Category Archives: Art

THE GUGGENHEIM IN HOLLAND – Cobra Museum

Karel Appel's playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum, Amstelveen.

Karel Appel’s playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.



I feel well disposed towards artists who admit they really don’t understand what they’re doing.

“I just mess around a bit,” said Dutch artist Karel Appel; and it became the most famous thing he ever said in his life.

Appel’s work and that of his 1950s contemporaries from COpenhagen, BRussels and Amsterdam is celebrated in the COBRA Museum in Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam. The museum’s permanent collection is one of the Netherlands’ greatest treasures.

This year, Appel and his fellow Cobras have been joined in Amstelveen by work from New York’s Guggenheim. Pollack, Rothko, de Koning, Poliakoff and others splashed, dribbled and daubed colour onto canvas, apparently at random, yet by some magical process the effect is wonderful. We thought the exhibition was fabulous, and highly recommend it to anyone who’ll be in Amsterdam over the next few months. Continue reading

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ENTER VIA THE GIFT SHOP – St Paul de Vence

The Grand Fountain.

The Grand Fountain.

It’s always nice when Fairfax media publishes my work in the ‘Traveller’ section of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age. It means I can then release the full story on this blog…

The artists came to Saint-Paul-de-Vence because it was beautiful, quiet and cheap. The dealers moved in to hang out with the artists and buy their work. Their galleries attracted the tourists and smart restaurants replaced the artists’ smoky cafes and bars. The artists passed away or drifted away to find somewhere quieter and cheaper. Continue reading

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SAVING INDIA’S MONA LISA

Hey, have a look at this...

The beautiful Padmapani, holder of the lotus and protector of the Buddha, herself preserved by being hidden in a cave for 1500 years. India’s Mona Lisa?



John Smith of the 28th cavalry was out looking for tigers in 1819, when he found a cave, full of bats and rubble and used by local people for religious ceremonies.

He’d stumbled upon one of the world’s ancient wonders, man-made Buddhist caves dating back to at least the fifth century AD, and probably seven hundred years before that. John was so excited he scratched his name on the wall, as explorers were wont to do.

Since word got out about the discovery, millions of people have followed him into the Ajanta Caves, and although we take off our shoes or pull soft covers over them, we’re all doing our little bit to damage them.
Continue reading

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UNEARTHING A LITTLE-KNOWN AUSTRALIAN TREASURE

Robert Klippel: Number 751

Robert Klippel: Number 751

Tucked away behind the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a little gem too few people seem to find.

The tourist buses pull up and visitors pile into the gallery itself, but few stroll around the back to the Sculpture Garden, where between the lawns, the lakes, the eucalypts and casuarinas are some of the big boys (notably Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin) and a sprinkling of Australia’s finest 3D artists. Continue reading

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RUSSIAN ART in The Hague

AES +F Angels and Demons

Studio AES +F: Angels and Demons


A regular sculpture event brings us down to Den Haag whenever it’s held.

The lovely, leafy avenue known as Lange Voorhout hosts an outdoor exhibition, under the aegis of the excellent Museum Beelden aan Zee (‘Museum of Sculpture by the Sea’).

This year’s theme is RUSSIA XXI, featuring work by some of that country’s finest contemporary artists. Continue reading

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HENRY MOORE IN AMSTERDAM – Rijksmuseum

Why is everyone ignoring me?

Why is everyone ignoring me?

To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.

We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading

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