Archive | Book Reviews

Fernando A Flores, ‘Death to the bullshit artists of South Texas, vol. 1’

Sometime in the not-too-distant past the city of Donna, Texas spawned the unknown band ERIKKKLAPTON. They were a bunch of high school kids hammering out songs—‘Monkeyfuck evasions’, ‘Wonkaballs’ and ‘Oil mutant’—in a garage. Their chronicler, Fernando A Flores, tells us that ‘no songs were ever recorded nor did they ever gig—the only people who ever […]

Continue Reading

Sasha Grishin, ‘Australian art: a history’

At 570 pages long and weighing in at 2.46 kilograms, Sasha Grishin’s Australian art: a history is the latest contender for the heavyweight title long held by Bernard Smith’s Australian painting. It’s a door stopper all right, but will it be a barbecue stopper? (And is there a barbecue’s worth of art historians among Australia’s […]

Continue Reading

John Richardson, ‘A life of Picasso: volume II’, 1997

John Richardson, A life of Picasso: volume II, 1907–1917, Jonathan Cape, London, 1996. Since the time of writing (1997), Richardson has reduced the number of projected volumes from five to four. And who can blame him? The third appeared in 2007 and the final volume will be published later this year. In the 1970s, one […]

Continue Reading

Barry Pearce, ‘Brett Whiteley: art & life’, 1995

Reviewing Barry Pearce’s catalogue/biography for the 1995 Brett Whiteley retrospective alerted me to two themes that I’ve circled around on-and-off ever since. First, that a good deal was being missed in looking art Australian. Visiting the exhibition itself, I realized that many elements visible in the art works—texts, collage elements, marginal images—were being over-looked. And […]

Continue Reading

website by