Tag Archives: Visual Arts

Kingston Arts Space reboot – maybe

Inner-south community groups received a curious, but welcomed, phone call on Thursday (November 4) from the communications officer of the ACT Suburban Land Agency (SLA).

Continue reading Kingston Arts Space reboot – maybe

A Further Shore – Robert Dein

Review of Photography Exhibition

A Further Shore: Bombs, babes and sons of beaches
Manly Art Gallery (Sydney) till 26 April 2015

From Robert Dein photographic collection

LAThere are some photography exhibitions that really reinforce how wonderful photography can be. There are exhibitions that demonstrate just how creative some collectors are in how they choose their collections. This exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery does all that and more. If you love photography, then do not miss this exhibition of contemporary and historic photographs.

Continue reading A Further Shore – Robert Dein


Visual Arts Review

Bungaree, The First Australian at The Mosman Art Gallery

Open till 22 February 2015.

bungaree1We travelled along to the Mosman Art Gallery around lunch time one sunny day in early January. The gallery was quiet with no other visitors during our 45 minute visit.

The Bungaree exhibition at the gallery contains works by 16 emerging and established artists who have nominally re-interpreted the stories around Bungaree. The image to the right is of Bungaree.  There are numerous historic paintings of Bungaree.

Continue reading Bungaree

A reviewer has a bad day

Guardian reviewer looses the plot

4a261b89-8b15-4d39-a046-fe5c9dbd243d-805x1020It is not the job a reviewer to write stuff that everyone agrees with. The Guardian has a number of art reviewers and therefore we have a range of opinions. However one would expect any of these reviewers to be making sense.

It has come to pass that one reviewer has been showing signs of stress or something equivalent.

Continue reading A reviewer has a bad day

Enjoying Life in Vienna

Review: Visual Arts

Cosima Von Bonin: Hippies Use Side Door.
The Year 2014 Has Lost The Plot

MUMOK – Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna

picksimg_splashSpoiler alert. Be warned, this exhibition did not excite! Cosima Von Bonin’s latest exhibition is across several floors of the MUMOK and it is impressive. There are loads of cultural references and heaps of barbs at things within our culture, particularly the american culture we have all come to love and loath. It was an interesting experience to visit this massive exhibition.

I took my time – but

Continue reading Enjoying Life in Vienna

Richard Tuttle at the Tate Modern

Comment on reviewing of the visual arts

tuttletate_3070458bThere have been many occasions when I visited an exhibition of contemporary visual arts, particularly those of the conceptual installation art version, and I have left with little satisfaction or a memory of strong engagement.  To be positive, there have been many great pieces I have seen in this genre.

Continue reading Richard Tuttle at the Tate Modern

Singapore Photography

Review: Visual Arts and Photography

Still Moving at Singapore Art Museum (SAM) 8Q

till 8 February 2015

P1070637image from opening night – by Paul Costigan

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is presently exhibiting three exhibitions in 8Q, its special annex located on Queens Street around the corner from SAM’s main building. The exhibition is a triple bill made up of three exhibitions that occupy the whole of the building’s exhibition spaces.

Continue reading Singapore Photography

NGA Contemporary

Review: Visual Arts

NGA Contemporary

252917 5768762-3x2-700x467 NGA-contemp-P1070589

Down by the lake in Canberra, within that strange-looking architectural structure which is part of a local folley, called Commonwealth Place, the National Gallery of Australia has moved in to open an exhibition space for Australian contemporary art. It is called NGA Contemporary and is well worth a visit.

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Alex Seton

Announcement: Visual Arts Exhibition

Alex Seton, Refoulement at Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney till 11 October 2014

7031495740This Sullivan+ Strumpf exhibition of sculptures by Alex Seton is very worth your while to make the time and visit the gallery in Sydney.

He was recently a major artist at the Adelaide Biennale and his earlier photographs are presently in an exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra.

Continue reading Alex Seton

Colour Music at the ANU Drill Hall

Review: Visual Arts

Colour Music at the ANU Drill Hall

P1070401I wandered into this exhibition with some doubts given the title. I have long been sceptical of the direct link that some artists and authors make between music and the visual arts. This is not to say that some visual artists may be influenced by some music or rhythms.

Continue reading Colour Music at the ANU Drill Hall

Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery Canberra

Notice: Local Visual Arts Gallery
Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery, Kingston, Canberra

Ruth WallerA note that the Nancy Sever Gallery, in Kingston, is worth putting on you list for gallery visits.

