Anthony McCall makes air visible

While air is often invisible and elusive, Anthony McCall’s light installation Crossing 2016 draws viewers’ attention to the volume of air held within a space. This dramatic ‘solid light’ sculpture makes air visible through shafts of light intersecting with smoke haze. Those entering McCall’s expansive light installation at the Gallery of Modern Art are met…

Photographic tableau highlights historical injustices

Nature Morte (Agriculture) and Nature Morte (Blackbird), from Australian photographic artist Michael Cook’s ‘Natures Mortes’ series, draw on visual strategies affiliated with the still‑life genre — particularly the memento mori, a visual reminder of the inevitability of death — to highlight the devastating impact of colonisation from an Indigenous point of view. Michael Cook ‘Nature…

The Mystery behind William Dobell’s ‘The Cypriot’

In 1940, William Dobell (1899-1970) returned to Australia after ten years in Europe. He completed The Cypriot (illustrated) that same year, a portrait of his friend Aegus Gabrielides. Was it the first major painting he produced, and what is the mystery behind the work? RELATED: The life and art of William Dobell DELVE DEEPER: The…

Jeffrey Smart: The traveller

Jeffrey Smart (1921-2013) is one of Australia’s most recognised painters, but not because he paints identifiably Australian subjects or locations. Smart has a consistent fascination with the present day, and has always found the contemporary world beautiful, whatever his locations. The scenes that Smart chooses are usually mundane — parks, bus stops, expressways, petrol-stations, traffic…