Articles on Visual art

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One of the most powerful images at this year’s Venice Biennale is Christoph Büchel’s. Barca Nostra, 2018-2019, Shipwreck 18th of April 2015. La Biennale di Venezia

As we face pressing global issues, the pavilions of Venice Biennale are a 21st century anomaly

Often called the 'Olympic Games of art', the Venice Biennale's national pavilions are an outlier in a globalised world. This year's strongest works explore global issues like refugees and climate change.
Archibald Prize 2019 winner, Tony Costa, ‘Lindy Lee’, oil on canvas, 182.5 x 152 cm, © the artist. Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins Sitter: Lindy Lee - artist

The zen of portraiture: Tony Costa wins the 2019 Archibald Prize

The annual announcement of the Archibald Prize is one of Sydney’s great spectacles. This year's winning portrait depicts one of Australia's leading artists, Lindy Lee.
Detail from Fiona Foley Native Blood Type C photograph x cm Edition copy. Fiona Foley

For Aboriginal artists, personal stories matter

Art historians argue that the life of the artist should be viewed independently of their art but, for most Aboriginal artists, art is a cultural expression that encompasses their lives.
Detail from Archibald Prize 2019 finalist Keith Burt, ‘Benjamin Law: happy sad’ oil on canvas, 59.5 x 59.5 cm, © the artist. Photo: AGNSW, Jenni Carter Sitter: Benjamin Law - author, journalist and broadcaster

Puckish charm and no politicians: the 2019 Archibald Prize

Perhaps as a reflection of the current state of national affairs, this year's Archibald Prize exhibition is a politician-free zone.
Marcel Duchamp, ‘From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy (Box in a valise)’ 1935-41, 1963-65 (contents); Series F, 1966 edition, mixed media, 41.3 x 38.4 x 9.5 cm Philadelphia Museum of Art, gift of Mme Marcel Duchamp, 1994-43-1. © Association Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP. Copyright Agency, 2019

The essential Duchamp: an exotic radical who rejected the establishment

Some 50 years after his death, a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales shows why the work of Marcel Duchamp continues to challenge the very idea of what art may be.
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.
These images of Cherine Fahd’s grandfather’s funeral were tucked away in a brown paper envelope for decades. As a society, we too often keep grief hidden from view.

Friday essay: images of mourning and the power of acknowledging grief

Rarely seen in the family album are photographs of funerals, burials and the suffering of those who are left to mourn.
Installation view: Quilty featuring Pancreatitis (Kenny), The Last Supper (Bottom Feeder) and Farewell virginity by Ben Quilty, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2019. Photo: Grant Handcock.

A noisy, passionate show from an artist in a hurry, Quilty has just one emotional pitch

Ben Quilty is the next big thing in Australian art. Will he be allowed - and will he allow himself - to explore and find his true potential as an artist?
Nora Heysen, Self-portrait 1934 oil on canvas 43.1 x 36.3 cm. National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Purchased 1999 © Lou Klepac

Friday essay: Nora Heysen, more than her father’s daughter

Nora Heysen was the first woman to be awarded the Archibald Prize, but for most of her life she was defined not by her art, but by her relationship to her famous father, the artist Hans Heysen.

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