Category: News

Art and art history related news. Please send news item and media releases to Katrina Grant webmaster@melbourneartnetwork.com.au The decision of what news to publish lies with the editors and their decision is final.

Interview with Eike Schmidt, new director of the Uffizi

Eike Schmidt was one of the new ‘stranieri’ directors of major Italian cultural institutions who were appointed last year as part of a ‘shake up’ intended to end a long period of stagnation. In this interview with Alain Elkann, Schmidt discusses the challenges and developments of the past year (including having to repurchase the uffizi.it domain name and set up a website..). He comments on the need to ‘slow visitors down in front of these masterpieces, to try and motivate people to actually study them’, rather than ‘rush to see the bucket-list masterpieces’. He also notes the need to marry good management skills with scholarly knowledge of the collection ‘Pure management without artistic knowledge might make decisions that work on paper but not in fact. And purely scholarly decisions might make sense to other scholars but not to those who come because they…

Rose Nolan, Jon Campbell and Vernon Ah Kee among finalists in the R & M McGivern Prize

Jon Campbell On For Young & Old 2016 enamel paint, cottonduck 150x150cm Courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight Gallery

  Twenty-seven finalists are in the running for the prestigious $25,000 R & M McGivern Prize for 2016, the winner of which will be announced at the finalists’ exhibition launch, at 6pm on Friday 16 September at ArtSpace, Realm. The R & M McGivern Prize is awarded every three years for an outstanding artwork in oil, gouache, acrylic or watercolour. This year’s theme of “text” attracted entries from more than 200 emerging, mid-career and established artists from across Australia. The shortlist draws together artists working with text – or the idea of text – from a variety of perspective. Texta Queen’s work (below) ‘Congratulations’ shows a certificate awarded to a ‘Good White Person’. The work, in the words of the artist, ‘critically examines concepts of race by flipping the lens onto anti-racist identity.’ Jon Campbell’s ‘On for Young and Old’ explores the power and…

News | National Art School appoints Michael Lynch CBE AM as Interim Director

The National Art School has announced that it has appointed Michael Lynch CBE AM as Interim Director, commencing September 2016. The appointment follows the recent resignation of current Director Michael Snelling, who is relocating to Hong Kong to support his partner Suhanya Raffel as she takes up her position as Director of Hong Kong’s M+ Museum. Mr Lynch commented that: ‘The National Art School has an extraordinary history of creating great artists across genres. I recognize the difficulties that face the School over the coming months and hope to work closely with staff and the Board to find a solution that best benefits the arts, National Art School and all interested stakeholders of which the students are paramount.’ Outgoing National Art School Director Michael Snelling said: “Michael Lynch brings a wealth of experience in the arts, education and government at the…

News | Victorian Government announces $3million for Collingwood Contemporary Arts Precinct

The disused Collingwood tech site is set to become a contemporary arts precinct, with support from the Victorian Government. Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley MP today announced $3 million, as part of the Government’s Creative State strategy, alongside $4.5 million in donations and $4 million already contributed by the State. The announcement heralds the next stage of the creative transformation of the former Collingwood Technical School in Johnston Street. The long abandoned school was given a new lease on life in 2010 when it was earmarked for a new home for Circus Oz. In 2014 Circus Oz moved in to its state-of-the-art new facility occupying 60% of the 10,000sqm site. In a partnership, the Government is working with a social enterprise, Contemporary Arts Precincts (CAP) to redevelop the three triple storey buildings, and spaces including a large leafy courtyard.…

News | Boost for Victoria’s Regional Galleries and Performing Arts centres

The Victorian Government seems determined to buck the federal trend of cutting arts funding by providing support for the arts across the state. Last week the state government announced funding for 90 independent arts companies (including organisations such as CCP that lost federal funding earlier in the year). Today, the Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, announced funding for regional galleries across the state, saying ‘We want to ensure that all Victorians – no matter where they live – have the opportunity to unlock their creative potential and experience the benefits of creative activity. We are supporting some of our oldest art galleries and theatres alongside recently established and redeveloped cultural centres. Funding ensures these venues maintain their place at the heart of community life.” See the full press release below. Regional Victoria will benefit from a major investment in the state’s extensive…

