Australian Book Review

TIWI

Kelly Gellatly
Monday, 01 March 2021

Today, our screen-filled lives both encourage and condition us – through our collective, incessant scrolling – to dip in and to consume; a modus operandi or malaise that affects both exhibition-making and the viewing habits of audiences that are increasingly enticed and rewarded by contemporary art as spectacle – art that is immersive, often participatory in some way, and that looks great on Instagram. TIWI, the major survey of Tiwi art at NGV Australia, stands in stark contrast to this phenomenon. It invites us to slow down in order to absorb the stories, connections, and extraordinary sense of cultural continuity that reverberates across the exhibition. It is at once a celebration and a joy to experience.

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Published in ABR Arts

'NGV Triennial 2020' (National Gallery of Victoria)

Sophie Knezic
Monday, 04 January 2021

In Giambattista Battista Tiepolo’s The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743–44) – a jewel in the NGV’s collection of eighteenth-century art – a dining table shows the Egyptian queen Cleopatra facing the Roman consul Mark Antony, her hand elegantly clasping a pearl earring that she is about to drop into a flute glass filled with vinegar, which she will subsequently drink. In doing so, the sheer value of the pearl will make Cleopatra the winner of a wager as to which of the two could stage the most extravagant feast.

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Published in ABR Arts

Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines

Sophie Knezic
Tuesday, 03 December 2019

In Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, the National Gallery of Victoria presents a double portrait of the late, iconic, New York-based artists Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–88) and Keith Haring (1958–90), becoming the first public museum to place their careers in direct dialogue. The retrospective presents many of both artists’ signature works. The vibrant juxtaposition creates a narrative of two ambitious rebels as rising stars in 1980s New York as well as a compelling snapshot of the heyday of the city’s bohemian Lower East Side.

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Published in ABR Arts

The Golden Age on St Kilda Road

Patrick McCaughey
Thursday, 16 May 2019

A shift in the European mind is taking hold. The stable democracies of Germany and the Netherlands contrast sharply with an unstable France and a demagogic Italy. The northern tier has an increasing authority, politically and culturally. Art historically, the Amsterdam–Berlin axis challenges the hegemony of the Paris–Rome accord ...

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Published in ABR Arts

Māori markings: Tā moko

David Hansen
Monday, 25 March 2019

The traditional Western art museum is struggling a bit. Its former role as a repository of national values, as reified and aestheticised in paintings, sculpture, and the decorative arts, is today challenged if not assaulted on multiple fronts: ranging from economic, political, and social globalisation, to digital technology ...

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Published in ABR Arts
The Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher is one of the few twentieth-century artists who became almost universally known by the general public from the 1960s on. Constructed as visual paradoxes with impossible architectures, vaulting perspectives, and dramatic metamorphoses of form, his images startled ... ... (read more)
Published in ABR Arts

'Making the Australian Quilt: 1800-1950' (NGV Australia)

Margaret Robson Kett
Monday, 25 July 2016

With a needle on cloth, Mary Jane Hannaford preserved her sharp observations of people as stout appliquéd figures set amidst interpretative renditions of Australian animals. Late in life she embroidered favourite verses and slyly captioned her pictures in quilts for her family. Close to one hundred ...

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Published in ABR Arts

Degas: A new vision (National Gallery of Victoria)

Grazia Gunn
Monday, 25 July 2016

Degas: A new vision is an exhibition of 206 works selected and presented by Henri Loyrette, the distinguished Degas scholar, former director of the Musée d'Orsay and subsequently director of the Musée du Louvre. In its range and variety the exhibition confirms the verdict of the writer and critic ...

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Published in ABR Arts

Jan Senbergs: Observation-Imagination is a major retrospective survey of this artist's long career. The 120 works selected for exhibition range from his formative years in the 1960s to 2014. They show Senbergs moving freely to create a stylistic identity that draws upon, yet stands decisively ...

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Published in ABR Arts

Bunyips and Dragons (NGV)

Margaret Robson Kett
Monday, 17 August 2015

The pleasures of looking at pictures from a young age inspired Albert Ullin. At the opening of this exhibition to mark his donation of eighty works by Australian children’s book illustrators to National Gallery of Victoria, he expressed the hope that they would be recognised as mainstream art.

In 1960, Ullin established the

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