Bill Henson

Bill Henson

Some 10 years ago, Australian photographer Bill Henson was the subject of rolling controversy, with opprobrium upon him cast from household kitchens to houses of Parliament. His use of young pubescent models in attitudes that insinuate sexual imaginings, while accepted as artistic prerogative within the confines of a gallery, met with public outcry when the…

William Eggleston Portraits

William Eggleston Portraits

A photographer for more than 50 years William Eggleston is revered as one of the most important artists of the 20th-century in his field. This, though, has not always been the case. Showcasing the use of colour at a time when black and white alone were considered the stuff of which fine arts was made,…

Looking at Looking - The Photographic Gaze

Looking at Looking - The Photographic Gaze

  I stand in NGV’s photography exhibition gallery, facing a whole wall studded with 20 pictures from Bill Henson’s Untitled 1980-1982 series. Forget silhouettes of girlish nudes, over which the Melbourne artist incurred public wrath some three years ago. Here, crowds in Melbourne from 30 years past appear to be waiting — for what, it is not clear. One can only speculate they are probably waiting…

Deep Water

Mystique permeates Deep Water, National Gallery of Victoria’s small yet imperious photography exhibition, wafting through the gallery like a vapourised presence. With just 38 pieces (drawn from the Gallery’s own collection), the presentation seems to grip visitors with a silent and intense power. Deep Water spotlights a coterie of cameramen and (a couple of) women from the 1800s to the…

Vienna Art and Design

Vienna Art and Design

  To anyone who thinks what was avant garde more than a century ago must surely be archaic today, think again. Vienna: Art and Design, a magnificent exhibition of more than 250 works at the NGV International, demonstrates how close the aesthetic world of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century resembles that of the present, across continents,…