 300 original artworks from the Library’s collection of landscape and portrait paintings now on permanent public display. Part of the recently opened new galleries, aim to bring the collection from the inside (storage) to the outside (public). Excellent curation, not necessarily about the quality of the paintings (although many are of high quality) but the historical context. Mainly acquired as part of larger bequests (books, antique items, artworks, drawings). By pure chance even came across an historical photograph of our street in the old home town, part of the Holtermann Collection. Works by Wendy Sharpe, artist in residence in 2018, feature in illuminated wall installations.
Wendy Sharpe, A cheery and positive place, Mitchell Library Reading Room, 2018
Merlin’s photographic cart, Anson Street, Orange 1872-73, attributed to Henry Beaufoy Merlin, Holtermann Collection
Gold cigarette case given to Captain Francis de Groot, inscribed ‘He is not insane. 21 March 1932’
Friday 5 October 2018 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize 2018, Sydney
In pouring rain negotiated checkpoint Charlie and a line-up of several members of the constabulary to gain entry to NSW Parliament House. As in previous years well worth the effort, fresh, spontaneous artworks, a lift for the day. To be eligible works must be painted in the tradition of en plein air (in the outdoors), depict a New South Wales locality, and painted in the last two years.
Rosie Lloyd-Giblett, Magnetic Energy Mt Warning
Jock Young, From Bangalley Head
Dan Kyle, Six Days in Bilpin
Michael Tomkins, Balmoral Morning
Kerry McInnis, Afternoon Walk, Mystery Bay
Friday 28 September 2018 National Art – Part One, National Art School (NAS), Sydney
Works from the NAS collection from 1947 to 2018, representative works by fifty NAS alumni across a range of mediums.
Ann Thomson, Triton, 2013
Kevin Connor, Haymarket Morning, 2013
Idris Murphy, Desert View with Curtains, 2005
Luke Sciberras, The Road from Momba, 2017
Friday 21 September 2018 Paddington Art Prize, Menzies Art Brands, Kensington, Sydney
Over 1,200 entries received, 54 finalists. At last an art prize where the criteria for selecting the finalists, and a description of why the winners were selected has been made public. Agree or disagree, at least there is an explanation, excellent exhibition enlightened by the judges approach to selection of the works.
Official statement by the judges
“The winning works were selected based on the following criteria:
– Evidence of commitment to artistic practice with Australian landscape painting as a core conceptual interest;
– A fresh and contemporary contribution to the genre that acknowledges the vibrancy and complexity of this landscape we are privileged to inhabit;
– Formal and technical resolution.”
Al Poulet, Untitled (Gully). Winner, judges’ statement “The work conjured associations of the density and complexity of the Australian bush. There is also a highly convincing imaginative and speculative dimension to the work. Looking at it, we imagined wading through a dense landscape, pushing through branches while hearing koalas screech.”
Fiona Lowry, My Mother’s Far Embrace, Honourable Mention – judges’ statement “This work stood out as a unique and contemporary take on the genre of Australian landscape painting with a clarity of communication reflective of rigorous studio practice and commitment. The lurid palette with reference to the lens and digital culture imparted a metaphysical dimension to the work that poetically gestured towards the landscape as a metaphor to describe internal topographies and human emotions.”
Remnin Alexander Tayco, Evergreen – judges’ statement “highly technical and poetic interpretation of the Australian landscape, executed with confidence and nuance. We were drawn to the idiosyncrasy of the artist’s approach to the genre of realism. His monochromatic approach (working solely with shades of green) and playful use of perspective made it sing in a quietly reflective, engaging manner.”
Steve Lopes, Jamberoo Rainforest Study
Chick Gordon, A bend in the Paroo
Charmaine Pike, The Soft Pink Truth
Wednesday 19 September 2018 Susanna Chen Chow exhibition, Palm House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney
Perfect location for an exhibition of colour and light in gestural expressionist art, merging the life of the line and ‘traditional landscape with colourist abstraction’.