We attended a crowded opening there tonight for the opening of Ruth Waller’s exhibition of recent paintings. Can I say that I would love to talk more about the art, but it was very difficult to see given the crowd. That’s why I often avoid openings and get along later.

Continue reading Ruth Waller at Nancy Sever Gallery Canberra

Annette Messager at the MCA Sydney

Review (2nd): Visual Arts
Annette Messager:  motion/emotion at the MCA Australia (Sydney) till 26 October 2014


We were fortunate to have a business reason to be in Sydney for the Monday, so allowed ample time on the weekend to get down to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) on beautiful circular Quay to see this once in a lifetime exhibition of Annetta Messager’s artworks. It was definitely worth the trip. We loved it so much we went back the next day for a revisit.

Continue reading Annette Messager at the MCA Sydney

Natural Architecture

Comment: Landscape Art

sanctuaryOne of my many puzzles has been why within Australia, with all the diversity of natural landscapes, do we not see much landscape art.

What I mean by that are artworks that actually are designed in the landscape or at least using natural materials to be in the landscape. There’s an article online about an architect who works with nature. click here.


for more on architecture – click here

Paul Costigan, 20 August 2014

Fashion Photography Magdalene Keaney

Notice: New photography book
Fashion Photography Next, Magdalene Keaney

With contributions by Eleanor Weber

9780500544358_26798I have just seen this new book on the tables at Readings in St Kilda, Melbourne. So that means you can order in Australia and they deliver it for free.

This is a WOW book. It is about photography, about contemporary practice of  fashion photography, and it is published in a lavish and stylish book.

Continue reading Fashion Photography Magdalene Keaney

NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

Review: Visual Arts
Several exhibitions at the NGA

237644-1Our public galleries are places you should visit often, and not just for the big blockbuster exhibitions.

There are many other exhibitions, especially collection exhibitions, that are a wonder to see and enjoy.

Continue reading NGA Visual Arts, Motherwell, Natori Shunsen, Contemporary Photography

John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery

Review: Visual Arts/photography
Exhibition: John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

till 19th October 2014, then touring.

front-P1070002The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra has done itself proud with this special exhibition of photographs produced from the archive of the photographer John Witzig. Full marks to the historian curator, Sarah Engledow.

Continue reading John Witzig at National Portrait Gallery

Annette Messager at the MCA

Review (forecasted): Visual Arts
annette_messager-coverAnnette Messager:  motion/emotion at the MCA Australia (Sydney) till 26 October 2014

Here’s an exhibition that you must see. If you are in Sydney or thinking about going to Sydney, you must allow ample time to wander through and contemplate this exhibition by this extraordinary artist. We were there on Saturday, and it was busy. Today (Sunday) we returned to watch the film and to walk through again. If you have any interest in contemporary art, a visit to the MCA will be worth it! Then go back for a second visit.

There will be a review to follow. Click here. The catalogue is a wonderful production but I suspect it is about to be sold out (I have one).


Paul Costigan, 3 August 2014

Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty

Review: Visual Arts
Not Dead Yet: Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty – A retrospective

Canberra Museum and Gallery, till September 14 (2014)

Review: This very crowded exhibition at the Canberra Museum and Gallery brings together loads of posters and related materials by the two Northern Territory political artists and poster makers, Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty. There is a lot to take in.

For anyone interested in historic poster making and the more recent version of digitally produced poster-like artworks, then set aside enough time and wander through the gallery. I say again, there is a lot to take in – the curatorial approach has been to occupy the space with as much work as possible.

Continue reading Therese Ritchie and Chips Mackinolty

Visual artist Jeff Wall

Review: Visual Arts

Review: The imagined tableaux has been a fascinating area of photography from the beginnings of the art form. Personally I place this form of photography as being one of the most enjoyable and engaging forms of photography. Therefore I would always recommend an exhibition by Jeff Wall , no matter how many times you have seen his work previously.

Continue reading Visual artist Jeff Wall

Brisbane, photo-essay

Brisbane, photo-essay

Here are a few photographs taken near the Roma Street Parklands in mid winter 2014. This time of the year makes for wonderful light. Please click on any of the images to enlarge them. I enjoyed this image because of the shadows and the light, the plants were being highlighted, and of course the texture and mass of the rock wall.

