Image above: Inge King, Celestial Rings, Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney, 29 October 2016
Friday 13 October 2017 Ritual Spirit, White Rabbit Gallery, Chippendale
Confronting, includes works featuring exploding Gucci bags, a crucified mickey mouse, cathedral constructed from BDSM accessories, but all the works have a powerful presence.
Some excerpts from the catalogue.
‘Chinese art was once regarded as a gift from the gods. Artists were conduits between earth and heaven; their aim was not just to capture the beauty of nature but to convey its vital “breath”. Many were recluses or monks, for whom painting and calligraphy were spiritual exercises. But that was long ago, in a China where the “three teachings” of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism suffused every aspect of life.’
‘China today is a different country, where the official “religion” is atheism and most people are too busy making a living to spare much thought for their soul.’
‘Even for atheists or sceptics, the symbols of religion tap into deep wells of cultural memory and human meaning.’
Ouyang Chun, Volcanic Ash, 2014
Xu Zhen, Play 201301, 2013
Xia Hang, Defence, 2014
Wednesday 11 October 2017 NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize, Parliament House, Sydney
Impressive range this year. Only problem, the lighting. The works framed behind glass, very difficult to get a clear view, too many reflections in the glass, although this did add a surrealist touch to some of the works.
Juris Cerins, On Sims Hill, Lightning Ridge
Amanda Penrose-Hart New Road
Peter Gardiner Near Pumpinbill (Research)
Bela Ivanyi Notes of Nutawintji
Kerry McInnis Our Burnt Dam
Sunday 1 October 2017 Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
The best multi-media installation to date, recreating the story of the Seven Sisters “A journey along the Ancestral routes of the Seven Sisters as they flee across deserts, pursued relentlessly by a sorcerer.” Paintings, sculpture, life size video of individual people talking about the story, the DomeLab, “a cave-like experience which projects images of the only known Seven Sisters rock art at Cave Hill in South Australia”.
Some excerpts from the catalogue and other references (see below).
The sisters continue to play out their journey in the features of the land and each night in the Pieiades star cluster and Orion constellation.
The Tjukurpa (the seven sisters) travel through many people’s country: the Martu, Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara, and the Yankunytjatjara lands of the western and central deserts regions.
A journey exhibition moving from site to site along the seven sisters songlines in each of the three countries represented, walking from west to east.
Walking, talking and painting the songlines. Seven sisters is a visual narrative that echoes how they continue to appear (and disappear) in the soaks, hills, rocks and trees of the land and the stars above.
Songlines – Tracking the Seven Sisters, exhibition catalogue, edited by Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia 2017
Tracking the Seven Sisters: An epic songlines narrative brought to life at the National Museum, by ABC Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan, 14 September 2017
Songlines exhibition to bring Seven Sisters story alive, Rosemary Neill, The Australian 15 September, 2017
Wati Nyiru, Judy Trigger, 2013
Snake sculptures, Maruku Arts
Nyimparra, Pulpurru Davies, 1991
Wanarntju, Carol Maanyatja Golding, 2004
Kuru Ala, Anmanari Brown, 2002
Kungkarangkalpa walka board, Niningka Lewis, 2016
Kunawarritji, Nora Wompi, 2007
Sunday 1 October 2017 Jude Rae: A Space of Measured Light, Drill Hall, Canberra
Incredible inexplicable technique, from a distance hyper-realist, up close blurred edges and no lines. Works seem to be all about technique, need to be viewed as abstract. Mainly from past two decades, still life and interiors, some portraits. “Leaves patches of underground colour to breathe through, hard objects seem soft”. “Representation of objective reality and light. Composing with planes and colour. Reconciliation of liberation into abstraction and the purity of means without having to abolish the realistic, perceptually-based, tonal, illusionistic, figurative basis of an older Western tradition”. Phew that about says it all, its hard work looking at these paintings, intense, almost to the point of suffocation.
Mondrian: “unconsciously every true artist has always been moved by the beauty of line, colour and relationships for their own sake and not by what they represent” (1942).