New Society for the History of Emotions/New Journal Emotions: History, Culture, Society

The Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, Europe 1100-1800 (CHE) has announced a new Society for the History of Emotions (SHE). It is a professional association for scholars interested in emotions as historically and culturally-situated phenomena within past and present societies. The Society welcomes members working in the field of the history of emotions across the world, including independent scholars, early career researchers and postgraduates. Membership information will soon be available through our website but in the meantime please email us at: societyhistoryemotions@gmail.com Current committee members consist of: Jacqueline Van Gent (Convenor); Giovanni Tarantino (Research Development Officer); Ute Frevert, Miri Rubin, Stephanie Trigg, Paul Yachnin (Ordinary Members); Andrew Lynch and Katie Barclay (Journal Editors). The Society will publish a new journal dedicated to the History of Emotions: The Society for the History of Emotions, a project of the Australian Research…

News | Finalists for Bowness Prize announced

The judges for this year’s Bowness Prize have announced the list of finalists. From MGA: Judges of the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, including well-known Filmmaker Fred Schepisi, have this week confirmed the 60 emerging and established photographers to secure their positions as finalists in Australia’s most sought-after photography prize, edging closer to winning the $25,000 prize to be announced in September this year. Schepisi was joined by Professional Photographer John Gollings and MGA’s Director Kallie Blauhorn in determining the 2016 finalists of the coveted award, following the review of works submitted across a diverse range of contemporary and traditional photographic genres including street, fashion, art, architectural and documentary styles. “The diversity in both subject and technique in these photographs is fantastic,” said Schepisi on reviewing the 2016 submissions. “It is something to be truly encouraged.” John Gollings continued,…

Weekly News Round-Up | Art and Art History | 13th July 2016

Vesna Pavlović, GREEK: ARCH: ATHENS GEN: ACR: PARTHENON: EPEDIMENT GODDESSES, Endura metallic color print, 30 by 30 inches.

The Art Newspaper has a story about Orhan Pamuk’s keynote address to the ICOM conference in Milan. In his talk Pamuk reflected on the museums we have and the museums we need, saying that in the future we need ‘small and economical museums that address our humanity. All museums are genuine treasures of humankind, but I am against these precious and monumental institutions being used as models for the institutions to come. Museums should explore and uncover the population as a whole and the humanity of the new and modern man that emerges from the growing economies of non-Western countries. I address this manifesto in particular to Asian museums that are experiencing an unprecedented period of growth. The aim of the great state-sponsored museums is to represent a state and that is neither a good nor innocent aim. Here are…

Weekly News Round-Up | 6th July 2016 | Cows for poems, Fact Checking the SCA UNSW merger, More concerns over Indian sculptures at NGA + more

In this chaotic moment of uncertainty (ahem) with no government in Australia perhaps we might have to return to arts funding arrangements of yesteryear and inspire artists with… cows. Amanda Smith of RN has this story about the history of arts funding in Australia in which she reveals that the first arts grant was in the form of two cows ‘from the goverment herd’ given as payment to nineteenth-century poet Michael Masset Robinson for a series of ‘odes for George III and Queen Charlotte on their birthdays. In other signs of the apocalypse (though admittedly this was reported on the eve of the election) an artist has managed to hang his own painting on the wall at the NGV next to Picasso’s weeping woman. The artist, Ben Butcher, declares that ‘We live in an age where monolithic cultural institutions no longer have a…

News | Mami Kataoka appointed Artistic Director of 21st Biennale of Sydney

The Biennale of Sydney has announced that the artistic director for the 21st Biennale in 2018 will be Mami Kataoka.    Mami Kataoka, is the Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum (MAM) in Tokyo, and she is the first curator from Asia to be appointed as Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney. She was one of thirteen eminent international advisors to this year’s 20th edition and already has strong connections to local curators and artist. Ms. Kataoka is regarded as a key figure in analysing socio-historical and generational trends within Japanese and Asian art. From the BoS   Ms. Kataoka is renowned internationally for her curatorial practice, having engaged in many projects including ‘ROUNDTABLE: 9th Gwangju Biennale’ (2012) as co-artistic director and guest curator of ‘Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past’ (2012) at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Ms. Kataoka also…