Susanna Chen Chow, Arrival Spring 2
Susanna Chen Chow, Iris in Spring
Susanna Chen Chow, Spring Arrival
Susanna Chen Chow, Spring Waltz 2
Jacqueline Aust, Span, 2018
Rosalie Gascoigne, Banana Yellow, 1998
Brook Andrew, Rainbow across the world II, 2018
Eubena Nampitjn, Ikara,1992
Nicolas Harding, Dog Parramatta Road, 2007
Ben Quilty The Easter Bunny, 2018
Ben Quilty, Development Application (John Glover), 2018
Imi Knoebel, FaceEd 83
Jeffery Mincham AM, For Robert, 2018
Wednesday 12 September 2018 Bohemian Harbour, Artists of Lavender Bay, Museum of Sydney
Interesting selection ‘from Conrad Martens to Margaret Olley to Brett Whiteley’ including Peter Kingston, Tom Carment, Philip Cox, Joel Elenberg, Robert Jacks, Rollin Schlicht, Martin Sharp, Garry Shead and Tim Storrier., some rarely seen Brett Whiteley works. A short film, Fanta directed by Garry Shead 1973, starring Wendy Whiteley, highly entertaining.
Margaret Olley, North Sydney c1947
Brett Whiteley, The telephone, 1976
Brett Whiteley, Sydney Harbour, 1980
Friday 7 September 2018 Liu Dapeng, Shan Shui Australis, Vermilion Gallery, Walsh Bay, Sydney
Subtle brushwork, line, and colour.
Liu Dapeng, Epic, 2017
Liu Dapeng, Mountain Dwelling, 2018
Liu Dapeng, One River Two Banks, 2018
Friday 24 August 2018 Belle Ile: Euan Macleod & Luke Sciberras, Manly Art Gallery, Sydney
“Recent expedition to Belle Île, off the coast of Brittany, France, on this pilgrimage, the artists were following in the late 19th Century footsteps of – and paying homage to – expatriate Australian painter John Peter Russell. The exhibition runs concurrently with the Art Gallery of NSW’s exhibition, John Russell: Australia’s French Impressionist” (see below). Euan Macleod all about “landscapes of the mind”, tonal extremes, contrast, powerful mood, sense of place and depth. Luke Sciberras onslaught of colour, “play of line produces an energy of being in the landscape”, a vitality in the en plein air studies “capturing the energy of the moment.”
Euan Macleod, Steps to Beach 2017-18
Euan Macleod, Guillotine, 2017-18
Luke Sciberras, Toul Rock, Belle Ile, 2017
Luke Sciberras, Pinnacles Between, Belle Ile, 2018
Luke Sciberras, North Facing, Belle Ile, 2018
Wednesday 22 August 2018 Ann Dangar Ceramics from Moly-Sabata, AGNSW
Impressive collection, style and refinement “innovative pottery designs that fuse traditional techniques with modernist motifs. An early exponent of cubism in Australia, moved permanently to France in 1930, becoming the central figure in an artists commune, Moly-Sabata, established by French cubist painter Albert Gleizes.”
The Adoration of the Magi (post 1942)
Friday 10 August 2018 William Robinson: Genesis, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
A “contemporary landscape painter, celebrated in particular for his original and powerful approaches to depicting the Australian environment through a multi-dimensional viewpoint.” Well painted works but conventional.
William Robinson, The sea with morning sun from Springbrook, 1996
William Robinson, Creation landscape: The dome of space and time, 2003-04
William Robinson, Creation landscape: The dome of space and time, 2003-04 (detail)
Tuesday 7 August 2018 John Russell Australia’s French impressionist, AGNSW, Sydney
On the positive side, the portraits and watercolours are interesting, on the negative side, the landscapes are problematic, the light missing. He knew he wasn’t in the same league as his friends and acquaintances in Paris, maybe the reason he found obscurity on his return to Australia. Stand well back, across the room, the landscapes seem to shine, but closer there is no inherent light, the palette murky. By contrast instantly drawn to the single works by Monet and Matisse, probably an unfair comparison.
