David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

30 April 2016

Sleepers Awake... Awake... Awake... Awake... Dawn Chorus... Chorus... Chorus... Chorus...

 Huh? What?

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


29 April 2016

Will Dyson again

Lest Ye See  
As Others See Yee  
There Should Be A Law!  

AAA_Art Archive Australia  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


27 April 2016


Art Official Age, 37th studio album by Prince, September 2014

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


25 April 2016

Missing In Action | This Present Inaction

Anzac Day 2016: Australia's finest war artist is missing in action
April 25, 2016 - 12:15AM
Ross McMullin / THE AGE (full text quoted below)

Why is Will Dyson nowhere to be seen at the War Memorial?
"This year marks the centenary of Will Dyson becoming Australia's first official war artist. Ballarat-born Dyson, a remarkably talented and versatile artist-writer, had struggled to find a congenial niche in Australia, but after venturing to England in 1909 became such a stunning success as a cartoonist for the London Daily Herald that he was described six years later as the most famous Australian in the world.

Dyson retained a sentimental attachment to his homeland despite feeling he had to leave it to make his mark. He was profoundly moved by the Australian Imperial Force's contribution at Gallipoli, and his emotions were further stirred when Australian soldiers became involved at the Western Front in 1916 and suffered immense casualties at Fromelles and Pozieres – almost 30,000 in two months.
May 1919 Daily Herald cartoon by Will Dyson ''Peace and Future Cannon Fodder' in which he predicts and depicts the next generation of cannon fodder - "1940 Class".
Dyson felt impelled to contribute. He volunteered to go to France to create an illustrated record of this significant epoch in the national story. His application declared that he wanted "to interpret in a series of drawings, for national preservation, the sentiments and special Australian characteristics of our army". Dyson, by now 36, began as an artist during the most severe French winter for decades.

Some artists who followed Dyson to the Western Front gravitated to colourful landscapes or scenes of dramatic action – blood-and-thunder bayonet charges, lethal military hardware, straining horses dragging big guns forward. Dyson's focus was different. He concentrated on the men.

What he showed in his black-and-white sketches was much harder to draw – exhaustion and endurance, grit and grime. He sketched Australians waiting, resting and sleeping. He captured them stumbling out of the line, drained and dazed. He drew weariness, perseverance, fatalism. "I never cease to marvel, admire and love with an absolutely uncritical love our louse-ridden Diggers," he declared.

 Will Dyson, 1916, Coming out on the Somme
Dyson revered Australia's soldiers and their achievements, but he utterly detested war. "I'll never draw a line to show war except as the filthy business it is," he told his friend Charles Bean, the Australian official correspondent (and, later, the AIF's official historian). Bean concluded that Dyson experienced at least 10 times more of the real Western Front than any other official artist, British or Australian. Indeed, Dyson, though a non-combatant artist, was wounded twice.
Bean and Dyson were prominent in discussions at the front about how Australia's contribution in the conflict should be commemorated. As the concept of what was to become the Australian War Memorial took shape, Dyson remarked that battlefield models had been especially evocative in equivalent institutions that he had visited, and they should be a priority for Australia's museum. The upshot was the creation of the acclaimed dioramas that have been such a feature of the Memorial, and still are today.
Dyson ended up providing the Memorial with more than 270 works of art. Bean envisaged that the museum would have a special Dyson gallery – no other artist, he believed, captured the Digger as insightfully as Dyson. According to Michael McKernan, who was to become the deputy director of the Memorial and its historian, "Dyson gave all that he had to the AIF, to Bean and to his art, and created a series of drawings and paintings of extraordinary power and pathos”.

Dyson was not only Australia's first official war artist. To his admirers he remains Australia's finest ever war artist.
All this makes the present state of affairs at the Australian War Memorial inexplicable. As the Memorial confirmed earlier this month, the number of Dyson works on display there is zero. Charlie Bean would turn in his grave.
 The mate, 1919, by Will Dyson 

The Dyson gallery that Bean anticipated never eventuated, because by the time the Australian War Memorial was constructed another world war had begun, and subsequent conflicts have further restricted its capacity to display the World War I materials in its possession.
The Memorial, of course, faces endless challenges and onerous choices when it has far more items worthy of exhibit than it has space to display them. In the end, though, it boils down to a question of priorities. And the Memorial was given substantial additional funding to overhaul its World War I galleries for the centenary.

Dyson wrote about the war as superbly as he sketched Australian soldiers. His 1918 book Australia at War, a little-known classic, featured some of his finest drawings with a moving inscription alongside. Some of this art and writing – "Stretcher-Bearers" and "Dead Beat" spring to mind – would provide a more meaningful window into the real AIF experience than, say, the Memorial's sweeping Streeton landscapes where the war is practically non-existent.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne has demonstrated a different perception of Dyson's significance. Its current exhibition illuminating Dyson's life and work will remain on show for a year.

 Will Dyson at work 
It's one thing to acknowledge that the Australian War Memorial has a difficult task in choosing which items to display in the limited space available. It's another thing altogether to find that in the month of Anzac Day, in the centenary year commemorat-ing the start of our finest war artist's work in France, and after a lavishly funded overhaul, the Memorial has ended up with none of his 270-plus works on display. What were they thinking?"

