Articles on Visual art

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Kaldor Public Art Project 3: Gilbert & George. The Singing Sculpture, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 – 21 August 1973 Copyright: Gilbert & George Courtesy Art Gallery of New South Wales

The heady sense of being at the heart of public art: 50 years of the Kaldor Foundation

Fifty years after Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the NSW coast at Little Bay, the Art Gallery of NSW celebrates the long term consequences of John Kaldor's creative philanthropy.
Shaun Gladwell, Approach to Mundi Mundi (production image), 2007, 2-channel digital video, colour, silent, 3:50 minutes (Dawn), 4:40 minutes (Day). John Kaldor Family Collection, image courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne © the artist

Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow is a playful exercise in artistic rule-breaking

Shaun Gladwell constantly experiments with technique – from classical oil painting to virtual reality – but he remains the master of playful motion.
Pat Larter (England; Australia, b.1936, d.1996) Pat’s anger 1992. acrylic and mixed media on board, 91 x 60.5 cm; 92.5 x 62 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Gift of Frank Watters 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Estate of Pat Larter. Photo: AGNSW 32.2018

Hidden women of history: Pat Larter, pioneering ‘femail’ artist who gave men the Playboy treatment

Best known as the subject of her husband Richard's work, Pat Larter was herself a major artist.
Ben Quilty, Australia, born 1973. Margaret Olley 2011. Oil on linen / 170.0 x 150.0 cm. Collection of the artist. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Mim Stirling

‘Are you one of us or one of them?’ Margaret Olley, Ben Quilty and a portrait of a generous friendship

Margaret Olley was known not only for her paintings, but her generosity. An exhibition of her work is currently on in Brisbane, alongside a survey of the work of Ben Quilty, her mentee and friend.
One of the artworks made as part of a project where Australians are sending artistic representations of the bird to politicians to protest the Adani mine, which threatens the bird’s habitat. Robyn Rich

Protest art: rallying cry or elegy for the black-throated finch?

Australian artists are protesting the Adani mine's potential impact on the black-throated finch. The project is gaining traction online, but in this case, emotive art might not be enough.
Mella Jaarsma, The landscaper 2013, costume: wood, paint, iron and leather, single-channel video: 3:40 minutes, colour, sound. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2018. Photo by Mie Cornoedus

Indonesian art is fresh, energetic and lively. Why do we not see more of it?

The exhibition Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia has many wonderful works. But it is an exception - despite our close proximity, there are few opportunities for Australians to engage with Indonesian art.
Arthur Loureiro, Study for ‘The spirit of the new Moon’ 1888, oil on canvas. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane Purchased 1995. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant with the assistance of Philip Bacon through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Photograph: QAGOMA

Friday essay: romancing the moon – space dreaming after Apollo

50 years after Apollo 11, a new exhibition considers artistic responses to our celestial neighbour. As we retreat from human space exploration, our relationship to the moon has become virtual.
Dallas Dellaforce, Queer Central, Imperial Hotel, Erskineville, 2018. ‘Queerdom’ presents an archive of queer and trans life in Sydney. Queerdom/James Eades

An intimate, arresting exhibition highlights the hard work of living queer

Queerdom, an exhibition of photography and poetry, presents a history of queer and trans performance in Sydney that challenges recent narratives about queer life in Australia.
Installation view of Cai Guo-Qiang’s Murmuration (Landscape) 2019 (detail) Realised in Dehua, Fujian. province and Melbourne, commissioned by the NGV. Proposed acquisition supported by Ying Zhang in association with the Asian Australian Foundation, 2019 NGV Foundation Annual Dinner and 2019 NGV Annual Appeal, on display at NGV International. © Cai Guo- Qiang. Photo © Tobias Titz

A scope as big as humanity can conjure: the Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

A new exhibition pairs China's famed Terracotta Warriors with contemporary works of inspiring ethereality. The contrasts here are many: life and death, harmony and chaos, energy and control, art and politics.
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.

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