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Articles on Painting

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Mirka Mora sitting surrounded by her colourful doll and soft sculpture creations and tapestries in 1978. Courtesy of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive, State Library of Victoria.

Au revoir Mirka Mora, your joie de vivre will live on

Mirka Mora survived the second world war to carve out a unique place for herself in the Australian art world. Over six decades, her creativity was legendary.
Charles Blackman posed next to his work in Sydney in 2013. Tracy Nearmy/AAP

Charles Blackman’s poetic vision contained an undertone of dread

Charles Blackman forged an urbanised image of Australia that for most, was more familiar than the mythic landscapes of Sidney Nolan or Arthur Boyd. Yet though familiar, it remains uncomfortable.
Sidney Nolan’s Steve Hart dressed as a girl 1947 from the Ned Kelly series 1946 – 1947 enamel paint on composition board 90.60 x 121.10 cm. Gift of Sunday Reed 1977 National Gallery of Australia

Here’s looking at: Steve Hart dressed as a girl, 1947 by Sidney Nolan

As a bushranger in the Kelly gang, Steve Hart took to dressing as a woman and riding side-saddle to avoid detection. Sidney Nolan’s painting captures Hart’s adolescent cockiness, bravery, and foolhardy bluster.
Former President Bill Clinton promotes ‘The President is Missing,’ the new novel he wrote with James Patterson, in New York. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In retirement, most ex-presidents can’t resist the urge to stay relevant

What happens to motivated, determined and egotistical men when they are forced to abandon the White House? As John Quincy Adams once said, ‘There is nothing more pathetic in life than a former president.’
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.
Katharina Grosse Untitled Trumpet, 2015, All the World’s Futures, 56th Art Biennale, La Biennale di Venezia 09.05. - 02.11.2015 acrylic on wall, floor, and various objects, 660 x 2,100 x 1,300 cm / 259 ¾ x 826 ¾ x 511 ¾ in. Photo: Nic Tenwiggenhorn Copyright: © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

How painting escaped the canvas and another brush with death

How is it that contemporary painting has dug its heels in, so to speak, and refuses to look like a painting anymore?
A detail from Mirka Mora’s Perth Festival Mural 1983; synthetic polymer paint on tin, 6 panels, each 120 x 280 cm (approx.) Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, gift of Paul Swain, 2015.

Diaries, petticoats and copious research: a rare glimpse into Mirka Mora’s artistic process

In 1983, Mirka Mora painted a 21-metre mural in the forecourt of the Perth Concert Hall. The story of this remarkable painting’s creation is fascinating.
Thomas Hart Benton’s murals at the Indiana University Auditorium depict the social history of the state. Joseph

The misguided campaign to remove a Thomas Hart Benton mural

A controversial panel on Indiana University’s campus depicts Ku Klux Klan members, but Benton had a reason for including them. Is avoidance really the best way to deal with dark episodes of the past?
Detail from Gerhard Richter’s Reader (804), 1994 Oil on canvas. 72 x 102cm. Collection: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA Purchase through the gifts of Mimi and Peter Haas and Helen and Charles Schwab, and the Accessions Committee Fund: Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Collectors Forum, Evelyn D. Haas, Elaine McKeon, Byron R. Meye

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images is an unmissable show

Gerhard Richter - one of the giants of post-war German art - is elusive, enigmatic and seemingly impossible to pin down. The first retrospective exhibition of his work in Australia is a brilliant and challenging event.
Detail from Fred Williams You Yang Pond 1963. oil on composition board Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Gift of Godfrey Phillips International Pty Ltd 1968 © Estate of Fred Williams

Fred Williams in the You Yangs: a turning point for Australian art

A new exhibition features more than 50 works by Fred Williams, centred on the You Yangs peaks, west of Melbourne. They illuminate a breakthrough moment in Australian art.
Detail from Tony Albert Self-portrait (ash on me), acrylic on linen. 102 x 102 cm © the artist Photo: Jenni Carter, AGNSW

The Archibald finalists – and why Tony Albert deserves to win

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.
Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag, painted by Maxwell Newhouse for John Burge. (Maxwell Newhouse)

Powerful painting inspires composer to connect Canadians

Composer John Burge speaks of his drive to create a musical piece to mark Canada’s 150th year of confederation and to capture our collective experiences.

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