Tag: News

News | NGV Senior Curator Dr Ted Gott awarded Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government

On Thursday 9 June 2016, Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, received a Knighthood from the French government for services to French culture, The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters). The insignia was presented by His Excellency M. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France, in a ceremony which took place at Alliance Francaise, St Kilda. Ted Gott is Senior Curator of International Art at the National Gallery of Victoria. He has curated and co-curated 26 exhibitions, including The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay (2004), Kiss of the Beast: From Paris Salon to King Kong (2005), Modern Britain 1900-1960 (2007), Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire (2009) and Napoleon: Revolution to Empire (2012). He has published widely on Australian, British and French art, and in 2013 co-authored a cultural history…

Wednesday News Round Up | 8th June 2016 | Arts and the election, the rise of the Private Museum, NGV MoMA + more

The recent cuts and restructure of the Australia Council means that the arts sector is pushing harder than usual for arts to be a factor in the election. This week the Greens have proposed the idea for a ‘living wage’ for creatives to cover the fact that many artists are paid very little, or nothing at all, as they try to establish themselves. A report in Arts Hub on the first of several discussions organised by NAVA (National Association for Visual Arts) and Artspace looking at how to push a vote for culture onto the stage. Labor has promised to boost arts funding by $160 million if elected and promises to dump the Catalyst program. An article by Sharon Verghis in The Australian on the rise of the private museum and how they’re changing the landscape and dynamics of art markets, cultural patronage and…

News | Wurundjeri group raising funds to purchase William Barak painting

A group representing Melbourne’s Aboriginal population is trying to raise money to buy a work by William Barak From The Age Ceremony, a relatively small work in earth, ink and charcoal on paper, will go to auction at Bonham’s in Sydney on Tuesday night. The picture was created by Wurundjeri elder Barak – known by some in the Aboriginal community as “Uncle William” or “Grandfather” – in 1897. It was exchanged by its creator for a glass work by English craftsman Frank Piggott Webb, and has remained with Webb’s descendants until now. You can find their crowdfunding page here: https://chuffed.org/project/bringing-barak-home

Wednesday News Round Up | 1st June 2016 |

The rediscovery of a portrait by Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) was announced this week. As announced on the Villa Ludovisi website the subject shows “Costanza Sforza of Santa Fiore (1560-1617), wife of the Duke of Sora, Giacomo Boncompagni (1548-1612). Giacomo himself was the legitimated son of Ugo Boncompagni = Pope Gregory XIII (1505-1572-1585). So at the time of her marriage in 1576—at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, with the whole College of Cardinals in attendance—Costanza Sforza found herself in the unusual position of daughter-in-law to a reigning Pope.” Plans for a Ballarat Biennale of Australian Art that would ‘draw in $10 million to Ballarat’s economy from an anticipated 100,000 visitors‘ were flagged last week. The proposal is headed by Julie Collins, previously curator of Lorne Sculpture Biennale, she has proposed that the ‘Biennale will be held over six weeks in September…

Wednesday Art News Round Up | May 25th 2016 | Rediscovered sculptures, more on the Arts Cuts, robots in the gallery, reflections on curating + more

mino da fiesole

A fascinating story broke last week in the Arts Newspaper about the rediscovery of 59 Italian Renaissance sculptures missing from Berlin’s collections since the Second World War. The sculptures have been identified in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, and include works by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Andrea del Verrocchio, Francesco Laurana and Mino da Fiesole that were housed in Berlin’s Bode Museum before the war. They had been assumed destroyed (alongside other masterpieces such as Caravaggio’s Saint Matthew and the Angel) after the building they were stored in caught fire. It seems that they are not in good condition but there are plans to restore them and put them back on display. More on the Arts Cuts A great piece from Alison Croggon in The Monthly, which I missed last week, outlines how we have ended up here. ‘Let’s…

News | Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab Artists announced

Last week the City of Melbourne announced the artists who will participate in the inaugural Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab: What happens now? at Queen Victoria Market. The selected artists are: Hiromi Tango; Jessie Bullivant; Kiron Robinson; Steven Rhall; Willurai Kirkbright; Sanné Mestrom and Jamie Hall from The Mechanic’s Institute; Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine; Jason Maling and Martyn Coutts from Field Theory; Will Foster from A Centre for Everything and Timothy Moore from SIBLING. From the City of Melbourne: More than 150 artists from around Australia applied to take part in the Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab: an experimental temporary art project run by the City of Melbourne which will result in major new public art installations at the Queen Victoria Market (QVM), coinciding with the Melbourne Festival in October. These artists will spend two weeks in June developing their…

Wednesday Art News Round-up | 18th May 2016 |

Happy International Museum Day! The big news in the arts over the past week was the new of who missed out on renewed funding from teh Australia Council, after the funding budget was drastically cut to create the new Catalyst funding program. Below are some of the main stories and analysis, we are obviously still in the midst of the fall-out from this, though unfortunately arts and the funding of it doesn’t look to be much on the radar of the election campaign, though at least one new party wants to change this – the newly registered Arts Party, led by Sydney-based artist PJ Collins, will take a stand for the arts, cultural life and creative industries of Australia. Collins, who co-founded the party with Nicholas Gledhill back in 2013, says that “forming a political party to support the sector…

Wednesday Art News Round Up | May 11th 2016 | Arts Funding, Leonardo madness, those Aussie posters + more

A great piece from the sporadically posting but always entertaining Grumpy Art historian on reviewing the reviewers. He takes issue with the gushing nonsense becoming increasingly common in reviews of art exhibitions and the way that they really don’t engage critically with much of the art or exhibitions that they profess to review (the piece is also a very good review in and of itself of the current royal Academy Giorgione exhibition). A thoughtful article by William Scates Frances on those ‘Aussie’ posters by artist Peter Drew that have been popping up around the streets of Australian cities. He points out that taking these images of historical figures and simply labeling them as Aussie raises (or ignores) broader issues and ends up sweeping ‘racist histories’ under the rug by projecting ‘acceptance back into the past.’ This week in ‘anything about Leonardo…