Jude Rae SL341 2014
Jude Rae SL367 2017
Jude Rae SL176 2005
Jude Rae SL176 2005 (detail)
Jude Rae SL176 2005 (detail)
Wednesday 20 September 2017 Unpainting, Art Gallery of NSW
Survey of the gallery’s holding of abstract art spanning 50 years. Part of the Contemporary Collection Projects, third iteration of the series. Interesting selection of works rarely seen, includes works by Daniel Buren, Morris Louis, Judy Millar, Dona Nelson, Sigmar Polke and Robert Rauschenberg, some of the others:
Josh Smith, Untitled (JSC11001), 2011
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2012
N Dash, Night light 1, 2013
Friday 15 September 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Minimalist with cross-over into optical illusion. A mesmerizing combination, if you stare too long the works become a spinning burn out.
Hit and miss, if you are going to kick over the realists’ apple cart you need to have hyper street cred, like Basquiat, but that is probably an unfair comparison.
Friday 8 September 2017 Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks
Contemporary Art Fair with over 90 galleries spanning 14 countries, over 500 artists. The good, the bad, and the indifferent, but great exposure and chance to see a wide range of art even if it is all about sales. A selection.
Anselm Kiefer, Your age and my age are the age of the world, 1992
Locust Jones, Back to the Dark Ages II, 2016
Wednesday 23 August 2017 Something Living, AGNSW
contemporary figurative painting Including Neo Rauch, Georg Baselitz, Dana Schutz, Adrian Ghenie, Ben Quilty, Mernet Larsen, Philip Guston
Philip Guston East Tenth (1977)
Adrian Ghenie Pie fight interior 9 (2012)
Friday 18 August 2017 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. This year’s entries incredible as usual. Always interested in the Land category which celebrates the diversity of the world’s environments, from extreme physical spaces to sublime landscapes, some of the best:
Stefano Unterthiner, Spirit of the Mountains, Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy
Fortunato Gatto, After the Storm, Laig Bay, Isle of Eigg, Scotland
Alexandre Deschaumes, Clouded in mystery, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Friday 11 August 2017 Sculpture at Baragaroo, Sydney
Some of the same sculptures as in last year’s Sculpture by the Sea (SxS) (see below) but a completely different experience. The madness and intensity of the SxS crowds and the, in places, precarious cliff walk gives the works a completely different personality. The intensity of being in a crowd, sharing the experience with young and old, dogs, crows and sea gulls, the mad and the reckless, versus the time and space to contemplate a sculpture in peace and quiet. Both memorable experiences.
Some of the sculptors
Michael Le Grande
Friday 4 August 2017 Salon des Refusés, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
As usual many of the works are of a higher quality than those hung in the main exhibition at AGNSW. The rawness of some of the works is impressive. Usual list of big names but like the main exhibition there seems to be a complete lack of light.
Wednesday 2 August 2017 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman, AGNSW
Usual controversial array of big names in the Archibald, mix of large, medium, small, realist, expressionist, abstract, and for the first time a conceptual portrait. There is method in the Trustee’s madness, the controversies keep the populace returning every year. The standout this year is the Wynne which marks a ‘radical change’, for first time it includes a number of paintings by indigenous artists, and its about time. The artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of South Australia ‘dominate the current art scene’. Too many miniatures in the Wynne, landscape is about capturing scale?
Edge of the Plateau, 2017
Fowlers Gap, 2017
Friday 23 June 2017 Elizabeth Cummings – Interior Landscapes, S.H Erving Gallery, Sydney
Second visit to this exhibition, following visit to Drill Hall, Canberra in March (see below). Different hang, bigger space, different lighting (no natural light) but the works crackle with that same energy. With the ability to stand well back, the big works have an even more powerful impact.
The Bush Studio
The Music Room, 1996
From the Two Tanks Fowlers Gap, 2012
Friday 23 June 2017 Kader Attia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Intense, confronting, political works across diverse media including collage, photography, video, sculpture and installation. ‘Exploring ideas around cultural exchange, appropriation, and the tangled relationship between extra-Occidental cultures and the West in the wake of decolonisation, Attia articulates theories of injury, repair and reparation’.
Wednesday 21 June 2017 EuroVisions: Contemporary Art from the Goldberg Collection, National Art School, Sydney
Impressive range of contemporary international art.
