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Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has published on the design work of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Australian Ugliness' by Robin Boyd

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
How differently would we view Australia’s postwar architecture and urban design without Robin Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness? Such is the significance of this classic 1960 text that it has shaped debates about our cities – their planning, development and buildings – for half a century. Whether the book has helped to improve them is questionable – they probably would not be much different ... (read more)

'Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours: A luminous exhibition from the Ashmolean' by Christopher Menz

ABR Arts 22 May 2023
ABR Arts headed to the Art Gallery of Ballarat for two related exhibitions: Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and In the company of Morris, an exhibition drawn mostly from the Ballarat gallery’s own collection. The term Pre-Raphaelite is now used to encompass a style of art that proliferated in Britain for much of the second half of the nineteenth ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Julie Blyfield' by Stephanie Radok and Dick Richards

November 2007, no. 296 01 November 2007
Julie Blyfield is the most recent subject in a series of monographs on South Australian living artists. They are commissioned by the SALA Inc. Board and produced in association with the annual South Australian Living Artists Festival, now in its tenth year. Handsomely produced and elegantly designed, these abundantly illustrated volumes do much to promote the art and artists of South Australia. No ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'India, China, Australia: Trade and society 1788 - 1850' by James Broadbent, Suzanne Rickard and Margaret Steven

March 2004, no. 259 01 March 2004
Studies of nineteenth-century decorative arts in Australia have largely focused on objects – furniture, silver, ceramics – produced in Australia for the home market, rather than on a systematic study of imports. The design sources for Australian-made furnishings during the nineteenth century were mostly British; this is also reflected in Britain’s being the principal source of exports to Aus ... (read more)

‘HG60’: Hamilton Gallery’s sixtieth birthday

ABR Arts 01 March 2022
Australia’s regional galleries hold rich collections that demonstrate a powerful communal need to collect and display art. Victoria’s regional cities, in particular, are notably well endowed with public art collections and handsome buildings to house them. The gold rush towns were at the forefront in establishing public art galleries: the first, in Ballarat, was founded in 1884; Bendigo follow ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Frances Burke: Designer of modern textiles' by Nanette Carter and Robyn Oswald-Jacobs

January–February 2022, no. 439 26 November 2021
Frances Burke (1904–94) was the leading textile designer in Melbourne from the 1940s to the 1960s. Her modernist furnishing fabrics, preferred by architects, interior designers, department stores, and homemakers, were popular in domestic and commercial interiors, and her reputation was national. Her design skills were complemented by a good head for business and her command of all aspects of pro ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Bertram Mackennal: The Fifth Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project' by Deborah Edwards

November 2007, no. 296 01 November 2007
If Australian art has sometimes been perceived as wanting in style and opulence, recent art museum exhibitions and monographs examining the art and artists of the Edwardian era tell another story and reveal that there is abundant glamour in Australian art. The Edwardians (2004) and George W. Lambert Retrospective (2007) – both from the National Gallery of Australia – and Bertram Mackennal (Art ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Louvre: The many lives of the world’s most famous museum' by James Gardner

January–February 2021, no. 428 17 December 2020
Although most of the ten million annual visitors to the Louvre think of it as an art museum and former royal palace, for much of its history it has performed other functions. The Louvre has also played a defining role in many events in French history. Its raison d’être in the Middle Ages was as a fortification in the then most westerly part of Paris. Transformed into a royal palace during the s ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Golden Maze: A biography of Prague' by Richard Fidler

October 2020, no. 425 24 September 2020
On May Day 1955, two years after his death, a colossal memorial to Joseph Stalin was unveiled on a prominent site north of central. Towering above the city and containing 14,000 tons of granite, it was the largest statue of the dictator ever created. Stalin was depicted at the head of a representative group of citizens, dubbed by some as a bread queue. Otakar Švec, a prominent Czech sculptor, had ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Bauhaus Diaspora and Beyond: Transforming education through art, design and architecture' by Philip Goad et al.

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
Amid all the hoopla surrounding the centenary in 2019 of the Bauhaus – naturally more pronounced in Germany – it is gratifying to see such a fine Australian publication dealing with the international influence of this short-lived, revolutionary art and design teaching institute. Bauhaus Diaspora and Beyond – written by Philip Goad, Ann Stephen, Andrew McNamara, Harriet Edquist, and Isabel W ... (read more)