Rex Butler
Gareth Sansom: Transformer

Gareth Withdraws

Gareth Sansom: Transformer

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, 15 September 2017 – 28 January 2018

By Rex Butler

The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Sebastian Smee barely got a word in during the Q & A held soon after the opening of Gareth Sansom’s retrospective at the NGV. Sansom, just about the ultimate alpha-male for all of his cross-dressing, entertained the audience with tales of his early cricketing prowess, his father returning home after the war without a limb, his e...

Rex Butler
Brave New World: Australia 1930s | Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art

The Art Exhibition vs Art

Brave New World: Australia 1930s

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, until 15 October 2017

Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art

Heide Museum of Modern Art, until 8 October 2017

By Rex Butler

Brave New World: Australia 1930s and Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art are both important new museum shows. They involve a serious investment of institutional resources. They demand great curatorial expertise. They make a n...

Rex Butler
I can see Russia from here

Russia in Melbourne

I can see Russia from here

TCB art inc., Level 1, 12 Waratah Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000, 7 June – June 24 2017. Curated by Chelsea Hopper

By Rex Butler

I walk along grimy Waratah Place in downtown Melbourne. The walls of the buildings are black from use, a chef from a nearby Chinese restaurant crouches on the pavement playing on his iPhone. I climb a flight of rickety wooden stairs and enter the gallery. Two young volunteers sit huddled together in front of a computer sc...

Rex Butler
Louise Hearman

Paints like a dream

Louise Hearman

Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Healesville, 18 February – 14 May 2017. Curated by Anna Davis.

By Rex Butler

Louise Hearman complains about the way that in every review of her work she is compared to her partner Bill Henson, while in reviews of Henson’s work she is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

Of course, she is absolutely right: the male Henson is held up as the standard against which she is measured, whereas the female Hearman does not reciprocally set the...

Rex Butler
Suzanne Archer: Moving Forwards, Looking Back: A Survey 1969–2016

Suzanne Archer: Over-looked

Suzanne Archer, Moving Forwards, Looking Back: A Survey 1969–2016

Nicholas Thompson Gallery, 155 Langridge Street, Collingwood, 17 December 2016 – 29 January 2017

By Rex Butler

When the well-known painter Gareth Sansom opened Suzanne Archer’s show at the Nicholas Thompson Gallery in December, he made the rather large claim that two of the paintings—Coalesce (1993) and Ant holes and Bandy-Bandy (1994)—were the best he’d seen in Melbourne all year.

It’s a...