Art

Eight galleries of NGV International have been radically reshaped to host Masterpieces from the Hermitage, invoking the world of unbounded opulence of Russia’s Catherine the Great (1729–96). The installation, designed by the NGV’s Ingrid Ruhle, is dazzling, mimicking as it does the grand style of the State Hermitage Museum and incorporating some ...

I like a book jacket that tells you clearly, in words and images, what it is about. Australian Artists in the Contemporary Museum does just that: ‘The authors’ central argument is that artists’ engagement with the museum has shifted from politically motivated critique taking place in museums of fine art, towards interventions taking place in non-art mus ...

One of the few Australian-born female sculptors of the early twentieth century was a Ballarat girl, Dora Ohlfsen, who went to Berlin in 1892, at the age of twenty-three, to study music and found herself three years later in St Petersburg studying the art of the medallion. She was in Russia because she had fallen in love with the Russian-born, German-speaking Elena v ...

Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence

Patrick McCaughey
Thursday, 04 June 2015

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 The Death of Actaeon was one from which came Boyd’s tormented

... (read more)

The reconstruction of the built environment that followed World War II was central to the development of international design in the third quarter of the twentieth century. This is the background and context for Mid-Century Modern Complete, a large volume which covers design and architecture (mostly European and North American) from the 1940s to the early 197 ...

Fiona Gruber reviews 'The Self-Portrait' by James Hall

Fiona Gruber
Wednesday, 29 April 2015

We live in a world obsessed with self-images. Thanks to digital photography and the Internet, we can all star in and manipulate the drama of our lives. But, as James Hall reminds us, artists have been experimenting with self-representation for centuries. From a quartzite stela of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s court sculptor Bak standing with his wife Taheri (c.1350 < ...

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

Tim Bonyhady & Melinda Hinkson
Friday, 24 April 2015

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 recognise

It was the great American Conceptual artist Sol LeWitt who organised Melbourne artist Robert Jacks’s first show in Manhattan. This was held at the New York Cultural Centre in 1971, part of a program where each exhibited artist nominated his successor. Jacks had been enjoying a stellar rise since his début solo exhibition at Gallery A in Melbourne in 1966, when he ...

Ian Britain reviews 'Bill' by Scott Bevan

Ian Britain
Monday, 02 March 2015

‘He was a great bloke, a gentleman and a scholar,’ one of Scott Bevan’s interviewees says of his subject, the fêted and (at one stage) ill-fated painter, William Dobell. Like many others in the book, this interviewee got to know Dobell at Wangi Wangi, the little coastal township just south of Newcastle in New South Wales where the painter retreated for the la ...

Patrick McCaughey reviews 'John Olsen' by Darleen Bungey

Patrick McCaughey
Monday, 02 March 2015

Eight years ago Darleen Bungey published a revelatory biography of Arthur Boyd. She cast shadows across the ‘idyllic’ Open Country years where the extended Boyd family lived in suburban Murrumbeena and unflinchingly detailed his declining, alcoholic years at Bundanon. Bungey’s compelling new biography of John Olsen has its share of revelations. Olsen’s weak ...