Claude Monet, Rain at Belle-Ile, 1886
Henri Matisse, Rocks at Belle-Ile, 1897
John Russell, Antibes, 1890-92
John Russell, Rough Sea, Morstil, Belle-Ile, c1900
John Russell, Untitled (South of France Woodlands), 1920
Friday 27 July 2018 The Sleeper Awakes, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney
Sun Xun, Republic of Jing Bang, 2013 multimedia installation about an imaginary country, contains 49 separate, individually titled artworks, including 31 metre long scroll painting. Masterful performance by a maestro of classical Chinese brush strokes.
Wednesday 25 July 2018 Spacemakers and roomshakers, installations from the collection, AGNSW, Sydney
Ernesto Neto, Just like drops in time, nothing 2002, polymer stretch fabric, spices
“formal harmony and simplicity that derives from conceptual clarity”
Reference: The Idea of Art – Building a Contemporary International Art Collection, Anthony Bond, 2015
Phyllida Barlow, untitled: brokenupturnedhouse 2013
Wednesday 25 July 2018 Playback: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2018, AGNSW “Presents new work by Australian artists that find a connection between drawing and the moving image”
Jason Phu, I drew this, then I died, 2018
Calligraphy with a symbolic stratigraphy of Chinese folklore. Includes video of the creation of the work by a three headed demon (concept, media, drawing), calligraphy strokes made with a mop.
Locust Jones The end of the beginning, New Year’s Eve to April fools 2018
“a fragment of Jones’ scroll l, which unfolds like ‘a visual ticker tape of the 24-hour news cycle’. It captures that quality of constant noise – of streaming – with no sense of a beginning, a solution, or an end. It is cinematic in scale and gesture.” (ArtsHub review). A visual diary of the events and people that made the daily news from New Year’s Eve to April Fools Day.
Sharon Goodwin, Never is Forever 2, 2018
Saturday 21 July 2018 Measured Response, National Art School Gallery, Sydney
“Brings together contemporary Aboriginal perspectives that engage with bodily and spiritual practices of art-making.” The relationship between the material and the maker “transformation of an object from one state to another. Lorraine Connelly-Northey works with industrial and metal discarded materials, corrugated iron, chicken wire, barbwire to form Waradgerie cultural objects including narrbangs (string bags) and koolimans (bush bowls).”
Saturday 21 July 2018 Tribal Art Fair, Oceanic Art Society, National Art School, Sydney
Eclectic collections of masks, carvings, artefacts from Papua New Guinea, the Pacific, and Southeast Asia.
from Palau in Micronesia
Friday 20 July 2018 Ryoji Ikeda, Micro | Macro, Carriageworks, Sydney
“An immersive installation which sits at the intersection of art and quantum physics.”
On a cold mid-winter morning in search of ideas, motivation, inspiration, a blast of contemporary art. Cosmic light, colour, action, mesmerising, timeless.
Friday 20 July 2018 Daniel Buren, Like Child’s Play, Carriageworks, Sydney
“Colour is pure thought, and therefore completely inexpressible, every bit as abstract as a mathematical formula or a philosophical concept”
Complex, calculated, site specific, hard edge abstraction with a dash of optical illusion to add some spin, objects in space, a reminder of Albers’ interaction of colour, keyed slightly muted complementary colours, discord and harmony.
Friday 13 July 2018 Sun Xun, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
The power of the four treasures (ink, brush, paper, ink-stone) in the hands of a young master, vitality, classical brush stoke forms including spread-out and entangled hemp fibres, small and big axe cuts, ravelled rope, splash ink, crab claw, rat’s foot dot, mi dots, nail head, iron-wire lines, nailhead rat tail lines. Complex ideas and symbols, one of Sun Xun’s quotes “an artist should live in state of confusion and awkwardness”.
