Mitch Cairns’s Agatha Gothe-Snape, oil on linen, 140.5 x 125 cm.
© the artist Photo: Mim Stirling, AGNSW
This year's annual Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes both reaffirm traditions and confirm new directions in the arts establishment.
Detail from Jenny Watson’s The Pretty Face of Domesticity, 2014, oil and synthetic polymer paint on velvet striped shantung.
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Transit, Mechelen ©the artist
A major exhibition of Jenny Watson's work at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art spans 40 years in the creative life of a rule-breaking Australian artist.
Detail from Tony Albert Self-portrait (ash on me), acrylic on linen.
102 x 102 cm
© the artist Photo: Jenni Carter, AGNSW
The packers' favourite has gained prominence and there are few portraits of politicians in this year's popular art prize. The stand out work is a deceptively innocent re-appropriation of Aboriginal kitsch.
90s sister Sophie Lee in Patricia Piccinini’s
Psychogeography 1996, printed 1998.
from the Psycho series 1996.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Optus Communications Pty Limited, Member, 1998 (1998.252) © Patricia Piccinini
The 1990s was once the forgotten decade of the 20th century but no longer.
Brett Whiteley: his colourful biography frequently obscures the seriousness of his work.
Brett Whiteley's output was uneven but at his best, his work was brilliant. A new film offers an unusual insight into the life and art of this creative and troubled maverick.
Part of Meere’s iconic painting Australian Beach Pattern.
Charles Meere's painting Australian Beach Pattern is commonly seen as an iconic celebration of our beach culture. But a new book suggests this celebrated work expresses far darker concerns.
Unstacked allows us to see what others’ are searching for among the 6 million items in the State Library of NSW’s collection.
Unstacked/the State Library of NSW
A new website allows you to see what other people search for in the State Library of NSW's vast collection of artefacts -- and discover things you'd never think to look up in the first place.
Cate Blanchett disappears into her role as the Mother in RED: sweating and furious with the fundamental compulsion to mate.
© del kathryn barton
Cate Blanchett howls and contorts in RED, del kathryn barton's ferocious exploration of female power.
A still image from Orbital Venus.
An Australian virtual reality work premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this week takes the viewer on a wild ride through space.
‘Molly? Molly? MOLLY?’ Tony Barry as Keghead in Rusty Bugles.
ABC/National Film and Sound Archive
The best Australian play ever written is revolutionary in its treatment of plot, character and language. It has a weary, sardonic perspective on war and an unheroic worldview.
Judith Wright: she opened our eyes to our dark history, to modernist poetry and to the beauty of our landscape.
courtesy of Meredith McKinney
Judith Wright was possibly our greatest poet and a passionate social activist. But a new biography suggests that in writing her family memoirs, Wright avoided evidence that her settler forebears likely participated in the murder of Aborigines.
Summer in the you beaut country, John Olsen, 1962.
Courtesy National Gallery Victoria, © John Olsen
A yellow line becomes a blistering ray of sunlight in Summer in the You Beaut Country. John Olsen's paintings, often described as 'quintessentially Australian', teem with life.
Elioth Gruner Spring Frost 1919: one of the paintings included in the gallery’s program.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Gift of F G White 1939
A new study shows that looking at paintings can bring pleasure to people living with dementia, affecting their wellbeing even after the memory of the event has gone.
The global South has more in common than just proximity – our cultural heritage links our literature.
Seasons, stars, settler colonialism: the nations of the south – Australia, Argentina and South Africa – have much in common. And the 2003 Nobel laureate for literature, JM Coetzee, is helping reframe Australian writing within this southern context.
William Barak’s Ceremony has sold at auction to an unknown buyer.
Can you repatriate a painting? Descendants of Aboriginal painter William Barak ran a crowdsourcing campaign to try to buy back the previously unknown artwork Ceremony.
Tom Roberts is an iconic Australian artist. Who does that icon represent?
Opening of the first parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, 9 May 1901, Tom Roberts, 1903. Courtesy of the NGA.
Is the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition of Tom Roberts' really 'for all Australians'? A recent national survey finds a racial divide in Australian art appreciation.
Two exhibitions suggest a generational shift is taking place in Australian jewellery making. Lisa Furno, 2012 (detail), Mum’s going away dress (material, silk cord, sterling silver).
Two new exhibitions from young Australian jewellers explore the contemporary urban environment from radically different perspectives.
Australian artist Mike Parr’s current exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney.
courtesy of Anna Schwartz
Artist Mike Parr's career might be best described as a series of alarming acts - he's cut his legs with a scalpel and used his blood as paint. His latest act is erase his work by painting it white.
Khayamiya or Egyptian Tentmaker Applique provides a memorable introduction to Islamic art.
Photo by Timothy Crutchett Charles Sturt University
Islamic art in Australia is inaccessible and largely overlooked. It is rarely taught as a dedicated subject in Australian universities, and almost never seen beyond state capitals. Why?
Shell Necklace, Displayed at the Great Exhibition, London, 1851. Maireener shell and fibre. Oyster Cove, Tasmania, before 1851
© The Trustees of the British Museum.
It hovers uneasily between being a fine-art exhibition showing the diversity and sheer visual and sociocultural potency of contemporary Australian visual art practice, and an older-style ethnographic survey.