Julie Ewington

Julie Ewington

Julie Ewington is an independent writer, curator, and broadcaster living in Sydney.

'The 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus | An exemplary puzzle' by Julie Ewington

ABR Arts 28 March 2022
'The 23rd Biennale of Sydney: rīvus |  An exemplary puzzle' by Julie Ewington
The twenty-third Biennale has been highly anticipated through two long years since Brook Andrew’s twenty-second Biennale suddenly closed in March 2020 as Covid took hold of the country, not to reopen for three months. This year’s guiding idea, rīvus – meaning stream, but embracing rivers, fresh water, saltwater, lagoons, banks, confluences – is peculiarly topical, as water resources, in ... (read more)

'Matisse: Life and spirit': An unforgettable shrine to colour

ABR Arts 07 December 2021
'Matisse: Life and spirit': An unforgettable shrine to colour
This exhibition, alive with colour, is a gift to our grey summer. The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) was already crowded at 10.30am on the first Sunday; our umbrellas were bagged, our raincoats cloaked. Matisse: Life and spirit, drawn mainly from the exceptional holdings of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is the first dedicated Matisse exhibition in Australia for twenty-six years. The Galler ... (read more)

'Doug Aitken: NEW ERA': An exhibition for our times

ABR Arts 04 November 2021
'Doug Aitken: NEW ERA': An exhibition for our times
This splendid exhibition is named for Doug Aitken’s three-channel video NEW ERA (2018), which revisits Martin Cooper, the elderly American inventor of the mobile telephone and his first call on the device in 1973. The video is set in a mirrored hexagonal room at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, its multiplying reflections fracturing and confounding place and time, wrapping around visito ... (read more)

A gift of an exhibition: 'Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings'

ABR Arts 24 June 2021
A gift of an exhibition: 'Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings'
Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings is attracting steady crowds at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). Perhaps enthusiasm is too ebullient a word for the pervading mood of reverence, but clearly Hilma af Klint’s newly minted reputation preceded her. The humming scrutiny is silenced in the famous double-height space in Andrew Anderson’s 1972 building: ten enormous abstract paintings, e ... (read more)

Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment | Art Gallery of South Australia

ABR Arts 13 April 2021
Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment | Art Gallery of South Australia
Bells and whistles are common enough, in both form and content, in contemporary exhibitions. This time they are actual, sonic: a soundscape of birdsong, a Melbourne tram bell, clopping horses’ hooves floating through Clarice Beckett: The Present Moment, which is at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) until 16 May. It’s lovely, subtle, complementing a revelatory encounter with an artist w ... (read more)

Joan Mitchell: World of Colour | National Gallery of Australia

ABR Arts 15 March 2021
Joan Mitchell: World of Colour | National Gallery of Australia
The American Joan Mitchell is one of a legion of celebrated twentieth-century artists with a ghost presence in this country. Since her death in 1992, her vibrant, energetic paintings have become increasingly appreciated, and now her star is rising again. This year Mitchell is the subject of a major retrospective in the United States, which will also be seen in Paris in 2022. The National Gallery o ... (read more)

'Streeton' (AGNSW)

ABR Arts 17 December 2020
'Streeton' (AGNSW)
The purpose of a retrospective exhibition is to reconsider, to come to fresh insights. Streeton, now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is the largest exhibition of the painter’s works since his 1931 lifetime retrospective, which was also at AGNSW (the current offering is only twenty works shy of that show’s massive total of 170). It’s a feast, one that enables us to reassess the great m ... (read more)

Julie Ewington reviews 'Recent Past: Writing Australian art' by Daniel Thomas

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
Julie Ewington reviews 'Recent Past: Writing Australian art' by Daniel Thomas
Single-name status is granted to very few. In Australian art, ‘Daniel’ has always been Daniel Thomas: curator, museum director, walking memory, standard-setter (and inveterate corrector of errors), passionate lover of art, friend of Australian artists. His life’s work has been establishing the understanding of Australian art in our art museums, and his influence is incalculable. The late And ... (read more)

Julie Ewington reviews 'Mel O’Callaghan: Centre of the Centre' edited by Talia Linz and Michelle Newton

May 2020, no. 421 28 April 2020
Julie Ewington reviews 'Mel O’Callaghan: Centre of the Centre' edited by Talia Linz and Michelle Newton
This beautiful book is ostensibly a conventional art monograph. In its innovative tweaking of the standard model, however, Centre of the Centre is one of the most rewarding publications about an Australian artist in recent years. Exploring two decades of ambitious work by Mel O’Callaghan, an Australian based in Paris, the book begins now, with her latest projects. In a quasi-geological enterpris ... (read more)

A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)

ABR Arts 18 December 2019
A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)
New Zealander Colin McCahon is the greatest postwar artist of the two antipodean countries. Hands down. In his own country, McCahon (1919–87) is a household name, and the exhibition A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and the associated publication of Justin Paton’s McCahon Country (Penguin Books), celebrate his centenary. Surprisingly, though, ma ... (read more)