Ink on newspaper
Ink on newspaper
Work in progress
Work in progress
Saturday 7 July 2018 John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Master bark rarrker blockbuster, sensational. First impression overawed by the scale, intricate detail of the works, in later works a shimmering effect mesmerising. After attending a one and half hour session, a conversation with Mawurndjul via interpreter (Murray Garde) and curator (Keith Munro), another walk around the exhibition, the works even more compelling, sacred places and spirits – Djang. There are 165 works in the exhibition, a career spanning more than 40 years, which has included exhibitions held around the world. One of this country’s greatest artists.
Some excerpts from the exhibition catalogue, worth repeating to saviour what is an extraordinary experience.
“First exhibition to place Kuninjku language and culture as part of the exhibition. Collaboration between Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of South Australia in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture. Masterfully accomplishing the translation of a culturally specific artistic vernacular into a contemporary international idiom. The works depict flora, fauna, ancestral events, supernatural beings, significant sites and encrypted ceremonial designs. Mawurndjul uses bark, wood and ochre from his country. Vast hidden depths, breadths and power of the knowledge, he has commented that ‘his head is full of ideas’. Inventive intellectual virtuosity, power of translation, ability to create something new within a genre steeped in tradition. Mawurndjul has created labyrinths, ‘hall of mirrors’, to dazzle using the infinite reflections of rarrk and refractions of figures that emerge and dissolve at every turn and twist. Charismatic visionary whose art presents to the world the creative osmosis of ancient knowledge within the contemporary cultural economy of western Arnhem Land. Ultimately Mawurndjul’s art is a self-portrait: it is the embodiment of the contemporary spirit of an old soul, and like the bark paintings that ‘do not forget’, his work will be remembered for generations to come.”
Ngalyod (Rainbow Serpent) 1981
Namanjwarre, saltwater crocodile, 1988
Namarrkon Ngal-daluk, the Female Lightning Spirit, 1983
Female Lightning Spirit, 1984
Friday 22 June 2018 Girt by Sea, aerial photography of coastal Australia, Paddington Town Hall, Sydney
Girt, there is something about that archaic word and its context in the national anthem of the island continent ‘our home is girt by sea’, it works, it’s strong, evocative, with so much more grit than words like encircled, surrounded, or enclosed. This exhibition of aerial photographs by ‘two photographers, Tony Hewitt and Denis Glennon, who circumnavigated Australia in a light aircraft, flew for a total of 168 hours, total distance 34,213 kms’ from 1 April to 1 May 2017 to capture incredible literal and abstract images of the coastline. Can’t improve on nature only learn from it.
Girt by Sea Image 8
Girt by Sea Image 28
Girt by Sea Image 46
Girt by Sea Image 99
Friday 15 June 2018 – Inland Mariner – Joe Furlonger, Liverpool St Gallery, Sydney
“Exhibition of 9 paintings of land and sea and 4 portraits of the ‘Inland Mariner.’ Handmade pigment and PVA binder on reused canvases”. Landscapes reminiscent of Fairweather, layered, gestural abstraction with a sense of place.
Joe Furlonger, Dundas Landscape, 2018
Joe Furlonger, Landscape North West NSW, 2018
Friday 8 June 2018 Salon des Refusés, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
‘Of the 859 entries to the Archibald Prize the AGNSW Trustees selected 58 works, and from 762 entries to the Wynne Prize the Trustees selected 46 works. From the remaining submission the [Salon des Refusés] selectors have chosen 34 works from the Archibald Prize entries and 17 works from the Wynne Prize entries for this alternative exhibition.’
As always, it is a complete mystery how and on what basis the selection of the works is made. ‘The criteria on which judgements are made need to be clearly articulated’ Perhaps, for the sake of at least some transparency, it is time the AGNSW trustees, and the S.H. Ervin selection panel provide statements about the basis for selection of works and the winners. Maybe someone (a couple of art critics?) could run an annual symposium, before entries close, on the latest developments in best practice in judging art competitions, and invite the trustees.
