Articles on Visual arts

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Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Pretty Beach, 2019, installation view, The National 2019: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, painted wood, silver plate ball chain, crystals, audio, image courtesy the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. © the artist, photograph: Jacquie Manning.

In Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s Pretty Beach, a fever of stingrays becomes a meditation on suffering

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's installation Pretty Beach tells a story from the artist's childhood to explore mortality and grief.
Peta Clancy, Undercurrent 1, from the series Undercurrent, 2018-19, inkjet pigment print, W120 x H85cm each image approx. Courtesy the artist

Peta Clancy brings a hidden Victorian massacre to the surface with Undercurrent

There is a long history of cultural silence on the frontier wars that characterised Australia's colonisation. Peta Clancy's exhibition invites us to see this history in the Victorian landscape.
Sidney Nolan’s Steve Hart dressed as a girl 1947 from the Ned Kelly series 1946 – 1947 enamel paint on composition board 90.60 x 121.10 cm. Gift of Sunday Reed 1977 National Gallery of Australia

Here’s looking at: Steve Hart dressed as a girl, 1947 by Sidney Nolan

As a bushranger in the Kelly gang, Steve Hart took to dressing as a woman and riding side-saddle to avoid detection. Sidney Nolan's painting captures Hart's adolescent cockiness, bravery, and foolhardy bluster.
Detail from William Barak, Figures in possum skin cloaks, 1898, pencil, wash, charcoal solution, gouache and earth pigments on paper, 57.0 x 88.8 cm (image and sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1962

NGV’s Colony is a bold attempt to confront Australia’s colonial past, but divisions remain

Colony at the NGV pairs colonial art with Indigenous responses, in an effort to create dialogue about Australia's history.
Sabbia Gallery - Alison Milyika Carroll working on a pot at Ernabella Arts ceramic studio, 2017. Photo Ernabella Arts, Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery

All fired up: Clay Stories is a triumphant display of contemporary Indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories, a travelling exhibition, showcases ceramic art from Indigenous artists across the country. It is a triumphant display of specific stories and Dreamings, standing against cultural and political amnesia.
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.
Visitors take in Cameron Robbins’ Field Lines at Dark Mofo at the Museum of Old and New Art. Mona/Remi Chauvin

2016, the year that was: Arts and Culture

Many great artists died in 2016: Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Paul Cox, Shirley Hazzard. It was a year of creative foment and as always, intense debate about the importance of the arts to a thriving, democratic society.

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