Sophie Knezic

Sophie Knezic

Sophie Knezic is a writer, scholar and visual artist, who works between practice and theory. Sophie’s writing has been published in Broadsheet Journal, Evental Aesthetics, Memo Review, Art + Australia and Art Monthly Australasia, and she is a regular contributor to Frieze and Australian Book Review. Sophie currently lectures in Critical and Theoretical Studies at VCA, University of Melbourne and in Art History, Theory + Cultures in the School of Art at RMIT University.

‘Queer: Reappraising the NGV’s heteronormative assumptions’ by Sophie Knezic

ABR Arts 29 March 2022
‘Queer: Reappraising the NGV’s heteronormative assumptions’ by Sophie Knezic
We all know that emancipatory drives in the late twentieth century dislodged the hegemonic politics of social normativity through the movements of second wave feminism, civil rights, and gay activism, but it’s worth remembering that some rights took longer than others. Homosexuality was only fully decriminalised in Australia in 1997 (Tasmania being the last state to do so); same-sex marriages we ... (read more)

Sophie Knezic reviews 'Buried Not Dead' by Fiona McGregor

January–February 2022, no. 439 22 December 2021
Sophie Knezic reviews 'Buried Not Dead' by Fiona McGregor
‘Wasn’t sexual expression a principal motivation of gay and queer dancefloors … Isn’t that the freedom we were fighting for? To be kinky dirty fuckers, without shame; to not sanitise ourselves in the bid for equality?’ So exhorts DJ Lanny K in 2013, reflecting on his time spinning discs at down-and-out pubs in ungentrified Surry Hills in the mid-1990s as part of Sydney’s fomenting quee ... (read more)

'NGV Triennial 2020' (National Gallery of Victoria)

ABR Arts 04 January 2021
'NGV Triennial 2020' (National Gallery of Victoria)
In Giambattista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743–44) – a jewel in the NGV’s collection of eighteenth-century art – a dining table shows the Egyptian queen Cleopatra facing the Roman consul Mark Antony, her hand elegantly clasping a pearl earring that she is about to drop into a flute glass filled with vinegar, which she will subsequently drink. In doing so, the sheer value of the ... (read more)

Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines (National Gallery of Victoria)

ABR Arts 03 December 2019
Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines (National Gallery of Victoria)
In Keith Haring / Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, the National Gallery of Victoria presents a double portrait of the late, iconic, New York-based artists Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) and Keith Haring (1958–90), becoming the first public museum to place their careers in direct dialogue. The retrospective presents many of both artists’ signature works. The vibrant juxtaposition creates ... (read more)

Sophie Knezic reviews 'Present Tense: Anna Schwartz Gallery And Thirty-Five Years Of Contemporary Australian Art' by Doug Hall

November 2019, no. 416 23 October 2019
Sophie Knezic reviews 'Present Tense: Anna Schwartz Gallery And Thirty-Five Years Of Contemporary Australian Art' by Doug Hall
When invited by Morry Schwartz, Anna’s husband and proprietor of Schwartz Publishing, which owns Black Inc., to write an account of the Anna Schwartz Gallery (ASG), Doug Hall initially declined but changed his mind after realising that it would enable him to write with a fresh perspective, having returned to Melbourne after twenty years as director of Queensland Art Gallery. The result, Present ... (read more)

Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds (National Gallery of Victoria)

ABR Arts 13 December 2018
Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds (National Gallery of Victoria)
The Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher is one of the few twentieth-century artists who became almost universally known by the general public from the 1960s on. Constructed as visual paradoxes with impossible architectures, vaulting perspectives, and dramatic metamorphoses of form, his images startled. Once seen, they stamped themselves indelibly on the memory. I’ll hazard a guess that most of us can r ... (read more)

TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form

ABR Arts 13 August 2018
TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form
Curated by Emily Cormack, the 2018 TarraWarra Biennial positions itself as a paean to the liveliness of artistic gesture. The exhibition’s curatorial frame invokes the notion of ‘will’, derived from Friedrich Nietzsche’s infamous notion of the will to power; although less the idea of an ambition to mastery – as troublingly appropriated by German fascism – than the philosopher’s conce ... (read more)

Hilarie Mais (TarraWarra Museum of Art)

ABR Arts 05 March 2018
Hilarie Mais (TarraWarra Museum of Art)
In a seminal essay titled ‘Grids’ (1978), the American art theorist Rosalind Krauss argued that, as a structure, the grid was emblematic of modernist ambition, encapsulating modernism’s streamlining project through the expunging of forms and conventions extraneous to it. The grid embodied a kind of will to silence, as well as an obvious antipathy to figuration and narrative in its pure recti ... (read more)

Del Kathryn Barton, Louise Paramor, Helen Maudsley, and Gareth Sansom (NGV Australia)

ABR Arts 04 December 2017
Del Kathryn Barton, Louise Paramor, Helen Maudsley, and Gareth Sansom (NGV Australia)
The four solo survey exhibitions currently staged at NGV Australia as its Summer 2017–18 program emphatically delineate the institution’s position on contemporary art. While the juxtaposition is headily abrasive, the aggregate speaks of certain attributes that it is keen to foreground. Contemporary art, embodied by this ensemble, is spectacular and behemothic, vivid and kaleidoscopic. The work ... (read more)

Sophie Knezic reviews 'Biennials, Triennials, and documenta: The exhibitions that created contemporary art' by Charles Green and Anthony Gardner

June-July 2017, no. 392 31 May 2017
Sophie Knezic reviews 'Biennials, Triennials, and documenta: The exhibitions that created contemporary art' by Charles Green and Anthony Gardner
Charles Green and Anthony Gardner’s Biennials, Triennials, and Documenta: The exhibitions that created contemporary art represents an apposite study of the biennials and triennials – also known as mega-exhibitions – that are proliferating around the world. Apposite since, with the exception of Bruce Altshuler’s two-volume account from 1863 to 2002, no art-historical text has offered a scho ... (read more)
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