Rex Butler
Shearing the Rams

Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams

National Gallery of Victoria, Permanent Collection

By Rex Butler

I was recently showing a friend from New Zealand through the Australian collection at the National Gallery of Victoria and we came, of course, to Tom Roberts' Shearing the Rams (1888-90). You have to get there eventually because everything in the collection and its arrangement on the walls points you that way. The work is visible — and intentionally so — as you step into the first of the room...

Victoria Perin
Baldessin/Whitely: Parallel Visions

Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions

National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square, 31 August 2018 – 28 January 2019

By Victoria Perin

Together George Baldessin and Imants Tillers represented Australia in the 1975 Bienal de São Paulo. Although Tillers was 25 and Baldessin eleven years older, the artists bonded closely: “George represented the more conservative art world I had just decided to abandon,” notes Tillers in an interview with researcher Nicole Bowller from 2016, “but...

Hester Lyon
Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 27 July – 9 September 2018

By Hester Lyon

When the scaffolding of Sean Godsell's Design Hub was removed earlier this year, I felt a distinct sense of disorientation. As a familiar building, my relationship to it felt suddenly and unfairly disrupted by the rectification of its original form. I'd become comfortable in the scaffolding, gesturing out onto the footpath: a...

Francis Plagne
Robert Smithson: Time Crystals

Double Issue

This week Memo Review publishes two separate reviews of Robert Smithson: Time Crystals at Monash University Museum of Art.

Below Francis Plagne considers the show as a whole, including an in-depth engagement with the curators' positioning of Smithson's practice.

Philip Brophy, whose review is available by clicking here, considers the sound that lightly floats throughout the gallery's spaces, emanating from two films: Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970) and Nancy Holt an...

Philip Brophy
Robert Smithson: Time Crystals

Double Issue

This week Memo Review publishes two separate reviews of Robert Smithson: Time Crystals at Monash University Museum of Art.

Below Philip Brophy considers the sound that lightly floats throughout the gallery's spaces, emanating from two films: Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970) and Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson's Swamp (1971).

Francis Plagne, whose review is available by clicking here, considers the exhibition as a whole, including an in-depth engagement with the cura...

Amelia Winata
Tiny Miners: Nicholas Mangan, Termite Economies

Nicholas Mangan, Termite Economies

Sutton Gallery, 4 August 2018 – 1 September 2018

By Amelia Winata

I noticed when researching for this review that Nicholas Mangan was born in Geelong, where I, too, was born. And, presuming that Mangan grew up there, I wonder whether he ever encountered the bizarre CSIRO Animal Health Laboratory that I lived near. Crowned with an enormous tower that, in hindsight, might have been a colossal chimney (perhaps for releasing the smoke and vapour from biologi...

Giles Fielke
Philadelphia Wireman

Philadelphia Wireman

World Food Books, August 3 – September 1, 2018

By Giles Fielke

There is an overwhelming temptation to fill in the constitutive blanks where an artist’s life should be, but here there is no artist, only the artworks remain. The evidence of the so-called Philadelphia Wireman’s life is patchy, effectively non-existent. Enough facts remain, however, to establish a scene. Twelve of the some 1200 small, meticulously bound-in-wire sculptures and drawings found dumped in a lan...

David Wlazlo
Melbourne Art Fair & Spring 1883

Melbourne Art Fair & Spring 1883

This week Memo Review travels through two art fairs currently open as part of Melbourne Art Week: David Wlazlo and Amelia Winata review the reborn Melbourne Art Fair at Southbank Arts Precinct, and Vicki Perin reviews the third Spring 1883 at The Hotel Windsor on Spring Street.


Melbourne Art Fair

Southbank Arts Precinct, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, 2–5 August

By David Wlazlo

Maybe it isn’t the best way to approach it, but Melbourne Art Fair (...