ABR Arts Commentary

Letter from Paris

Lee Christofis

The idea of visiting Paris in January to see six exhibitions and two repeats in five days may seem excessive to some people, but Paris’s museum offerings this northern winter were so imp More

Letter from America

Christopher Menz

Los Angeles – city of freeways, studios, hotels, and endless sunshine – is also home to some great art collections and notable architecture, the latter spanning much of the twentieth century. Several of the art museums, taking advantage of the climate, are built as a series of separate pavilions, creating a most congenial experience for visitors.

The bes ... More

Andrew Nette reviews 'Transmission: Legacies of the Television Age' (NGV)

Andrew Nette

The April 2015 issue of Australian Book Review contained a lengthy essay by James McNamara questioning whether or not we are living in a golden age of television. It is a topic receiving much attention from critics and cultural commentators, not only because ... More

Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence

Patrick McCaughey

Every student of Australian art knows that when Arthur Boyd went to London in 1959 and paid his first visit to the National Gallery, two paintings laid siege to his imagination. Titian’s More


Peter Rose

I am often approached by young writers and reviewers. In many cases we offer them work, all part of ABR’s openness to new creative and critical talent. Two things often strike me during conversations with new contributors. First, they never raise the subject of money. Such is their reticence that I now make it clear at the outset that ABR pays fo ... More

The Drawing Master: Andrew Sayers' 'Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century'

Tim Bonyhady & Melinda Hinkson

Many good books are published about Australian art, but few change the way we see and understand it. When Andrew Sayers’ ​Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century appeared in August 1994, it immediately did that, as the critic Bruce James was quick to recogniseMore

Julian Meyrick, Richard Maltby and Robert Phiddian on culture and cartooning in the age of Je Suis Charlie Hebdo

Julian Meyrick, Richard Maltby, Robert Phiddian

Eminent psychologist Steven Pinker once described art as ‘cheesecake for the mind’. Many people think of culture as a luxury good, high up – and therefore low down – on Mazslow’s hierarchy of needs in comparison with basic physical requirements. Most of the time they are right. When they aren’t, the necessity for a detailed understanding of cultural proc ... More

Editor's Diary 2014

Peter Rose

January 21

I am roaring through Edmund White’s memoir of his Paris years (Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris), much better than his New York memoir (City Boy). But there is a problem: one doesn’t believe a word he writes. His is possibly the laziest approach to autobiography. Still, this one ... More

Letter from Tel Aviv

Colin Golvan

Tel Aviv and I go back a few decades. I lived there in the early 1980s, working as a journalist. I fell in love with it then and my romance with the city endures. It is not because it is beautiful or historic (it is barely 100 years old), though the area does have a timeless and much-recorded pre-history. Tel Aviv is badly planned, and many of the buildings are rams ... More

News from the Editor's Desk

Vipers and whistleblowers

Much has been written about the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards (PMLAs), now in their seventh year. Advances was at the National Gallery of Victoria on 8 December when the winners were named. An opulent affair, it was televised by Sky News and SBS à la the Man Booker Prize. The Great Hall – deemed rather small by one distinguished literar ... More

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