Articles on Visual arts

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The Chinese-Australian artist Guan Wei is on display in a new exhibition at the MCA. The centre piece of the exhibition is the 18x6m mural Feng Shui (2004). Guan Wei, Feng Shui, 2004, acrylic on composite board. Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Cromwell Diversified Property Trust, 2017. Image courtesy and © the artist

Guan Wei review: feng shui for a vision of a world in harmony

Guan Wei's art, now on display at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, crosses both Chinese and Australian cultures, working together in harmony, best described as an aspect of feng shui.
Artist David Koloane believed that education extended far beyond the borders of institutions. Rhodes University

David Koloane fought for the right to define himself – and his art

Deeply influenced by Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement, artist David Koloane, who died on 30 June 2019, believed that artists have a right to define their own work.
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 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.
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.
Detail from William Barak, Figures in possum skin cloaks, 1898, pencil, wash, charcoal solution, gouache and earth pigments on paper, 57.0 x 88.8 cm (image and sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1962

NGV’s Colony is a bold attempt to confront Australia’s colonial past, but divisions remain

Colony at the NGV pairs colonial art with Indigenous responses, in an effort to create dialogue about Australia's history.
Sabbia Gallery - Alison Milyika Carroll working on a pot at Ernabella Arts ceramic studio, 2017. Photo Ernabella Arts, Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery

All fired up: Clay Stories is a triumphant display of contemporary Indigenous ceramics

Clay Stories, a travelling exhibition, showcases ceramic art from Indigenous artists across the country. It is a triumphant display of specific stories and Dreamings, standing against cultural and political amnesia.
Installation view of Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018. Photo: Tom Ross © Tom Ross

Del Kathryn Barton explores powerful female sexuality but reproduces the male gaze

The paintings in Del Kathryn Barton's new show at NGV Australia are visually stunning and painstakingly executed. But the women depicted are often de-personalised objects or headless cauldrons of destructive passion.

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