Wednesday 6 June 2018 The Lady and the Unicorn, AGNSW
Six large tapestries created about 1500, on loan from the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. A medieval morality tale, ravishing haute couture gowns, the changes in expression on the lion’s face seems to imply that there is something not entirely above board going on here, perhaps a reminder to maidens that if you grasp a unicorn by the horn your career is over, the swollen maiden’s eyes in the ‘Sight’ tapestry seems to suggest a not entirely happy outcome. Maybe there is more than just a streak of the satyr in the cloven hoofed, horned magical show pony. However, ‘the most widely accepted interpretation is that of an allegory of the five senses: smell, touch, taste, hearing, and sight’ (the gateways to temptation).
Friday 1 June 2018 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, AGNSW
Another year, another controversial selection to keep the crowds returning, method in the madness, and everyone’s a critic. Chris Allen Archibald Prize: What were the judges thinking? and John McDonald The Archibald Prize 2018 reviews not far off piste this year but in their view it’s a downhill race. Joanna Mendelssohn’s review Archibald winner Yvette Coppersmith channels her inner Jacinda Ardern in an intelligent, classical work more measured. Meanwhile the Wynne Prize is going from strength to strength, the works capturing this place, Australia. The APY artists (from South Australian Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands) colourists extraordinaire combined with depth and meaning.
Yvette Coppersmith, Self-portrait, after George Lambert (2018 winner Archibald Prize)
Yukultji Napangati, (Untitled) (2018 winner Wynne Prize)
Sylvia Ken, Kungkarangkalpa tjukurpa (Seven Sisters story)
Maringka Baker, Minyma kutjara tjukurpa
Friday 25 May 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
Run by the Natural History Museum in London, features the world’s best nature photography. Another year and this exhibition never disappoints. Some highlights.
Realm of the condor, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, Klaus Tamm, Germany
The unstoppable force, K6 basecamp, Himalayas, Pakistan, Paddy Scott, UK
March/April 2018 Biennale of Sydney
SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium & Engagement ‘presents the work of 70 artists and artist collectives from 35 countries, 300 works’. Not a blockbuster nor in your face, mind blowing shock of the new, but enough to impress. Subtle, thought provoking, meaningful, depth, time out to absorb some of the messages from the artists but, in some cases so minimal and conceptual there isn’t much there for the viewer who hasn’t read the artist’s summary. A selection.
Wednesday 14 March Art Gallery of NSW
Friday 23 March Carriageworks
Friday 30 March Museum of Contemporary Art
Friday 13 April Cockatoo Island
N S Harsha, Reclaiming the inner space, 2018, AGNSW
Chen Shaoxiong, The View, 2016, Carriageworks
George Tjungurrayi, (Untitled), 2016, Carriageworks
Sam Falls, The River, 2017, Carriageworks
Semiconductor, Earthworks, 2016, Carriageworks
Sosa Joseph, Irul (the dark), 2015, MCA
Yvonne Koolmatrie, Burial basket, 2017, MCA
Maria Taniguchi, Runaways, 2018, MCA
Haegue Yang, Lethal Love, 2008, MCA
Ai Weiwei, Law of the Journey, 2017, Cockatoo Island
Mit Jai Inn, Planes, 2018, Cockatoo Island
Friday 16 March 2019 Newcastle Art Gallery
Grisaille: shades of grey from the collection
Impressive selection of works from the Gallery’s collection ‘exploring the discordant and intriguing associations and qualities of the colour grey’. Includes diverse range of artists: John Brack, William Delafield Cook, Noel Counihan, James Gleeson, Frank Hinder, Max Linegar, Bea Maddock, Brett McMahon, Claire Martin, Nigel Milsom, Mike Parr and Fred Williams.
Elizabeth Cummings: Interior Landscapes
Third viewing of this exhibition, following visits to Drill Hall, Canberra (March 2017) and S.H Ervin Gallery, Sydney (June 2017). Like meeting up with old friends. Probably the best hang of all, light and space, the works even more alive and crackling with colour and energy. Amazed at what a difference a venue can make to the experience.
