ABR Arts Visual Arts

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

Philippe Parreno: Thenabouts (ACMI)

Sophie Knezic

Some may be puzzled by an exhibition titling itself ‘Thenabouts’. As a portmanteau, the word seems confusingly to displace time onto space. The term was in fact neologised by James Joyce in Finnegans Wake (1939), where a character asks, ‘Where are we at all? and whenabouts in the name of space?’ Joyce coined such seemingly nonsensical terms as ‘th ... More

The Long String Instrument (The Substation)

Dilan Gunawardana

It seems fitting that the co-opted electrical substation in Newport, Melbourne should be the site of an enterprising arts space. Formerly it was used to generate electricity for Victorian Railways (it fell into disrepair in the 1960s). Perhaps some residual energy still pulses through the concrete lattice of its red-bricked walls or runs along the arched tops of its ... More

Nude: Art from the Tate collection (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

Hester Gascoigne

There is an underlying theme to Nude: Art from the Tate collection: the tussle between the desire to connect humanity to mythology by shrouding our naked forms in grand narratives, and the will to see human nudity both objectively and subjectively, but most importantly as entirely our own human experience. This struggle plays out as the exhibition weaves th ... More

Versailles: Treasures from the Palace (National Gallery of Australia) and A History of the World in 100 Objects (National Museum of Australia)

Christopher Menz

Two very different touring exhibitions are showing in Canberra this summer ...


On the Origin of Art (MONA)

Christopher Menz

MONA is not afraid to stage exhibitions that tackle big ideas and ask difficult questions. The latest offering, On the Origin of Art, does just that. As David Walsh, MONA’s owner says, ‘Let’s see if those who have insights into evolution can tease out something about the nature of art.’

The exhibition takes its name from Charles Darwin’s f ... More

Life inside an Image (MUMA)

Sophie Knezic

The birth of cinema is conventionally linked to the Lumière Brothers’ inaugural public screening of their first film at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris in December 1895: a forty-six second sequence showing Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory. But a compatriot inventor, Louis le Prince, had been experimenting with developing stereoscopic cinemat ... More

Graham Sutherland's portrait of Helena Rubinstein

Fiona Gruber

‘There are no ugly women, only lazy ones’ was Helena Rubinstein’s attitude to personal allure, and her mantra has been a source of hope and steely resolve to the millions of customers who have bought her cosmetics and unguents over the past century.

Although she died in 1965, the Rubinstein name is still familiar to many; her brand is now owned by L’ ... More

New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Christopher Menz

The Weimar period in Germany – spanning less than fifteen years following the end of World War I through to the coup d’état by the National Socialists in 1933 – was crucial in shaping modern Germany. The nation was in a ruinous state because of its wartime defeat, crippling reparations, the Wall Street crash, high unemployment, and hyper-inflation. The politi ... More

Chiharu Shiota: Absent bodies (Anna Schwartz Gallery)

Andrea Goldsmith

There have been a handful of occasions in my life when I have stood before a work of art intending to look at it, appraise it, only to find myself drawn into it. In some strange way I become part of the work. It is as if my imagination has merged with the imaginative space of the art work and, at the same time, any mind-body split has been dissolved. I have, simulta ... More

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