Harry Seidler with Josef Albers Homage to the Square

Harry Seidler: The Collector

Whilst modernist architecture made its way to Australia through various routes, only one architect fully embodied the Bauhaus spirit that united art, architecture and design: Harry Seidler. With a significant collection of art and design of his own, and an impressive list of public commissions from artists including Alexander Calder, Frank Stella and Sol...

Lee Krasner - Combat (1965)

Lee Krasner: Two Masterpieces

Being the home to one of Jackson Pollock’s masterpieces, it is easy to forget about the two great paintings by his wife, Lee Krasner, in Australian collections. Although there are only two canvasses, they each symbolise a different milestone in the artist’s career and are important examples in their own right. This week I'll...

Zhang Xiaogang - Three Comrades (from the Bloodline: Big Family series) 1994

Zhang Xiaogang: Early works in Australia

Although Australian-Chinese political relations are currently tense, Australia has a long history of collecting and exhibiting contemporary Chinese artists. The exhibition ‘Mao Goes Pop: China Post 1989’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 1993 was one of the first major exhibitions of the influential group of ’85 New Wave artists outside...

Gerhard Richter, Juno, 1983

Gerhard Richter: Abstraktes Bilder

There aren’t many Gerhard Richter paintings in Australian collections (five in total, spread out between the museums in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide), but they are all of great quality. Moreover, they perfectly capture the various stages of Richter’s original engagement with colourful abstract painting from the late 1970s through to the 1990s -...

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, 1981,

Cindy Sherman: The Australian Perspective

With works spanning from her early and seminal Untitled Film Stills to her more recent society portraits, Cindy Sherman is another artist who is exceptionally well-represented in Australian collections. Between the public collections in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, Australia is home to 18 of her works, including important historical pieces such as Untitled...

Andreas Gursky - Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 1997

Andreas Gursky: Stock Exchanges

As the global financial markets have entered another financial crisis, Andreas Gursky’s series of stock exchanges have once again become highly relevant symbols of our globalised world. This week I will be looking at two of the works from this series that are housed in Australia: ‘Chicago Mercantile Exchange’ (1997) and ‘New York Mercantile...

Martha Rosler - House Beautiful: Giacometti (1967-72)

Martha Rosler: Critical Domesticity

Martha Rosler might not be a household name in Australia, but is a highly influential figure in feminist and political art history. Born in Brooklyn and educated in California, her work examines the power structures that inform representation and commodification, particularly of the female body. Her videos and photo-montages in the public collections in...

Richard Prince - Untitled (Cowboy)

Richard Prince: Untitled (Cowboy)

With only four works in Australian museum collections (all in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and all donated by John Kaldor), Richard Prince is not exactly well-represented in Australia. However, one of those four works happens to be very important, and that's what I'll be looking at this week:...

Bridget Riley - Big Blue

Bridget Riley: The Australian Perspective

With works in every major museum collection and many private collections across the continent, Bridget Riley was an obvious candidate to start this series of articles dedicated to exploring international contemporary art in Australia. The aim, to narrate recent art-history from the perspective of works in Australian collections, is ideally suited to Riley, who...

Jackson Pollock - Blue Poles 1952

Contemporary Art in Australia

When I first visited Australia, it struck me how lively the local art scene is compared to most other countries. With a large number of institutional and commercial exhibition spaces, art magazines with critical discourse, biennales, art fairs and private collections, the Australian contemporary art scene is thriving. What also struck me after doing...