P1060315Near Roma Street Parkland entrance, July 2014

Continue reading Brisbane, photo-essay

Gender Inequity in Galleries

Confronting art world sexism

From an article by Jori Finkel in the Art Newspaper:

art-newspaperIn New York, Sperone Westwater comes in at 91 versus nine. Team Gallery at 85 versus 15; Matthew Marks at 84 versus 16, and Mary Boone at 83 versus 17. Some of the top galleries in Los Angeles tell a similar story: Blum & Poe is 89 versus 11; Prism is 88 versus 12; Thomas Solomon is 85 to 15, and Patrick Painter is 83 to 17.

Click here for the article.

Unloved Art

Comment: Visual Arts
The debate about getting rid of previously loved artworks

The debate over what different people, institutions and township are doing with their formerly treasured artworks by Rolf Harris has been sad to watch. This style of artwork was always more of a populist marketing campaign. His art was and remains simplistic and very ordinary at best.

I was a little shocked when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen. Continue reading Unloved Art

Harvest at GOMA

Review: Visual Arts
Harvest: Art, Film + Food at the Queensland Art Gallery – GOMA

productOur public galleries have wonderful collections. Collection exhibitions are often overlooked by the public as the marketing foolishly concentrates on the block busters and special exhibitions. This is a shame as the collection exhibitions are wonderful.

I welcomed the opportunity to visit Harvest: Art, Film + Food. To see this mix of art was indeed a welcomed experience. Continue reading Harvest at GOMA

Robyn Stacey

Review: Visual Arts

Guest Relations at Jan Manton Art

I had a chance last week to see Guest Relations, the exhibition of Robyn Stacey in Brisbane. As I had pointed out in my earlier review, it is a show not to be missed.

Click here for my former post.

Click here for words in Art Almanac

Click here for Jan Manton Art.

Click here for Stills Gallery, Sydney.


Paul Costigan, 6 July 2014

Faked, Forgotten, Found

Good News Story: Not everything that is fake, is what it seems

A good news story from the Art Newspaper about  paintings that were destined to shunted off the scene as they were obvious fakes. After some work by clever conservationists, some secrets were revealed and the paintings are in fact highly prized treasures. To featured in an exhibition: Faked, Forgotten, Found.

A good news art story. click here.


Paul Costigan, 29 June 2014

Robyn Stacey

Review: Visual Arts, Photography
Robyn Stacey at Jan Manton, Brisbane
Guest Relations Brisbane


I have stayed in many hotel rooms in many cities and towns. The experience of being in a hotel room, although now it is mostly apartments, is usually enjoyable but always with a tinge of weird. You enter this borrowed space and establish your presence while always being aware of the temporary nature of your stay.

Continue reading Robyn Stacey

FX Harsono at the NGA

Review: Visual Arts
FX Harsono and Writing In The Rain

FXAt the seminar at the National Gallery of Australia, the Indonesian artist FX Harsono made a presentation as an Indonesian of Chinese decent who is now researching and making art about the treatment of the Chinese communities in the early days of the Indonesian republic.

There’s a fantastic video on exhibition in which FX Harsono deals with his Chinese name, in that he is writing it continuously while other forces are washing it away.

Continue reading FX Harsono at the NGA

Ian North on Canberra

Review: Photography
Ian North’s Canberra Suite Series 1981,
Canberra Museum and Gallery 2014
On exhibition: # 6, 11, 12 17, 20,24

It was while visiting the Canberra Gallery for another exhibition that we spotted these six works by the artist/photographer Ian North. On exhibition were colour photographs from Ian’s suite of 24 images, the Canberra Suite Series (1981).

Continue reading Ian North on Canberra

Mary Ellen Mark at Stills

Review: Photography
Two exhibitions at Stills Gallery Sydney
Mark Ellen Mark and Lisa Garland

I hear debates about the nature of photography today given all the digital technology and all that stuff.  The technology may change, as it always has done, but capturing the image and the light and then publishing it in a beautiful format is what has always been about and remains so in the 21st Century. Photography remains a strong and powerful medium.

Black and White photography when it is done well, and the photographer engages with the subject, remains one of the wonders to be enjoyed on the walls of a gallery. The online image serves to introduce you to the works, but visiting a gallery exhibition to see the actual printed image remains a must for any lover of photography.