Wednesday Art News Round Up | April 20th 2016 | David Hockney at NGV, Copyright Wins and Losses, etc

Yesterday the NGV announced their main exhibitions for the Spring and Sunmmer this year. The major summer exhibition at the NGV International will be a major solo exhibition of art by David Hockney (opening 11 November 2016 at NGV International). The exhibition, curated by the NGV in collaboration with David Hockney and his studio, will feature more than 700 works from the past decade of the artist’s career – some new and many never exhibted before in Australia. The exhibition will include paintings, digital drawings, photography and video works. One major work inclluded will be The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods, a video work that shows the changing landscape of Hockney’s native Yorkshire, each season comprised of nine high-definition screens. Over at the NGV Australia the main exhibition will be a retrospective of John Olsen (opening in September). The exhibition will follow the work of…

Wednesday Art News Round Up | April 13th 2016 | Caravaggio etc

The painting Judith Beheading Holofernes at its presentation in Paris. It may have been painted by Caravaggio (1571-1610) and could be worth €120m. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

The big art history news today is that in France a painting has surfaced that is being touted as the lost Caravaggio painting of Judith Beheading Holofernes, known to have been painted while he was in Naples after fleeing Rome. The expert touting the discovery, Eric Turquin (who is also a dealer) claims that the painting was found stashed away in an attic and has since undergone two years of cleaning and close examination. The story in the Guardian points out that Caravaggio expert Nicola Spinoza supposedly supports the attribution, whereas Mina Gregori does not. There is some suggestion the painting might be by the Flemish artist Louis Finson, a painter and art dealer who worked in Naples at the same time as Caravaggio. Finson is believed to have been in possession of the lost Caravaggio of Judith and Holofernes in 1607,…

News | NGV attendance figures rank alongside major international museums

Image of visitro figures from the Art Newspaper

The annual Art Newspaper report on attendance figures always makes for interesting reading. There are the unsurprising results (the Louvre remains the most visited museum in the world with 8.6 million over the year), alongside the news that the NGV nabbed three positions in the list of the most popular Contemporary Art Exhibitions of 2015, with the David Shrigley exhibition in top place, followed by Carlo Amorales and Ryan Trecartin, and its Medieval Moderns (based on the NGV’s permanent collection) garnering over 350k visitors. All three were free exhibitions. As Michaela Boland in The Australian has already pointed out these figures are based on the numbers of visitors to the gallery while the exhibition was on, not on actual visitors to each exhibition. Since the NGV has just announced that the very popular Warhol/Weiwei exhibition has hit 300 000 visitors after…

News | New publishing opportunities for art historians

Two academic presses have recently announced new series focused on art history and visual culture. Both seem to be spearheaded partly by ex-Ashgate editors, a silver lining to the sad end of those excellent series. Bloomsbury Publishing has announced that Margaret Michniewicz, formerly Commissioning Editor at Ashgate, will be developing a new publishing program of research monographs in visual culture and art history. From Bloomsbury: Bloomsbury is thrilled to welcome Margaret Michniewicz to our Editorial team to introduce a new type of research publishing for us in a general area where we already excel,” said US Academic Publishing Director Kevin Ohe. “Margaret brings with her deep experience working with a cohort of tremendous authors. She’ll help us add strength to our robust publishing program in the visual arts, and we’re looking forward to working with the authors she’ll bring to…

News | Art at Australian Universities

An interesting story in The Australian yesterday that highlights the significant collections of art held by our universities (and the large amount of art being made or performed within a university environment) and the unfortunate fact that the broader public is often unaware of them. Link to the full article here. The vast contribution of univer­sities to Australia’s cultural landscape through art and museum collections and the creation of new artistic works is not only under-appreciated by experts but goes largely unnoticed by the broader community, a new paper claims. “Universities are prolific collectors of artworks,” Jenny Wilson writes in a paper in the most ­recent edition of Australian Universities Review. They are also ­prolific creators of the arts, she says, noting that there are more than 100,000 students undertaking tertiary level creative arts programs. The 2012 Excellence in ­Research for Australia exercise…

News | Report on gender representation in the contemporary visual arts reveals continued imbalances

To coincide with International Women’s Day NAVA has released a report on gender representation in the contemporary visual arts has been released today. What it reveals – that there is a continuing imbalance of power with men holding more positions at senior levels and male artists significantly better represented by commercial galleries – is hardly surprising to anyone working in the arts. Nonetheless, reports that bring together hard data on these issues are important and hopefully it prompts further discussion we continue to see these imbalances being addressed. As Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) observes, ‘Despite the reputation of the arts as challenging outdated paradigms, it continues to fail on gender issues. Old habits die hard. We thought we’d won the battle in the 80s when the spotlight was shone on the systemic privileging of men in…

Threats to funding of the National Library of Australia’s ‘Trove’

Disturbing news came out last week that proposed cuts to the budget of the National Library of Australia may threaten the future of Trove. While there are no threats to service as a whole, one effect of the cuts may be tat Trove will stop “aggregating content in Trove from museums and universities unless it is fully funded to do so.” There is also the possibility that digitisation of collections will slow down. These cuts follow years of funding cuts to our cultural institutions by both sides of government. This is seriously bad news for humanities researchers (among others), who rely on Trove as an easily accessible and very user-friendly ‘collection of collections’. Trove is free and available to anyone, anywhere in the world, making it an important tool that drives research both inside and outside of academia. Moreover, Trove is recognised…