Susie Burge

MCA: Anish Kapoor

At Australia’s MCA, an exhibition by famous contemporary British sculptor Anish Kapoor is a tour de force, writes Susie Burge


Above: Anish Kapoor 2007. Image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: Phillipe Chancel

There’s largeness about Anish Kapoor, in every way. His voice is resonant and modulated, with the eloquence of a Shakespearean actor; his presence is charismatic (he’s not a tall man, yet there’s a compelling aura); and of course there’s his work. In 2011 Kapoor installed “Leviathan” in the Grand Palais in Paris. Part of the annual Monumenta series (following on from Anselm Keifer and Christian Boltanski), Leviathan, strikingly, architecturally and quite beautifully, took up the entire gi-normous space, as if the building itself were pregnant, and created a new transitory environment. In 2012, his mad tower - Orbit - was the headline art exhibit and viewing platform for the London Olympics. Now, in Sydney, he addresses the contentious issue of public sculpture (he’s on record as saying he thinks it should be more than a bit of decoration on the lawn) by waving a hand to the surrounds, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, both visible from the museum, as effective (architectural) examples of public sculpture. Kapoor is a believer in scale. Placed just outside the Museum of Contemporary Art, his own Sky Mirror joins the conversation.

MONA: Theatre of the World

Is Theatre of the World MONA’s most extraordinary achievement yet? The exhibition combines the collections of David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art and The Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery in a tour de force by renowned guest curator Jean- Hubert Martin. The long-running show continues over the summer, alongside MONA’s hit list of festivals and events (MOFO, MoMa, JAM …) Hobart has never seemed so intriguing, writes Susie Burge


Above: Barkcloth Room with Coffin of Iret-Heru-ru Egypt, late 26th Dynasty, c. 600–525 BCE. Photo Credit: MONA/Rémi Chauvin Image Courtesy MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Angus Nivison: A Survey

A world-class survey show at one of Australia’s modest regional galleries is a must-see, writes Susie Burge


Above clockwise: Tamworth Regional Gallery Angus Nivison Survey Show; Summer Cotton Bimbang (detail); Hard Rain (detail).

The New England does winter well. Lean, spare, hungry-looking hills, coloured in pale shades of wheat and silver, with grey woolly sheep bunkering down or white-faced cattle huddled under lone eucalypts, and avenues of leafless poplars etched against a watery sky laced with mackerel cloud. On a very cold day, there is snow out here, a slender blanket laid like icing over the landscape, and dangerous slip on the road. Read More...

Geoff Dyer - Vision Splendid

No one does moody Tasmanian landscapes & seascapes quite like Geoff Dyer. Susie Burge meets the award-winning painter on his home turf.


Geoff Dyer in his Hobart studio; creative mess - the artist's studio; Ocean Beach oil on canvas 122 x 213cm

Geoff Dyer picks me up from my hotel in a battered old green BMW, ashtray overflowing, cigarette ash drifting in the air. His weathered face cracks into a roguish grin. We arrive at his studio, in an old brewery. Unlocking the door, he apologises for the mess. I don’t mind mess, I respond (this is true). “This is where it happens!” he announces with a self-deprecating flourish.

I enter an artist’s studio from central casting: paint-splattered raw floor, worn leather club chairs, canvasses stacked and propped, buckets, rags, tubes, brushes, papers, boots – everything crusted in oil paint. It’s situated in a turn-of-the-century building with exposed rafters and unrendered rough-painted brick walls. The windows are original, arched and flooded with pale Hobart light.