Katharina Grosse (untitled) 2014
Charline von Heyl Mad Mirth 2012 (right)
Urs Fischer Primary Life 2017
Saturday 6 May 2017 Kerry McInnis, Ikara Country, Wagner Contemporary
Gestural, expressionist, intensity of colour of the Australian outback, superb sense of place: Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park.
Friday 5 May 2017 The Dark Matters, White Rabbit Gallery
Refined, sophisticated with deep layers of meaning in the context of modern China. The artists “use blacks to convey realities the classical masters never dreamed of: oil spills, air pollution, megacities, mass production and political machinations. The artists in this show don’t shun light or colour, but in using them they follow Laozi’s advice: Know the white, but hold to the black.”
Friday 24 March 2017 Margaret Olley: Painter, Peer, Mentor, Muse, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
Not a lot of Olley’s paintings, more about her peers and those who painted her. As always the blinders were Dobell and Drysdale
Margaret Olley, The Yellow Room Triptych, 2007
Friday 17 March 2017 Elisabeth Cummings – Interior Landscapes, Drill Hall, ANU Canberra. This exhibition has it all: energy, line, colour, light, mood, immediacy, and balance subject/abstraction. Early influences: the Nabis (Bonnard, Vuillard) ‘tearing to tatters realism’, ‘independent of representational function, painting autonomous and free’; and in Australia Ian Fairweather and Grace Cossington-Smith.
Friday 17 February 2017 Ku-ring-gai pH – Art + Science > Project
Excellent images, videos, and installations based on Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Julia Davis, Sarah Robson, and Asheeta Prasad – part of collaborative work Morning Bay (below)
Thursday 9 February 2017 Time, Light, Japan, AGNSW
Friday 20 January 2017 Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre Interpretations from the Air
The Light Collective, The Black Eye Gallery, Darlinghurst
Category = landscape aerial photography must see, stunning. Can’t rave enough about this exhibition. Inspiration for immersion in the science of oil colour mixing, the spatial perspective of indigenous art of central Australia, and John Olsen’s Lake Eyre series.
Wednesday 27 January Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, AGNSW
Wednesday 27 January James Gleeson AGNSW
Saturday 30 January, Tom Roberts ,NGA
Saturday 19 March Lloyd Rees Painting with pencil, Museum of Sydney
Saturday 16 January Destination Sydney Manly Art Gallery & Museum
Saturday 19 March Grayson Perry MCA
Friday 8 April 20th Biennale of Sydney:
Lee Bul – Willing to be vulnerable – installation – Turbine Hall
Xu Zhen– Eternity – Greek and budda sculpture – concrete and stone
Camille Henrot – Retreat from investment – bronze sculpture
Chiharu Shiota – Conscious Sleep – beds and thread
Bharti Kher – six women – sculpture – plaster and wood
Alexis Teplin – The politics of fragmentation – oil on linen hanging
Ming Wong – Windows on the world – multi channel and screens video
Cevdet Erek – Room of rhythms – 4 channel sound
William Forsythe – Nowhere and everywhere – installation – dance pendulums
Korakrit Arunanondchai – installation – runway and video
Friday 8 July Fiona Hall ‘Wrong Way Time, NGA (below)
Monday 18 July – Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2016 , AGNSW
Monday 18 July Ann Thomson & Contemporaries, National Art School, Sydney (below)
Tuesday 12 July Shen Mo – Distant Homeland ink paintings, Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown
Wednesday 20 July Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, AGNSW
Wednesday 10 August Seong Cho – Printmaking solo exhibition, Incinerator Art Space, Willoughby (below)
Thursday 11 August – Printed in Australia – Spot 81, Chippendale
Sunday 11 September Brian Blanchflower ‘Canopies’, Drill Hall ANU, Canberra (below)
Sunday 11 September Michael Taylor: A Survey 1963-2016, CMAG, Canberra (below)
Tuesday 20 September 2016 State Library Dreams: Grand Garden Designs Planting
Saturday 1 October Louise Hearman exhibition, MCA, Sydney
Friday 7 October Peter Godwin At the Yellow House Potts Point – Defiance Gallery, Potts Point
Monday 11 October Julian Rosefeldt: Manifesto, AGNSW – video installation
Monday 11 October Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2016 AGNSW
Monday 11 October – Art of Parts – Collage and assemblage AGNSW
Monday 11 October- Beyond Words – calligraphic traditions of Asia
Friday 14 October NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize,
SMH article – From the Nullabor to Bondi for Sculpture by the Sea prize winner Celebrating 20 years. Sculpture by the Sea Bondi – 5 videos Other Videos Full list https://www.youtube.com/user/sculpturebythesea/videos