Continue reading Mary Ellen Mark at Stills

Three Photographs

Review: Photography
Three photographs, three photographers, and the contemplation of the women by women.

It was while visiting the Stills Gallery in Sydney to see the works by Mary Ellen Mark, that I was totally struck by the ambiance of a photograph titled: The Damm Family in Their Car, Los Angeles, California, USA, 1987. (it is reproduced larger below)

Besides the stand out nature of the total composition, the car, the children, the hands around the woman, it was the faces on the mother and the daughter that glued me for much more than the standard time one usually spends with any work in an exhibition. Then I could not help but return to it several times.

Continue reading Three Photographs

Visiting the National Gallery of Victoria

Review: Gallery Visitor Experience
Visiting the National Gallery of Victoria*


One of the unfortunate outcomes of the marketing of our major art galleries is that so much emphasis has been placed on the special and blockbuster exhibitions. This form of marketing may be assisting with budgets, but this success is at the cost of letting people know about the galleries’ own collection exhibitions.

Continue reading Visiting the National Gallery of Victoria

Sydney Biennale at Carriageworks

Comment: 2014 Sydney Biennale at Carriageworks


I had uploaded several posts previously about the 2014 Sydney Biennale (see links at bottom of page). Visits had included the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). A visit was made today to the Sydney Biennale at Carriageworks. Carriageworks is an interesting place and included in any visit is a wander into Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Continue reading Sydney Biennale at Carriageworks

Art As Therapy NGV

Review: Visual Arts Book
Art as Therapy: Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

Art-as-Therapy-bookThis soft cover book is the guide for the special labels placed around the State Art Gallery of Victoria’s St Kilda Road Venue.

As a first comment I have to say that I was disappointed and was in fact a little taken aback by the style and contents. I am not so sure about how this effort enhances the gallery visit within the NGV*.

Continue reading Art As Therapy NGV

Canberra Visual Arts

Review: Visual Arts
May 2014 Visual Arts Exhibitions at M16 and the CCAS (Canberra)


Once upon time Canberra had heaps visual arts galleries to visit on weekends. Now there are but a few left.  Last weekend I visited two publicly funded visual art spaces; being the M16 Gallery in Griffith and the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) in Braddon. I can happily report that things are looking good and suggest you get out there and see for yourself just how both of these are traveling.*

Continue reading Canberra Visual Arts

Sue Ford Photographer at NGV

Review: Visual Arts/ Photography
Sue Ford, The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, April – August 2014

This exhibition of the photography of Sue Ford (1943 – 2009) at the Victorian State Gallery (National Gallery of Victoria*) is a curious one. Click here – for their media statements.

As an opening statement I have to say that I did not find this  exhibition as satisfactory as I had anticipated. Parts of the exhibition worked reasonably well, whereas other sections look as if someone was not sure what to do with the work, or that maybe they did not understand Sue Ford’s work.

Continue reading Sue Ford Photographer at NGV

Kentridge at Annadale Galleries

Review: Visual Arts
Exhibition and Catalogue: SO
William Kentridge, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, till 24 May 2014.

P1040560I have now posted on William Kentridge several times, the main one being the 2013 exhibition at the NGA in Canberra.

This exhibition at the Annandale Galleries in Sydney is of new work and it fills the whole two floors of the gallery. This is a must-see exhibition and so you are urged to get along to Annandale. And make sure you buy a copy of the $10 catalogue as this is a wonderful small publication in itself.

Continue reading Kentridge at Annadale Galleries

2014 Biennale of Sydney at AGNSW

Review: Visual Arts
Part 2/3: The 2014 Biennale of Sydney at the Art Gallery of NSW

The section of the 2014 Biennale of Sydney at the Art Gallery of NSW is also a mixed lot. (click here for previous post on the MCA). On the day we visited most the rest of the gallery was busy, which is normal for the AGNSW on any day of the week. As we entered the Biennale section we noted that only a few people were in this exhibition.

Continue reading 2014 Biennale of Sydney at AGNSW

2014 Biennale of Sydney at MCA

Review: Visual Arts
Review Part 1/3: The 2014 Biennale of Sydney – at the MCA


The Biennale at the MCA is a very mixed lot. On the day we visited, a Sunday, there were showers outside and maybe that was why there were so many people in the gallery. It was very busy with all sorts of people. I asked about this and was told that Sundays can be busy but this one was definitely the busiest.

Continue reading 2014 Biennale of Sydney at MCA