Art

Christopher Menz reviews 'Extravagant Inventions'

Christopher Menz
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Anyone who has seen one of Röntgen’s ingenious writing desks, where at a single touch many springs and hinges come into motion, so that the writing surface and implements, pigeon holes for letters and money appear simultaneously, or in quick succession … can imagine how that palace unfolded, into which my sweet companion now drew me.
&n ...

Anne Gray reviews 'Edwardian Opulence'

Anne Gray
Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Edwardian Opulence is the book for the sumptuous survey exhibition of Edwardian art which was shown at the Yale Centre for British Art from 28 February to 2 June 2013. It is a sweeping look at the visual arts in Britain in all its manifestations during the period roughly corresponding with the reign of Edward VII. This substantial book contains ...

Turner posed a conundrum when he withheld nothing from his bequest to the nation. On the positive side, the unsorted contents gave room to later, highly flattering interpretations of Turner, which a collection pruned to the taste of the Victorians would not have supported. On the downside, the digestive processes of posterity took Turner away from his roots in ...

It’s absurd to pretend that we are or ever have been no more than exiled Europeans … forever condemned to inhabit some irrelevant, Antipodean limbo.’ This statement encapsulates Joan Kerr’s determination to rewrite established codes of Australian art history and to expand the lexicon of its cultural heritage ...

... (read more)

Patrick McCaughey on 'Self-Portrait as a Young Man'

Patrick McCaughey
Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Roy Strong was appointed director of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in 1967 at the age of thirty-two. Today it would be astonishing to head one of the United Kingdom’s national collections at that age; five decades ago it was outrageous. Only Kenneth Clark at thirty was younger when he became director of the National Gallery. Strong’s ascent to the NP ...

Mark Dober reviews 'Monet's Garden'

Mark Dober
Monday, 24 June 2013

Claude Monet as an emotive artist? Hitherto, I have viewed Monet’s painting – or at least Monet the Impressionist – as sensual but detached. Having seen Monet’s Garden at the National Gallery of Victoria, I am now of the view that the artist’s later painting (the exhibition focuses on the work made at Giverny from 1893 until the artist’s dea ...

Mary Eagle reviews 'Affairs of the Art'

Mary Eagle
Saturday, 27 April 2013

What happens when a famous artist dies, leaving a wife, husband, or children to tend the flame? The question recurs in Ian Hamilton’s spellbinding Keepers of the Flame (1992), an account of a dozen literary estates over a period of three hundred years, and remains suspended in this journalistic assessment by Katrina Strickland of the manag ...

China’s extraordinary economic and cultural ascent during the past two decades has generated significant international interest in Chinese contemporary art, especially in photography now widely promoted in the West as ‘Chinese new art’. Since it was first introduced to China in the 1840s, photography has languished somewhat, overshadowed by the traditional art ...

Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Cézanne: A Life'

Patrick McCaughey
Friday, 08 March 2013

The lives of artists have formed a staple of art history from Vasari in the sixteenth century to Alex Danchev in the twenty-first. Current styles of art history may frown on biographies of artists. They smack too much of the hero artist and side-step the social construction of art. Yet the genre shows no sign of wilting. In our time we have such masterly works ...

A conversation is an interactive exchange usually of a spontaneous nature. Janet Hawley’s essays are a mix of journalistic intention, conversational ruminations, observations, enquiries, and a gentle goading of her subjects about the ‘twin crucibles’ of creativity – the personality of the artist and what occurs in his or her sanctum, the studio. Assumi ...