Art

Anne Gray reviews 'Edwardian Opulence'

Anne Gray
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 ... More

Mary Eagle on 'Turner from the Tate: The Making of a Master'

Mary Eagle
26 June 2013

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 ... More

Sheridan Palmer on 'A Most Generous Scholar: Joan Kerr' by Susan Steggall

Sheridan Palmer
26 June 2013

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 encapsulate More

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

Patrick McCaughey
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 ... More

Mark Dober reviews 'Monet's Garden'

Mark Dober
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 ... More

Mary Eagle reviews 'Affairs of the Art'

Mary Eagle
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 ... More

Sophie McIntyre reviews 'Photography and China' by Claire Roberts

Sophie McIntyre
26 March 2013

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 ... More

Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Cézanne: A Life'

Patrick McCaughey
22 February 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 ... More

Sheridan Palmer reviews 'Artists in Conversation' by Janet Hawley

Sheridan Palmer
07 March 2013

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 ... More

Christopher Menz reviews 'Government House Sydney'

Christopher Menz
07 March 2013

Not that many Australian houses lend themselves to being the subject of a 240-page monograph. Whatever their architectural or historical merit, usually there is not enough material to warrant more than a chapter in a larger volume. Our government houses are different: not only do numerous documents and photographs survive in public records, but furnishings sur ... More

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