Arts Funding and the 2016 Federal Election

For the first time that I can remember Arts Funding has been a Federal Election issue (this article from Ben Eltham is a reminder that arts and culture barely rated a mention in 2013). This year there have been stories every week and we even saw a National Arts Debate between representatives of each major party. There wre a number of other forums where politicians, artists and others discussed the many issues surrounding arts funding and making a living in the arts. Although arts funding has no doubt been foremost in many of our minds, the fact that the Coalition has not released an arts policy suggests it is hardly foremost in their minds. It is also unfortunate that the reason it has turned into an issue is not because our potential leaders have broad and expansive visions for the arts…

Wednesday News Round Up | 29th June 2016 | Arts Funding, Brexit, SCA and UNSW merger + more

News The Daily Review has come out with an editorial saying that ‘A Vote for the Coalition is a Vote against the Arts’ and with Arts Minister Mitch Fifield yet to release an arts policy and only the coalition’s past performance on arts funding (de-funding more like it) it’s a pretty straightforward claim. I am aiming to a pre-election round-up on Friday of all the latest arts funding news and debates and links to the policies of the main parties (where they exist…). The protests over cuts have been making international news with stories in Hyperallergic and Apollo Magazine. The other major news is the recently announced merger of the Sydney College of Art with UNSW. The VCA’s Su Baker has a great opinion piece in The Australian where she makes the point that the SCA has been punching well above its weight and…

Invitation to submit material – Women, Feminism and Art in Australia since 1970

Call out for submissions from Australian artists who engage with feminism in their work. Women, Feminism and Art in Australia since 1970 – Invitation to submit material Professor Anne Marsh has commenced work on her Australian Research Council project ‘Women, Feminism and Art in Australia since 1970’. The project will investigate the impact of feminism on contemporary Australian art, revealing the roles and interactions between gender, race, class and ethnicity. It will analyse and interpret the history of feminism in the visual arts during the critical decades since the 1970s, and the impact of feminist thought on the ways in which Australian society views representations of women across cultural differences. At its best, feminism must embrace the diverse nature of lived female experience. The challenge of a project such as this is to find a method that both acknowledges and celebrates…

NGV acquires Degas sculpture

Edgar Degas Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot (Second study) c. 1900–10, cast 1919–37 or later bronze 47.3 x 24.3 x 20.8 cm Czestochowski/Pingeot 59 (cast T) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased with funds donated by Leigh Clifford AO and Sue Clifford, 2016

At today’s preview for the new Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition – Degas: A new vision – the NGV announced that one sculpture in the exhibition will be staying in Melbourne. Degas’s ‘Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot (Second study)’ has been purchased for the NGV collection with funds donated by Leigh and Sue Clifford. Many of Degas’ sculptures were unknown during his lifetime. After the poor reception of his now-famous ‘Little Dancer’ (a cast of which is in the exhibition) in 1881 he kept much of his work in sculpture secret. He modelled in wax and is known to have remade and often destroyed works. Around 150 wax studies were found in his studio when he died in 1917 and 74 of these were salvaged and cast in bronze by the Adrien-A. Hébrard Foundry, Paris, and their Milanese master craftsman Albino Palazzolo. The NGV’s new sculpture is…

Wednesday News Round Up | 15th June 2016 | Writing about art, Arts Funding, Australian Museum Director’s salaries + more

A new column from Burnaway will examine ‘Artspeak’ – the first column takes apart that the arts press release, the forum where I personally read some of most breathlessly nonsensical statements about art. Matthew Terrell observes that ‘A bit of simple explanation goes a long way in engaging the public. Tell us what it is: a dance show, an art installation, a DJ performance, an online event, etc. Don’t overinflate your words until your sentences are bulging at the seams. Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it clear.’ Yes! Fisun Güner in the Spectator observes that good art writing is not necessarily simple, while she agrees that ‘art-speak should be blasted, I dread the spread of the far more cynical and bland approach’ of dumbed-down accessible writing. Pac Pobric’s review of Liam Gillick’s new book Industry and Intelligence, drawing…