Articles on Visual arts

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Some of the earliest applications of photography came in the fields of archaeology and botany. Pictured is a photograph from botanist Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843).

How photography evolved from science to art

Because a photograph came from a machine – not a human hand – many were not entirely sure if it could be called art.
Is it just a matter of taste when judges pick the winners of art prizes? Actually, that’s not the case. Mid-West Art Prize/Ted Snell

On judging art prizes (it’s all subjective, isn’t it?)

How do the judges of art prizes make their decisions? Contrary to popular perception, it's not just a matter of personal opinion and effete connoisseurship.
A major exhibition of American video artist Bill Viola’s work is on display at the Adelaide Festival. Bill Viola, The Encounter, 2012. Color High-Definition video on plasma display mounted on wall. Performers: Genevieve Anderson, Joan Chodorow. Photo: Kira Perov. Adelaide Festival

Bill Viola’s Selected Works puts us in the hands of a gentle master

The work of American video artist Bill Viola is currently being shown in Adelaide, the broadest collection of his installations ever displayed in Australia.
The Image as Burden: this painting gives the Marlene Dumas retrospective currently on display at the Tate Modern its name. Marlene Dumas, The Image as Burden (1993). Private collection, Belgium. © Marlene Dumas. Photo: Peter Cox. Tate Modern

‘You start with the image’: Marlene Dumas at the Tate Modern

Marlene Dumas, South African-born Amsterdam-based artist, is perhaps one of the most significant practising contemporary painters. And, according to the curators of The Image as Burden at the Tate Modern…
American artist Sarah Sze’s latest exhibition demonstrates once more her acute spatial sensibility. (Model Series, 2015.) Victoria Miro Galleries

Review: Activating space, a little – Sarah Sze in London

The latest exhibition by New York artist Sarah Sze, across two sites of the Victoria Miro Gallery, is her first solo show in London after representing the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale. But…
A major exhibition brings the work of neglected Australian artist Jan Senbergs into the spotlight. City, heat and the fires (2014). Acrylic on paper, 117.5x169.5cm. Niagara Galleries

Review: Jan Senbergs’ paintings are a brilliant shock to the senses

Jan Senbergs, who turned 75 last year, is one of the great veteran artists in the Australian art scene and is holding a major exhibition of his recent work at the Niagara Galleries in Melbourne. Born in…
On the western edge of the continent there is a great deal to get the juices flowing. Carnie Lewis

Western Australian artists see things differently

What is the future of Australia’s wealthiest state? The Conversation, in conjunction with Griffith REVIEW and Curtin University, is publishing a series of articles exploring the unique issues facing Western…
Jesse Hlebo, In Pieces (for Sebastian), 2015. 15 minute video loop on 55" LCD TV, embedded in burnt plasterboard. panels, gasoline, found palettes. Edel Assanti

Jesse Hlebo: is anything authentic in the age of social media?

Jesse Hlebo is troubled. The New York-based artist’s latest exhibition, In Pieces explores information overload and authenticity in the internet era – and it’s a challenging place to spend some time. Walking…
Art fairs mean that the centre of the art world is now a very fluid thing. London Art Fair, James Champion

Paris, New York, London, Dubai: history of the modern art market

For four days in January, it could be argued that London is the centre of the global market for contemporary art, thanks to the London Art Fair, open from January 21 to 25. But this wasn’t always so. Such…
Dóra Maurer, Seven Rotations 1–6, 1979. Collection of Zsolt Somlói and Katalin Spengler © Dóra Maurer

100 years on a black square is as adventurous as it was in 1915

Kazimir Malevich unveiled his now iconic pared down painting of a black square on a white background in 1915. This was a moment that not only represented a turning point in art, but in politics too. This…
Sometimes the inhibitions of educators can stand in the way of kids’ creativity. Mikael Wiman/Flickr

‘But I’m not artistic’: how teachers shape kids’ creative development

Many adults believe they are not artistic and feel nervous about visual art. They vividly recall the moment when a teacher or family member discouraged their efforts to creatively express their ideas through…
James Turrell, Raemar pink white 1969, Shallow space construction: fluorescent light, 440 x 1070 x 300 cm, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, California. National Gallery of Australia

Experiments with light: James Turrell dazzles at the NGA

James Turrell is a veteran Californian artist who throughout a career spanning almost half a century has employed light as a vehicle through which to manipulate the viewer’s perception of space. The Turrell…
Close has pushed the limits of the humble print. Pace Gallery, New York © Museum of Contemporary Art, photo: Jess Maurer

Getting up close to the work of Chuck Close at Sydney’s MCA

With more than 200 prints on display, Chuck Close: Prints, Process and Collaboration is one of the biggest printmaking exhibitions to be held in Australia. The whole top floor of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary…
Pop to Popism at AGNSW gives audiences a lesson in 20th century art history. Erró, Pop's history (1967) Oil on canvas, 145 x 205.2 cm, Reykjavík Art Museum/ AGNSW

How did mass media shift visual culture? Find out at Pop to Popism

In the Art Gallery of NSW’s Pop to Popism, curator Wayne Tunncliffe has revealed himself as a master of illusion. With a sparkling magic wand he has created the impression of a big expensive summer blockbuster…
What blockbuster exhibition will you see this summer? One option is Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament at MONA. Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Photo: Rémi Chauvin

We’re all going on a summer (art blockbuster) holiday

I still remember my first blockbuster art exhibition. Two Decades of American Painting came to Australia under the auspices of New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1967. This summer, art lovers can pick…
Frederic Bazille’s Studio 9 Rue de la Condamine (left) and Norman Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barber Shop (right). The computer was able to detect similarities in the composition of both paintings. Yellow circles indicate similar objects, red lines indicate composition, and the blue square represents similar structural elements.

Computer science can only help – not hurt – art historians

I was the lead of a team of computer scientists at Rutgers that published a paper this past August titled, “Toward Automated Discovery of Artistic Influence.” In that paper we reported on our research…

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