Memo Review
Best and Overlooked of 2018

Best and Overlooked of 2018

Memo Review asked three of our contributors to write on a show they have especially liked but that we haven't had a chance to review. As a special issue we publish these reviews from Tiarney Miekus, Amelia Winata and Giles Fielke.


Ella Sowinska 80 Ways

recess, Friday 30 March – 30 April 2018

By Tiarney Miekus

Considering the amount of things that can be streamed online (i.e., entire lives), it's peculiar how art is a thing that supposedly doesn't h...

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...

Ian McLean
Wayne Eager New Paintings

Wayne Eager New Paintings

Eastgate Gallery, 158 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 14 October – 11 November 2017

By Ian McLean

An exhibition that caught my eye last week reminded me that the surrealists didn't seek their aesthetic thrills in Paris' modish contemporary art galleries or amongst the Old Masters in the Louvre, but in unexpected places. Somewhat off the beaten track, in an old picture framer founded in 1879, about a dozen very uncontemporary large abstract expressionist paintings occupied...

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...

Kylie King
Dale Frank

Dale Frank

Neon Parc, 15 Tinning St, Brunswick, 30 June–12 August 2017

By Kylie King

Any presentation of Dale Frank's work could easily be passed off as a prime prop for Instagram ops. His paintings—dazzling in size and colour, slick and hyper-reflective—demand attention and entertain. Yet they are also unsettlingly grotesque and possess an overarching posture of cool detachment. Indeed, his current exhibition at Neon Parc is as much confronting as it is alluring.

Dale Frank, It was a b...

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,...

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...

Francis Plagne
David Hockney: Current

David Hockney: Current

National Gallery of Victoria, 11 November 2016 – 13 March 2017

By Francis Plagne

With David Hockney: Current, the NGV has made the unusual decision to devote a major exhibition to a selection of work from the last decade by a 79 year-old artist active since the early 1960s. Perhaps this can be explained by the popular appeal of the iPhone and iPad drawings that make up much of David Hockney's output in this period, but the choice is interesting insofar as the narro...