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Tony Albert Girramay/Yidinji/Kuku Yalanji peoples. Australia Qld/NSW b.1981. Mid Century Modern (series) 2016 Pigment prints | 24 works: 100 x 100cm (each) Collection: The artist. Courtesy: Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney

Tony Albert’s politically charged kitsch collection confronts our racist past

Tony Albert reassembles items of 'Aboriginalia', featuring kitsch caricatures of Indigenous people, with wit, playfulness and serious intent.
Artist Nyapanyapa Yunipingu is assisted by art centre worker Jeremy Cloake at Buku-Larrnngay Art Centre,Yirrkala. Siobhan McHugh

Aboriginal art: is it a white thing?

White people hugely influence the Aboriginal art world – but that can be a good thing, according to the artists.
Claude Monet, France, 1840-1926, La pie (The magpie), 1868-1869, oil on canvas, 121.4 x 164.1 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

In The Magpie, Monet found all the colour in a snowy day

Claude Monet painted The Magpie in winter 1868, turning his interest in colour on the blank canvass of snow.
Paul Signac, France, 1863-1935, La bouée rouge (The red buoy), 1895, oil on canvas, 81.2 x 65 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

Art Gallery SA goes back to Impressionism’s colourful roots with masterpieces from Musee d'Orsay

The Impressionists were obsessed with the science of colour, which is celebrated in a new exhibition in Adelaide. At least 50 of the paintings have never previously been exhibited in Australia.
Patricia Piccinini, Kindred 2017, Silicone, fibreglass, hair, Ed. 1 of 3, 103 x 95 x 128cm. Courtesy the artist, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco. Natasha Harth, QAGOMA.

With affection and humour, Patricia Piccinini probes the boundaries of human and other

Part human, part animal, Patricia Piccinini's sculptures are uncannily familiar, yet alarmingly other. A major new exhibition creates a parallel universe in which viewers can encounter her work.
Still from Human Flow, directed by Ai Weiwei. IMDB/Amazon Studios

Friday essay: can art really make a difference?

Artists have long tackled global issues, from war to human rights. While Picasso's celebrated Guernica may not have stopped the Spanish Civil War (or any war), art still holds value, as witness and as truth teller.
Detail from Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anmatyerr people. Yam awely 1995 synthetic polymer paint on canvas 150 x 491 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of the Delmore Collection, Donald and Janet Holt 1995 © Emily Kam Kngwarray.

Friday essay: in defence of beauty in art

Today, beauty counts for little in the judgement of works of art. But our felt experience of beauty connects us with an object's maker, revealing a pure moment of humanity.
Detail of ‘Smell’ c1500, from The lady and the unicorn series. wool and silk, 368 x 322 cm Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado

Explainer: the symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven around 1500, have been called the 'Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages'. While they make for breathtaking viewing, their threads are encoded with much meaning.
Katharina Grosse Untitled Trumpet, 2015, All the World’s Futures, 56th Art Biennale, La Biennale di Venezia 09.05. - 02.11.2015 acrylic on wall, floor, and various objects, 660 x 2,100 x 1,300 cm / 259 ¾ x 826 ¾ x 511 ¾ in. Photo: Nic Tenwiggenhorn Copyright: © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

How painting escaped the canvas and another brush with death

How is it that contemporary painting has dug its heels in, so to speak, and refuses to look like a painting anymore?

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