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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.

'Melbourne Now: Bling and exuberance at the NGV' by Sophie Knezic

ABR Arts 11 April 2023
Melbourne Now launched in 2013 as a massive survey championing contemporary art. Ten years on, the National Gallery of Victoria presents the second iteration. As with many sequels, the intent is to be bigger and better. Melbourne Now 2023 styles itself as an extravaganza, an epic journey into the city’s artistic beating heart. Art works spill across all three levels of the Gallery, and the tone ... (read more)

Sophie Knezic reviews 'Credo' by Imants Tillers

March 2023, no. 451 25 February 2023
In the early sixteenth century, the Italian Renaissance poet and philosopher Giulio Camillo conceived an imaginary structure for universal knowledge named The Theatre of Memory; essentially a classical amphitheatre that inverted the position of spectator and stage, turning the auditorium into a tiered structure that fanned into rows of encyclopedic knowledge. Imants Tillers makes no mention of Cam ... (read more)

'Barbara Hepworth: In Equilibrium: Turbulence, curvature, and flux' by Sophie Knezic

ABR Arts 22 November 2022
‘I do not want to make a stone horse that is trying to and cannot smell the air,’ quipped the British sculptor Barbara Hepworth in 1934. What Hepworth meant by this cryptic statement is that she did not wish to be an artist making figurative sculptures of recognisable subjects but instead to distil her deep sensitivity to the natural world into a language of living things that could themselves ... (read more)

‘Light: Works from Tate’s Collection: The power of illumination’ by Sophie Knezic

ABR Arts 12 July 2022
The allegory of the cave in Plato’s Republic represents Western metaphysics’ defining narrative on the nature of light. In this famous fable of shackled prisoners, humankind is confined to a realm of falsity and shadows from which they can only escape by breaking free into the light of day, where the power of illumination reveals the truth of the world. Without overt reference to this foundat ... (read more)

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

ABR Arts 29 March 2022
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
‘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
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
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
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
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)
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