Articles on Visual art

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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.
‘The shape of things to come’, installation view at Buxton Contemporary, the University of Melbourne, March 2018. Photograph by Christian Capurro.

Private collectors are saving Australian art, but they can’t do it on their own

Philanthropists are creating new galleries to share their private collections with the Australian public. But these gifts do not ameliorate the deficit left by declining government arts fundings.
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?
An installation view of Country & Colony, Lady Sheila Cruthers Gallery, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia. The Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art is the only dedicated public collection of art by Australian women. Lyle Branson

Still counting: why the visual arts must do better on gender equality

Gender bias is an ongoing problem in the visual arts. Change is needed at every level to tackle it.
In This Here. Land, a performance by Filipino and Australian artists in Sydney, the audience is asked to participate in a recreation of one of the Philippines’s drug killings. Jade Cadeliña

How Filipino artists are responding to President Duterte and the ‘War on Drugs’

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte's 'War on Drugs' is estimated to have led to more than 13,000 killings. Artists - both in the Philippines and beyond - are helping communities work through their trauma.
Installation view of Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018. Photo: Tom Ross © Tom Ross

Del Kathryn Barton explores powerful female sexuality but reproduces the male gaze

The paintings in Del Kathryn Barton's new show at NGV Australia are visually stunning and painstakingly executed. But the women depicted are often de-personalised objects or headless cauldrons of destructive passion.

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