Art Critic articles

Watching the world from behind

Watching the world from behind

By Rhonda Dredge The best work comes out of the imagination of artists rather than curators at public institutions or sanctioned trends. Growing up in the art world helps. The parents of Brendan Huntley, showing at Tolarno, were potters. This gave him the impetus at an early age to follow his bent. “In my nature

Portraits of a fictional artist

By Rhonda Dredge Photographs no longer reflect the world; rather the world reflects them. They deliver a version of reality that at a surface level is consumed as “truth”. “As such, photographs demand an act of faith,” Kiron Robinson said, curator of a group exhibition at Sara Scout Presents in Collins St. Kiron was present

Final John Nixon works on show

By Rhonda Dredge There is still time to catch the cool minimal- ism of John Nixon in an exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Flinders Lane. The exhibition must break a record for a commercial gallery in that it’s showing for 10 months. The gallery rejected a digital solution when the exhibition was forced to

Made for the home office

By Rhonda Dredge There’s an old adage bandied around among gallerists that when times are difficult you show difficult art. Neon Parc has opened up, the first gallery in the CBD, with a difficult show. It’s not easy to connect with the exhibition called House Arrest. Ho Ho Ho Chinese Scroll, for example, seems particularly

A different view from Eastern Hill

By Rhonda Dredge When you gather artists together you usually have controversy, even at the Victorian Artists’ Society (VAS) in its lovely Romanesque building just east of the Hoddle Grid. Not many are aware of the pleasures of the society nor its illustrious history. It was here in the late 1800s that the Heidelberg School

Museum quality work in Flinders Lane

By Rhonda Dredge, When you are an artist, it’s not just a case of getting the job done. It’s the thought that goes into the work that counts because you want a viewer to retrace those steps. In Cassie Leatham’s Echidna Dish the materials include echidna quills, an abalone shell and pipe clay. It’s unlikely

Building the city we deserve

By Rhonda Dredge When Jax Jacki Brown arrived at the town hall for Broadside, the unashamedly feminist festival last month, she wasn’t expecting to be marginalised. Afterall, she was on one of the panels. The outspoken campaigner was told by ushers at the venue to sit in an area for the disabled. She objected because

From the stock room

By Rhonda Dredge You’re judged in the art world by the decisions you make and Anna Schwartz remembers going down to an artist-run space in Prahran in the early ‘90s.  “When I first started going to Store 5 I was so interested in the artists and what they were doing there,” she said. “They were

Tweet or deWitt: that is the question

By Rhonda Dredge Standing in a queue for a book signing is one of the hidden pleasures of the Melbourne Writers Festival, a place where you can hang out to pick up tips from great storytellers or just get close to fans. Near the front of the queue for the clever author of French Exit

Casual encounters with the past

By Rhonda Dredge Radical families are inspiring and the van Schaiks are a name when it comes to the CBD, in architecture and now art. In fact, Leon van Schaik, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at RMIT could be named a CBD hero.  Back in the ’80s when heritage remakes were the rage, he was responsible

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