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...

Francis Plagne
Abstraction 17: A Field of Interest, c. 1968

Abstraction 17: A Field of Interest, c. 1968

Charles Nodrum Gallery, Abstraction 17: A Field of Interest, c. 1968, 26 April - 19 May, 2018.

By Francis Plagne

What is the art museum for? What is its distinctive function? Is it, as the traditional humanist explanation holds, to preserve the treasures of humanity embodied in art works, collective treasures to which the public has the right of access as a source of ‘ennobling enjoyment’ (as a Parliamentary Commission in 1857 explained the ro...

Eva Birch
Kieren Seymour: Blue Blindness

Kieren Seymour, Blue Blindness

Block Projects, April 24 – May 19 2018

By Eva Birch.

In Kieren Seymour’s previous shows the focus was primarily on human and human-like figures—sometimes friendly and cartoonish, sometimes reminiscent of Hans Bellmer’s violently fragmented dolls. In Blue Blindness these figures re-appear, but Seymour turns away from their personalities to explore questions about the nature of perception and the relationship between a brain and a world.

The phrase “blue b...

Amelia Winata
Natalie Thomas and the Women's Art Register: Finding the Field

Natalie Thomas and the Women's Art Register, Finding the Field

True Estate Gallery, The Alderman, April 11 – May 6 2018

By Amelia Winata

It is no secret that Natalie Thomas, AKA Natty Solo is, quote, "bored of white men." The Melbourne artist who is, perhaps, best known for her blog Natty Solo and for being one half of the collaborative duo Nat & Ali has recently been on the offensive against the National Gallery of Victoria's majority male exhibition history. She has most memorably captu...

David Wlazlo
Troy Ramaekers: Double B-Sides

Troy Ramaekers, Double B-Sides

Five Walls Projects, suite 3, lvl 1/119 Hopkins St, Footscray, 4 – 21 April 2018

By David Wlazlo

Troy Ramaekers’ current exhibition at Footscray gallery Five Walls, titled Double-B Sides, features four deceptively simple paintings. The artist has stretched large canvases, taller than wide, and around the edge of each is a bleeding red border. This border contains a trace of the stretcher behind the canvas as well as the ground, where the artist has pressed...

Helen Hughes
Vivienne Binns: It is what it is, what it is

Binns' Grids and Voids

Vivienne Binns: It is what it is, what it is

Sutton Gallery, 17 March – 14 April 2018**

By Helen Hughes

Vivienne Binns seems to have taught—or had some sort of mentor-like relationship with—a whole bunch of artists whose work I like: Charlie Sofo, Liang Luscombe, Trevelyan Clay, Kate Smith and Geoff Newton, to name just a few. If there is amongst some or all of these artists a shared sensibility to do with humour, a cavalier attitude towards painting (or 'fine art...