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Articles on Australian art

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Archibald Prize 2020 finalist Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill), Writing in the sand, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 250 x 250 cm © the artist. Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins Sitter: Dujuan Hoosen - documentary star ('In my blood it runs')

‘The most refreshing Archibald exhibition I can remember’: the 2020 portrait prize finalists

Most years, the Archibald exhibition is worth viewing as an amusing exercise in social history. This year it is worth seeing for the art.
Vincent Namatjira, Western Arrernte people, Northern Territory, born 1983, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Close Contact, 2018, Indulkana, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on plywood; Gift of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation for the Ramsay Art Prize 2019. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, photo: Grant Hancock

Terra nullius interruptus: Captain James Cook and absent presence in First Nations art

For too long, Cook was a promise recollected in pigment, bronze and stone. Contemporary First Nations artists are challenging this imagery.
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.
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.
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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