Tag Archives | Australian art

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 […]

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Tony Clark on the opportunity shop

Tony Clark’s essay for Perimeter Editions’s slim volume on Polly Borland, You,  is a fine example of a big statement in a small essay. ‘Any proper study’ of recent Australian art, he declares, ‘would have to examine, in detail, the role of the opportunity shop’. ‘Every significant Australian artist of the last half-century has been […]

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Hayley Arjona, ‘Rock’n’roll redneck’, CASPA, Castlemaine, 3–31 May 2014

Not long ago I found myself standing in a country pub staring at a print of that often-reproduced nineteenth-century engraving of three Australian farm hands carousing in a bar. Backs arched, arms flailing; they were the original wild colonial boys, out on a spree. Arjona’s rock’n’roll rednecks are their great-great-grandchildren, bingeing on Maccas and VB, […]

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The game of nationhood: art, football and Australian federation

Hiding in plain sight in Sydney’s Centennial Park, Tomaso Sani’s We won! (1893) is the first monumental sculpture of a footballer erected anywhere in the world. Commissioned by New South Wales premier Henry Parkes in 1891, it is often mistaken for an emblem of ‘muscular Christianity’. But Parkes’s commitment to public sculpture, his personal involvement […]

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