Sunday 30 October Our Stars – Art from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara (APY) lands Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea (below)
Friday 11 November Watercolours exhibition, Balmain Watch House
Saturday 19 November 40/40 Project group exhibition, Wagner Contemporary, Paddington
Tuesday 22 November 2016 Nude – Art from the Tate Collection, AGNSW
Friday 2 December 2016 SMH Photos 1440, State Library NSW – from the exhibition:
Asaro Mud Men from PNG visiting Sydney – Australian Museum 26 September 2016
Saturday 17 December 2016 Tatsuo Miyajima, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
10 January 2015 Chuck Close, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
22 January 2015 Pop to Popism, AGNSW
27 March 2015 Ann Thompson, Drill Hall ANU, Canberra
27 March James Turrell, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
10 April 2015 Roy Jackson Retrospective 1963-2013, SH Ervin, Sydney
16 May 2015 Kerry McInnis Antarctica Landscapes, Wagner, Paddington
20 June 2015 Painter in Paradise: William Dobell in New Guinea, S.H.Ervin, Sydney
17 June 2015 Art On Paper, Hazelhurst Gallery, Gymea
6 August 2015 John R Walker, Drill Hall ANU, Canberra
7 August 2015 Art of the Sepik, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
7 August 2015 INK REMIX: Contemporary art from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, CMAG, Canberra
12 August 2015 Archibald & Wynn, AGNSW
29 October 2015 Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi
30 October 2015 Country & Western: landscape re-imagined 1988 – 2013, S.H.Ervin, Sydney
20 October 2015 Matthys Gerber, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
28 November 2015 Aaron Kinnane Winter Passing, Milk Moon Rising Arthouse Gallery Ruchcutters Bay
21 November 2015 Small Images – Grand Visions 40/40 Wagner Gallery, Paddington
31 December 2015 Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland – AGNSW
Robert Motherwell: At Five in the Afternoon, exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 1 August 2014
Abstract Expressionism, exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, 25 August & 29 November 2012
Fred Williams: Infinite Horizons, exhibition, National Gallery of Australia,
8 October 2011
‘The paintings that convey the most seamless transition between his minimal works of the late 1960s and the fullness of sumptuous colour of the 1970s (influenced by the colour field painters) and between close observation of the real and abstraction were his paintings of water. These include his evocative seascapes of the Victorian coastline and his vibrant oil paintings of Erith Island in Bass Strait, such as Beachscape, Erith Island I 1974. Painted in horizontal strips, these works both recall early colonial topographical drawings and watercolours and find affinities with contemporary abstraction. Works like this were shown in the retrospective of gouaches Fred Williams: landscapes of a continent at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1977. He was the first Australian artist to be invited to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Artists admired over the years, included Cézanne and Henri Matisse. Matisse’s large cut-out installation: The swimming pool 1952.’
Fred Williams in the You Yangs: a turning point for Australian art, Anita Pisch, The Conversation, 20 September 2017
‘Williams’s work is simultaneously abstract and representative, classical and modern, formalist and expressionist. Discarding the traditional foreground, middle ground and background of European landscape painting, in the first You Yangs series, Williams frequently dispenses with the horizon line altogether. He flattens the picture plane, adopting an elevated or aerial viewpoint over a scrubby, irregular landscape without a focal point. There is little here that is specific – time of day, time of year, weather conditions – as Williams strips the landscape back to its essence. The viewer floats in what artist Dr Mark Dober has called “the transcendent, a realm beyond the here and now and the everyday”. Williams’s genius lies in his ability to suggest bushes, trees, fence lines and rocky outcrops through calligraphic daubs of coloured paint and scumbling, seemingly arranged as in the landscape itself but here precisely formulated along the axes of geometric grids and structural motifs such as the golden mean, the right angle, the cross and the figure eight. Carefully planned yet surprising placements and recurrences of colour draw the eye around the canvas as if wandering through an immersive landscape. Man is present in absentia, evidenced by the suggestion of fence lines and cleared land.’