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Grazia Gunn

Grazia Gunn

Grazia Gunn is a Melbourne-based historian, art curator and critic. She  taught Modernism in the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge from 1995 to 2003. A former Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne (1989–91), she was curator in the department of International Art at the National Gallery of Australia (1981–89), curator of the Monash collection (1975–79), and curator at the Melbourne University Gallery (1971–73). She was project officer, International and Australian Touring exhibitions, Visual Arts Board, Australia Council (1974–75). At the 1988 Venice Biennale she was commissioner and curator for the Australian Pavilion. She has published extensively on contemporary art in Australia and overseas, and is the author of Arthur Boyd: Seven Persistent Images (1985). Her current project is The Modernization of Egypt and the Dynamics of Cultural exchange 1798–1882.

The Field Revisited and Robert Hunter (NGV Australia)

ABR Arts 07 May 2018
These two significant exhibitions mark critical stages in the development of Australian art over the past fifty years. The Field Revisited is a painstaking reconstruction of the inaugural – and, at the time, ground-breaking and controversial – exhibition held in 1968 in the newly-opened Roy Grounds building: the National Gallery of Victoria in St Kilda Road. Some who saw The Field exhibition b ... (read more)

Degas: A new vision (National Gallery of Victoria)

ABR Arts 25 July 2016
Degas: A new vision is an exhibition of 206 works selected and presented by Henri Loyrette, the distinguished Degas scholar, former director of the Musée d'Orsay and subsequently director of the Musée du Louvre. In its range and variety the exhibition confirms the verdict of the writer and critic Edmond de Goncourt, expressed in 1872, that Degas was the man who, of all his contemporaries, best c ... (read more)

Jan Senbergs: Observation–Imagination (National Gallery of Victoria)

ABR Arts 04 April 2016
Jan Senbergs: Observation-Imagination is a major retrospective survey of this artist's long career. The 120 works selected for exhibition range from his formative years in the 1960s to 2014. They show Senbergs moving freely to create a stylistic identity that draws upon, yet stands decisively apart from, mainstream movements in international art over the past half century. 'Observation' and 'imag ... (read more)

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: the Legacy of Catherine the Great (NGV International)

ABR Arts 14 August 2015
Eight galleries of NGV International have been radically reshaped to host Masterpieces from the Hermitage, invoking the world of unbounded opulence of Russia’s Catherine the Great (1729–96). The installation, designed by the NGV’s Ingrid Ruhle, is dazzling, mimicking as it does the grand style of the State Hermitage Museum and incorporating some of its decorative designs. The floors reproduc ... (read more)

In black and white: Tom Nicholson's 'Cartoons for Joseph Selleny'

ABR Arts 30 July 2015
Tom Nicholson is a Melbourne artist whose work explores the past in multiple ways, through image and textual narrative. The scale of his art is big. Last year the Art Gallery of New South Wales dedicated an entire gallery to his Cartoons for Joseph Selleny, a work commemorating the Viennese landscape painter and lithographer Joseph Selleny (1824–75), who served as the official artist on the Impe ... (read more)

Grazia Gunn reviews 'Cairo: Histories of a City' by Nezar AlSayyad

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
Italo Calvino once wrote that ‘cities are like dreams: their rules seem absurd, their perspectives are often deceitful, and everything in them conceals something else’, hence ‘we should take delight not in a city’s wonders, whether these number seven or seventy, but in the answers a city can give to questions we pose, or in the questions it asks us in return’. Nezar AlSayyad reminds us o ... (read more)