ABR Arts Visual Arts

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Michael Shmith
Monday, 27 November 2017

Opera is not a small artform. It is labyrinthine, multi-faceted, fraught with things that can go disastrously wrong (Wagner, especially), and it can be dreadfully expensive, formidably divisive, and astonishingly complicated. At the same time, opera is so necessarily crucial to culture as a reflection of history, thought, and ...

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This exhibition has a clear aim – to prove that Robert Mapplethorpe ‘is among the most significant artist of his time’. The evidence marshalled by the curators at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum is substantial. They have conducted extensive research, sourced outstanding vintage prints ...

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Gerhard Richter: The life of images (QAGOMA)

Louise Martin-Chew
Monday, 16 October 2017

A rainy weekend heralded the opening of Gerhard Richter’s exhibition at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. Gerhard Richter is famous for achieving the highest auction price for a living European artist (Abstraktes Bild fetched US$46.3 million in 2015), but his importance as an artist is due to his commitment to painting during a postwar period when many ...

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is known for its large-scale, ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions. These are usually impressive, often enlightening. But sometimes it can be even more rewarding (and less exhausting) to visit a show on a much smaller scale. Such is the case at the moment at The Met, where six paintings by modern ...

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Fred Williams in the You Yangs (Geelong Gallery)

Irena Zdanowicz
Friday, 06 October 2017

For my return visit to the exhibition Fred Williams in the You Yangs at the Geelong Gallery, I decided to take the train instead of driving, as I usually do. Although the creeping suburban sprawl, especially around Melbourne, has narrowed the area without housing or industrial estates, there is still just enough left of the flat ...

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Giacometti (Tate Modern)

Patrick McCaughey
Thursday, 08 June 2017

Tate Modern excelled itself with its Giacometti retrospective. It’s not easy to take a familiar modern master and return a new and compelling view of his work. Many years ago, MoMA in New York failed the challenge abysmally. They had nothing new to say about the artist and ...

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In the last seventy days of Vincent van Gogh’s short life, he painted seventy paintings. His intense life as an artist lasted for a single decade, from the age of twenty-seven to thirty-seven. Before that he had been, variously, a trainee preacher, an evangelist to miners, a labourer, and an ...

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Opportunities to see nineteenth-century American art are rare in Australia. This beautiful small exhibition offers fascinating parallels between Australian and American landscape painting of the period, both popularly admired as expressions of a national psyche, revealing ...

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Letter from Paris

Lee Christofis
Thursday, 16 February 2017

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 impressive it was impossible to resist. At Frank Gehry’s lofty Fondation Louis Vuitton, hordes lined up ...

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Philippe Parreno: Thenabouts (ACMI)

Sophie Knezic
Wednesday, 08 February 2017

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 ...

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