Mike Parr, Satan/Bamboulla (Bridge over the sewers of Hostralia), 1988
Michael Taylor, Mother and son, 1963
Royston Harpur, In the Sea, 1976
Elizabeth Cummings, Wedderburn Spring, 1993
Elizabeth Cummings, Bird in the bush, 1995
Elizabeth Cummings exhibition Newcastle Art Gallery, March 2018
Thursday 22 February 2018 Katharina Grosse, The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped, Carriageworks, Eveleigh, Sydney
Installation, painting, sculpture, probably all three, massive scale, like walking into an action painting, reminiscent of Pollack, de Kooning, Frankenthaler.
‘Consistent with her recent interest in ‘folding’ space, Grosse has utilised more than 8,000 square metres of fabric, draped and knotted in direct response to Carriageworks’ architecture. Using a spray gun, Grosse has created a multilayered painting on the surfaces and folds of the fabric, resulting in a sublime and otherworldly environment.’
Friday 16 February 2018 Art In the Open, The Art House, Wyong
‘An annual outdoor art event, 25-30 selected artists are positioned between McMasters Beach and Terrigal Beach where they create art works en plein air’. Painters, sculptors and printmakers enter works from the day and a work inspired by the day in the exhibition. A great basis for an exhibition for local artists. Some of the works.
Debbie McKinnon, Wave Conversations
Felicity O’Connor, On the Rocks
Dino Consalvo, Rocks at Low Tide – Terrigal
Jon Ellis, North Avoca from the Lake
Tuesday 6 February 2018 North Head Project, Manly Art Gallery and Museum
‘Art created in response to North Head, Manly; exploring its Indigenous and cultural heritage, environmental significance, military history, and migration and quarantine stories.’ Worth a trip across the harbour to experience some site specific works of a place with a complex history, including aboriginal heritage, a quarantine station for 150 years, defence artillery range from 1930s to1960, great exhibition concept to reflect on the power of a place.
Christine Milne, Souls on Board
Karla Dickens, Boats and Black Bones
Hobie Porter, The midden record
Friday 2 February 2018 Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age
Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum, AGNSW
Despite the crowd, on entering the exhibition first impression hushed reverence in the presence of the masters, and time enough to spend with key works. The landscapes all about the sky, grey scale sublime. Influence on later artists obvious: Turner, Whistler, etc., even Morandi (see still life below). A selection.
Rembrandt, Samson and Delilah, 1626-30 (preparatory study)
Friday 26 January 2018 Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, Katoomba
Julie Paterson, Cloth: From Seeds to Bloom
Traces 20 years of work from textile designer and Blue Mountains resident, drawing inspiration from the bush, colour, floral forms and patterns, into domestic textile objects.
World Heritage Exhibition: Into the Blue
Permanent exhibition, high-tech interactive, includes views of the natural landscape of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area.
Friday 12 January 2018 Gosford Regional Gallery, Russell Drysdale: Bouddi,
Brett Whiteley: Other Places (Somewhere Else)
Worth the two hour journey from Sydney to see several Drysdale and Whiteley gems which are usually not on view. Drysdale captures the stark, surrealist grandeur of country and Whiteley’s unbridled self-assurance inescapable but you can’t help grinning after the visual hit. The infuriating thing is that all his work has personality, even the most questionable works (i.e. the seagull paintings).
Russell Drysdale, Dust Storm, West Kimberley, 1966
Russell Drysdale, Kimberley Landscape, 1964
Russell Drysdale, The Burnt Country, 1965
Brett Whiteley, The roofs in the rain, 1990
Brett Whiteley, Ille de la Cité at dusk, 1990
Brett Whiteley, Bob Dylan (…You realise he’s not selling any alibis), 1972
Wednesday 3 January 2018 Bush to Bay: Hinton and the Artists’ Camps, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney
Some key works by Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton capture the light, but current crop a bit underwhelming, possibly because the artists were commissioned to do the works for the exhibition and therefore under pressure to perform.
Tom Roberts, Mosman Bay, 1894
Arthur Streeton, Near Streeton’s Camp at Sirius Cove, 1892
Arthur Streeton, Musgrave Street Wharf, 1895
Arthur Streeton, The Wharf, Mosman’s Bay, 1907