Rex Butler
Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars

Colony: Australia 1770–1861 / Frontier Wars

Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria. Colony: Australia 1770–1861 until 15 July | Colony: Frontier Wars until 30 September

By Rex Butler

Colony is undoubtedly the best show the NGV has put on since Australian Impressionists in France in 2013. And I’d even say that the two shows are connected. Seriously. Both shake up our conception of what “Australia” is and perhaps even more profoundly where “Australia” is. Certainly, a number...

Paris Lettau
Andrew Browne: Spill

Andrew Browne, Spill

Tolarno Galleries 7 June – 7 July 2018

By Paris Lettau

In the final chapter of his 1931 book, An Account of French Painting, Clive Bell attempts to explain what he calls 19th century French painting's (i.e., modernism's) 'momentous lapse in taste'. Of course, he meant a lapse from the perspective of those trained in the 19th century Academy's tradition of taste, and all the standards of painting it sought to uphold. For Bell's generation, on the contrary, the late 1...

Jane Eckett
The Sculpture Park

The Sculpture Park

Point Leo Estate, 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks, Victoria

By Jane Eckett

That the Mornington Peninsula now boasts three privately endowed sculpture parks is a remarkable fact given the relatively small geographic area. Joining the long-standing McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park (founded and chiefly supported – up until recently – by the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch) are two new additions, both attached to wineries: Montalto in Red Hill South and Point Leo Estat...

Giles Fielke
Lucina Lane and Nigel Lendon: Teach the Kids to Strike

Lucina Lane and Nigel Lendon Teach the Kids to Strike

Neon Parc, 18 May – 16 June

By Gile Fielke

I’ve not noticed the terazzo tiles on the floor of Neon Parc’s city gallery. And I’ve been visiting shows at the Bourke Street space for years now. It took Lucina Lane and Nigel Lendon’s collaborative exhibition Teach the kids to strike for me to look hard at just how extraordinarily worn the floors really are. When I ask gallerist Geoff Newton about this, he unpretentiously admits that the...

Tim Alves
I hope you get this: Raquel Ormella

I hope you get this: Raquel Ormella

Shepparton Art Museum, 26 May–12 August, 2018

By Tim Alves

Raquel Ormella’s artworks have been included in a number of thematic exhibitions exploring the relationships between art and activism in recent years; examples include Direct Democracy, at MUMA in 2013 and See You at the Barricades, at AGNSW in 2015. These exhibitions showed her series of trade union style banners I’m Worried This Will Become a Slogan, 1999–2009, and her series of “reworked...

Chelsea Hopper
Diane Arbus: American Portraits

Diane Arbus: American Portraits

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 21 March – 17 June 2018

By Chelsea Hopper

“You can’t take any photos”, I was told at the front desk. The request was unexpected, as restrictions of this kind for an exhibition seemed slightly dated considering how accessible and abundant images have become in our digitally soaked, super-sharing culture – not to mention how widely available many of the images seen in the exhibition are online. Was this just a cautionary move to avo...

Rex Butler
The Field Revisited

The Two Sides of the Field

The Field Revisited

Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, 27 April – 26 August

By Rex Butler

There are perhaps three art-viewing experiences I have had that I would say changed the way I looked at and thought about art. The first was when as an undergraduate I wandered without any warning into the Colin McCahon retrospective held at the University of Sydney as part of the Sydney Biennale of 1984. The second was when, again without any warning, I stoo...

Anna Parlane
Hard Feelings

Hard Feelings

The Honeymoon Suite, Lv1, 60 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, 4 May – 2 June 2018

By Anna Parlane

When The Honeymoon Suite opened in 2016, it was with Rose Coloured Glass, an exhibition of work by four artist couples that flirtatiously invited viewers to guess who was dating whom. Rose Coloured Glass wondered: can romance blossom from a shared passion for abstraction? Or vice versa? The Honeymoon Suite was established as a platform to bring emerging and established artists togethe...