Articles on Visual art

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But is it art…? Fast-car fans Maurice and Harry in the Art Gallery of New South Wales in ABC’s Everyone’s A Critic. ABC

When art meets reality TV our visual literacy is found wanting

The ABC's reality TV show Everyone's A Critic puts 'everyday' Australians in galleries. It is a compelling premise for an art show, but a tad disappointing.
Close up of the wheel in Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913) Metal wheel mounted on painted wood stool. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Here’s looking at: Marcel Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel 1913

In his Bicycle Wheel, Duchamp made the perfect kinetic Futurist sculpture.
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.
‘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.

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