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Articles on Australian art

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Fred Williams Australia 1927-82, worked in England 1952-56. Elephant 1953 cont é crayon 25.2 x 31.8 cm (sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Presented by the Art Foundation of Victoria by Mrs Lyn Williams, Founder Benefactor, 1988 © Estate of Fred Williams

Fred Williams is known for his landscapes. But his drawings are little pockets of explosive expressive energy

Studying in London, the young artist examined the human figure, animals in the zoo and the rich cross-section of theatre life and of life on the streets.
Justene Williams, Australia b.1970. The Vertigoats 2021. Mixed media. Installed dimensions variable. Purchased 2021 with funds from the Contemporary Patrons through the QAGOMA Foundation. Collection: QAGOMA. Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

QAGOMA’s Embodied Knowledge is an energetic and inclusive celebration of contemporary Queensland art

Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art is a celebration of women, people of colour and LGBTIQA+ artists.
Daniel Boyd, Sir No Beard, 2007. Oil on canvas 183.5 x 121.5 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, gift of Clinton Ng 2012, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 378.2012. Image: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins © Daniel Boyd

How the art of Daniel Boyd turns over the apple cart of accepted white Australian history

Daniel Boyd’s solo exhibition Treasure Island, now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is a deeply political and personal interrogation of Australia’s colonial history.
Winner Archibald Prize 2022, Blak Douglas Moby Dickens, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 300 x 200 cm © the artist, image © AGNSW, Mim Stirling

‘I can’t think of a more timely painting’: Blak Douglas’s Moby Dickens is a deserving winner of the 2022 Archibald Prize

This year’s winning Archibald Prize portrait, Moby Dickens by Blak Douglas, encapsulates the justifiable rage felt by people living in flooded Bundjalung country
Ann Newmarch, born Adelaide 1945, died Adelaide 2022, Self-portrait. 1/60th of a second, 1981, Adelaide, photo-etching on paper, 26.4 x 34.7 cm (plate), Public Donations Fund 2015, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Ann Newmarch; and Hossein Valamanesh with his work Untitled, Gallery 6, Art Gallery. of South Australia, Adelaide, 2019

Australian art has lost two of its greats. Vale Ann Newmarch and Hossein Valamanesh

Although they work in different genres, a similar sense of restraint imbues the work of each.
Jeffrey Smart, Margaret Olley in the Louvre Museum. 1994–95 Tuscany, Italy. Oil on canvas 67 x 110 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. Bequest of Ian Whalland 1997. 85.1997

On the elegance and wry observations of Jeffrey Smart, one of Australia’s favourite painters

Jeffrey Smart is admired for his carefully structured paintings of Tuscany and Rome. This National Gallery of Australia’s centenary celebration of his birth takes the viewer back to Adelaide.
Yuma Taru. The spiral of life – the tongue of the cloth (yan pal ana hmali) – a mutual dialogue 2021 Ramie suspended from metal threads / 500 x 250cm (diam.); installed dimensions variable / Commissioned for APT10 Courtesy: The artist and Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Centre

Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art shows how our local differences demand curiosity and care

This exhibition highlights the diversity and range of artistic practices across the Asia Pacific region.
Dušan Marek, born Bítouchov, Czechoslovakia 1926, died Adelaide 1993. Analysis of Substance, 1952, Kings Cross, Sydney. Oil on canvas, 36.5 x 88.2 cm. Purchased with the assistance of James Agapitos OAM and Ray Wilson OAM 2007, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Surrealists at Sea: Dušan and Voitre Marek finally receive their place in the pantheon of Australian surrealism

Australian surrealism has long been understood as if it was imported from Paris. This new exhibition places two Czech-Australian émigrés at the heart of the movement.
Winner: Archibald Prize 1972: Clifton Pugh. ‘The Hon EG Whitlam’ 1972. Oil on composition board, 113.5 x 141.5 cm. © Estate of Clifton Pugh

‘I think Archie would be pleased’: 100 years of our most famous portrait prize and my almost 50 years watching it evolve

It’s 100 years since the Art Gallery of NSW first held the Archibald Prize. Though loathed by some critics, it is an annual snapshot of the kind of society we are, and who our heroes might be.

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