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Peter Hill

Peter Hill

Peter Hill is a Glasgow-born Australian. He works as an artist, writer, and curator. His book Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper (Canongate/Random House Australia) won a Saltire Award in 2004 at the National Library of Scotland.

Van Gogh and the Seasons (NGV)

ABR Arts 08 May 2017
In the last seventy days of Vincent van Gogh’s short life, he painted seventy paintings. His intense life as an artist lasted for a single decade, from the age of twenty-seven to thirty-seven. Before that he had been, variously, a trainee preacher, an evangelist to miners, a labourer, and an art dealer. All had brought little success and no satisfaction. How would he fare as an artist? His broth ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum' by Jennifer Barrett and Jacqueline Millner

August 2015, no. 373 30 July 2015
I like a book jacket that tells you clearly, in words and images, what it is about. Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum does just that: ‘The authors’ central argument is that artists’ engagement with the museum has shifted from politically motivated critique taking place in museums of fine art, towards interventions taking place in non-art museums that focus on the creation of know ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Order and Variation' by Kirsty Grant

March 2015, no. 369 02 March 2015
It was the great American Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt who organised Melbourne artist Robert Jacks’s first show in Manhattan. This was held at the New York Cultural Centre in 1971, part of a program where each exhibited artist nominated his successor. Jacks had been enjoying a stellar rise since his début solo exhibition at Gallery A in Melbourne in 1966, when he was twenty-three years old. All ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Breakfast with Lucian: A portrait of the artist' by Geordie Greig

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
He painted Kate Moss naked. The Kray twins threatened to cut off his painting hand over bad gambling debts. He was officially recognised as father to fourteen children by numerous partners, but the unofficial tally could be as high as forty (three were born to different mothers within a few months). He is Lucian Freud, grandson of Sigmund Freud, born in Berlin on 8 December 1922. All of his gambli ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Permanent Revolution: Mike Brown and the Australian avant-garde 1953-1997' by Richard Haese

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
In August 1999 the Melbourne art collective DAMP staged an argument that turned into a glass-smashing fight at an exhibition opening of its work at 200 Gertrude Street. Peter Timms, writing in The Age, described this event, which in former times might have been called a ‘Happening’ and today would be recognised as a ‘Pop-up project’: ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Burning Issues: Fire in Art and the Social Imagination' by Alan Krell

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337 24 November 2011
On the evening of 24 May 2004, fire destroyed hundreds of works of art stored in Momart’s warehouse in Leyton, East London. (An arsonist was reputedly to blame.) Among those lost were Tracey Emin’s notorious tent, entitled Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, Jake and Dinos Chapman’s Hell, and Chris Ofili’s Afrobluff. Valued at around $100 million, whole collections, including Char ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'The Revolutionary Century: Art in Asia 1900–2000' by Alison Carroll and 'Every 23 Days: 20 Years Touring Asia' edited by Sarah Bond, Alison Carroll and Claire Watson

November 2010, no. 326 01 November 2010
If you were to tell me that a book had been written that covered a century of art in Asia, from 1900 to 2000, and that its geographic range moved from Japan to Pakistan and Indonesia, to Nepal, the Australian outback, and Cambodia, I would initially ask how many volumes it contained. That such a book exists, in a fairly slim volume, is tribute to the skills of its author, Alison Carroll. How has s ... (read more)

Peter Hill reviews 'Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong' by Claire Roberts

March 2011, no. 329 01 March 2011
This fascinating book tells of the friendship between two Chinese artists: the traditional brush painter Huang Binhong (1865–1955) and the Chinese writer, critic, and translator Fou Lei (1908–66). While the long tail of Modernism swept through the twentieth century, decelerating only during the two world wars, and following reductive tendencies based on the early work of either Picasso or Duch ... (read more)