Articles on Contemporary art

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The NGV’s summer blockbuster packs a double whammy. © Ai Weiwei; Andy Warhol artwork © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, New York. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Andy Warhol – Ai Weiwei: the American and Chinese centuries meet in Melbourne

The NGV's summer exhibition is curated to create a dialogue between Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol, and this conversation operates on multiple levels on a variety of themes, and across time and space.
The marketing of Australian art largely remains a provincial exercise within a global art environment. Image: Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, 2015. AAP Image/NEWZULU/THINKING MEDIA

Friday essay: the art market is failing Australian artists

Despite rhetoric positioning Australia as a clever and creative country, its artists, particularly in the visual arts, are doing it tough, and things are progressing from bad to worse. Why is that?
Michal Motycka’s Diamonds is one of the standout works at Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark. Photo: Clyde Yee. Sculpture by the Sea

Sculpture by the Sea is thriving – on the coast of Denmark

Bondi's highly popular Sculpture by the Sea has set up shop in Denmark – and the Aarhus event has proved to be an astonishing and very different success to its predecessor.
Thousands of people will throng Sydney’s streets for Vivid 2015, which opens this weekend.

Vivid Sydney: contemporary art – or just a bright night out?

Vivid Sydney draws larger crowds each year and when it opens this weekend, the streets will be packed. Are events like Vivid Sydney and Paris' Nuit Blanche artistically valuable – or just a lot of fun?
A major retrospective of the work of On Kawara is on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. On Kawara, JUN 10 1975. From I Got Up, 1968–79. Stamped ink on postcard, 3 ½ x 5 ½ inches (8.9x4 cm). Collection of Keiji and Sawako Usami. Guggenheim

On Kawara – Silence, at the Guggenheim, reviewed

Japanese artist On Kawara worked closely with the Guggenheim Museum on a major retrospective of his work – the fact he died just before it opened lends even greater poignancy to his art.
What mechanisms separate the art pantheon of Australia from the also-rans? AAP Image/Sergio Dionisio

How hierarchies happen in contemporary Australian art

There are about 30,000 professional practicing visual artists in Australia today (see note). By professional, I mean exhibiting regularly in recognised commercial or public galleries and represented in…
Phallus face off. EPA/Christophe Karaba

McCarthy sex toy sculpture Tree piques prickly French right

Paul McCarthy, the granddaddy of shock conceptual art, has gone and done it again. In a globally reported move, part-installation and part promotional-stunt to mark the imminent opening of Paris’s Foire…
Styles vary, but an interest in listening as a creative act is central. Ars Electronica

What is sound art? Liquid Architecture provides some clues

Liquid Architecture 2014 will take place in various locations in Australia and Singapore from tomorrow to October 11. And, as Australia’s largest sonic arts festival, it raises an obvious question: what…
Installation view from Stan Hopewell: God is Love, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2013. Courtesy of Nic Montagu

You are ignoring university art collections – you shouldn’t

In Talking Point, the Australia Council’s recently published “snapshot” of the Australian contemporary visual arts in 2014, it was surprising to find only one reference to the country’s 42 university based…
Yingmei Duan is performing Happy Yingmei at this year’s Sydney Biennale. It’s a sign feminist performance art is thriving. AGNSW

Yingmei Duan and the feminists giving contemporary art a makeover

Until the end of the 2014 Biennale of Sydney in June, Chinese performance artist Yingmei Duan will live in a small forest built inside the Art Gallery of NSW. Visitors – as they have since the start of…
Audiences are invited to hop aboard Callum Morton’s Google Ghost Train as part of this year’s Biennale of Sydney. AAP Image/Quentin Jones

A first look at the 19th Biennale of Sydney

Over its 41-year history the recipe for a successful Biennale of Sydney has remained remarkably consistent. There are three ingredients and all three need to work in harmony for the exhibition to properly…
This is the contemporary art exhibition we’ve been waiting for. Works by Ben Quilty and Alex Seton at the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. Art Gallery of South Australia

The 2014 Adelaide Biennial: ‘contemporary art as it was meant to be’

This is the exhibition we have been waiting for. This is contemporary art as it was meant to be – warning that we are experiencing the dark night of the national soul. The country that once thought of…
Analogue TV may be on the way out – but it’s been an involving medium for artists. Tele Visions/Lucy Parakhina

Art on screen: time stands still on analogue television

2013 will be remembered as the year analogue television was switched off in Australia. The curators of Tele Visions are celebrating the final days of analogue TV with a set of new and historically significant…
Still giving peace a chance: Yoko Ono at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Yoko Ono: the most famous Japanese person outside Japan

In the pre-internet, pre-“Cool Japan” era, Yoko Ono was arguably the most famous Japanese person outside of Japan – and she’s about to get more famous in Australia. Ono’s life and work is the subject of…
Peace, performance and participation: Yoko Ono’s daring art practice has been breaking new ground for decades. MCA/Matthu Placek

Why Yoko Ono still matters

“The world’s most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does.” That’s how John Lennon once described Yoko Ono. It’s a description that would be less apt now. Today…
How have we learned to adapt to constant surveillance? Paolo Cirio, Street Ghosts (2012-ongoing). Image courtesy of the artist

Surveillance is our new normal, so let’s take a closer look

Last week in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, jurors were shown surveillance footage in the trial of a Sydney man, Simon Gittany, who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend Lisa Harnum. It is…

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