Anna Parlane
Sky Country: Our Connection to the Cosmos

Sky Country: Our Connection to the Cosmos

Blak Dot Gallery, 33 Saxon St Brunswick, 11 – 28 May 2017

By Anna Parlane

It's not often acknowledged just how much visual art comes to life through words, conversation, storytelling. Or, at least, it's not often explicitly acknowledged. It's implicitly acknowledged constantly: every time an art gallery stages an artist talk or public program, for example, or in the screeds of text published by art historians, critics and commentators. Artworks are...

Amelia Winata
Unproductive Thinking

Mindfulness Meditation

Unproductive Thinking

Deakin University Art Gallery, Burwood, 26 April – 26 May 2017

By Amelia Winata

I am hesitant to say that I am employed. Although to say I am unemployed is also incorrect. I do not have a job to go to, but I do have four email addresses — 1 personal, 3 professional — and from the moment I wake to the moment I go to sleep my mind is preoccupied with work. The question is, at what level of productivity am I working? I check emails when I get u...

Anthony White
Van Gogh and the Seasons

Seasonal Adjustment Disorder: Van Gogh in Melbourne

Van Gogh and the Seasons

National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 28 April – 9 July 2017

By Anthony White

There are many extraordinary works of art to be seen in Van Gogh and the Seasons and yet certain aspects of the National Gallery of Victoria exhibition are disappointing. Individual paintings that stand out as masterpieces of modern art are shown side by side with frankly insignificant and minor pieces. In addition,...

Victoria Perin
Harold Freedman: Artist for the People

Harold Freedman: Artist for the People

The Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St Nth, Ballarat, 1 April – 28 May 2017

By Victoria Perin

The Harold Freedman exhibition, on display at the Art Gallery of Ballarat until the end of this month, is sub-headed ‘Artist for the people’. In order to entice people deep into the pokey rear galleries where the show is hung, it would seem that a degree of assuagement is required. Trust me people, promises the curator, this is an artist for you!

C...

Paris Lettau
Raafat Ishak & Damiano Bertoli: Hebdomeros

Raafat Ishak & Damiano Bertoli, Hebdomeros

Sutton Gallery, 21 April – 20 May 2017

By Paris Lettau

There is an irony to Hebdomeros, and that is that the exhibition teaches us more about the Italian 'metaphysical' painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) than it does about either of its two collaborating Melbourne based artists, Raafat Ishak and Damiano Bertoli.

The modest exhibition, which accompanies Ishak's solo exhibition 1977 (in Sutton Gallery's adjacent room), takes its title fro...

Beth Kearney
Bill Henson

Insistently Henson

Bill Henson

National Gallery of Victoria, St Kilda Road, 10 March – 27 August 2017

By Beth Kearney

Even now, it is difficult to visit a Bill Henson exhibition without being burdened by the controversy that occurred at Roslyn Oxley9 just less than nine years ago. Stylistically, however, Henson has not changed his tack: the exhibition Bill Henson, part of the NGV’s Festival of Photography, is yet another rearticulation of his most recognisable qualities as an artist.

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Helen Hughes
James Tylor: un-resettling

James Tylor, un-resettling

Vivien Anderson Gallery, 29 March – 29 April 2017

By Helen Hughes

In recent years, Bruce Pascoe's widely read Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? (2014) and Bill Gammage's The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia (2011) have helped cultivate a more general understanding of the history of Aboriginal land management, agricultural practices, and general custodianship of the lands and waterways of this continent. Their scholarship h...

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...