Will Dyson, National Portrait Gallery, Australia  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


24 April 2016

Edwin Tanner

Painted in the same year and same city as
Collins St, 5p.m. by John Brack :

click image to enlarge  

 CNG Matrix Label Poem
 Edwin Tanner The Board of Directors1955-1956

AUD $60,000

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


23 April 2016

Shakespeare Alive 452nd Anniversary, Shakespeare Dead 400th Anniversay

Prince yesterday, 
Shakespeare today...
Clown :
What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night 

TAR presents :

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


22 April 2016


After all that midnight excitement I drifted off to sleep very late listening to a BBC doco about the Rolling Stones survey exhibition in London and with the radio bud still in my ear incorporated into a dream someone telling me Prince had died. 
I was very sad in the dream and this continued on as I walked the streets with an old cassette-radio trying to find Prince music, searching from station to station. Later I was quite shocked when awake I heard the news again, only for real.

- email to a friend
I was dreamin' when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray

But when I woke up this mornin'
Coulda sworn it was judgment day

The sky was all purple
There were people running everywhere
Trying to run from the destruction
You know I didn't even care

1999 (1999, 1982)

Two thousand zero zero party over
Oops out of time
Yeah, Yeah
So tonight we gonna, we gonna 
(Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999)

Yeah, 1999
Don'tcha wanna go
Don'tcha wanna go
We could all die any day
I don't wanna die
I'd rather dance

Sign ☮ The Times (Sign o' the Times, 1987)

It's silly, no'When a rocket blows
And everybody still wants to fly
Some say a man ain't happy, truly
Until a man truly dies
Oh why, oh why, Sign O the Times

NASA on twitter, today : A purple nebula, in honor of Prince, who passed away today.

Musicology (Musicology, 2004)     

Unless you see what I see
Dancing hot and sweaty
Right in front of me
Call it what you like
I'm going to call it how it be
This is just another one
Of God's gifts

love and thanks
from your admiring fans at bLOGOS/HA HA
A few days later...

lots of grieving round the world. in Melbourne, the NGV and Arts Centre spire illuminated in purple :

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
 someone looks at something...


My Name is Prince (Symbol, 1992)

My name is Prince and I am funky
When it come to funk I am a junky
I know from righteous I know from sin
I got two sides and they both friends
Don't try to clock 'em, they're much too fast
If you try to stop 'em they kick that ass

My name is Prince and I am funky
My name is Prince the one and only

My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince
My name is Prince


The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

and the other mask, one of our favourites, is SOLO
so far not heard on any of this weekend's radio tributes

SOLO (Come, 1994)

So low, the curb looks like a skyscraper
So high, the stars are under me
So quiet, I can hear the blood rushing through my veins
So low, I feel like I'm going insane
The angels, they watch in wonder
When you made love to me
Through the rain and the thunder
You cried in ecstacy

And you were so kind
I felt sorry for all creation
Because at the time, no one was lucky
No one was lucky, no one was lucky as me

And now you're gone and I just wanna be still
So silent, I'll just let my senses sleep

It's going to be so hard to hear my voice
If I ever learn once more to speak

I'm so lost, no one can find me
And I've been looking for so long
But now I'm done
I'm so low, solo, my name is no-one


21 April 2016

West Space Fundraiser 2016

Opening tonight : the West Space Fundraiser is a curated exhibition that includes artworks available for purchase by over 100 artists, who are all West Space alumni, friends and supporters. Featured artworks are of diverse size and medium, including sculpture, photography, drawing and painting, priced between $150 and $4,000. 
By purchasing an artwork in the 2016 Fundraiser you will be directly contributing to West Space remaining rent free for artists into the future.
Fiona Abicare | Akira Akira | Sean Bailey | Damiano Bertoli | Fergus Binns | Angela Brennan | Jack Brown | Lauren Burrow | Beth Caird | David Capra | Trevelyan Clay | Renee Cosgrave | Ross Coulter | Georgina Criddle | Christo Crocker | Sarah crowEST | Adam John Cullen | Avni Dauti | Saskia Doherty | David Egan | James Eisen | Debris Facility | Emily Ferretti | Lewis Fidock | Tony Garifalakis | Stephen Giblett | Michael Graeve | Helen Grogan | Irene Hanenbergh | Ry Haskings | Andrew Hazewinkel | Leanne Hermosilla | Bianca Hester | Anna Higgins | Greatest Hits | Heidi Holmes | Lou Hubbard | Kez Hughes | Rafaat Ishak | Josey Kidd Crowe | Christopher L G Hill | Lucina Lane | Katie Lee | Yona Lee | Merryn Lloyd | Andrew Long w/ Lane Cormick | Dane Lovett | Jordan Marani | Helen Maudsley |
Helen Maudsley
The Uncontained Energy.
Without Mind; the Dream of Freedom.
The Unleashed. The Feral Force.
Oil on canvas
53 x 60.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Niagara Galleries

| Laith McGregor | Rowan McNaught | Sanné Mestrom | Scott Miles | Viv Miller | Tully Moore | Callum Morton | David Mutch | Noriko Nakamura | Tom Nicholson | Torie Nimmervol | Grant Nimmo |

Grant Nimmo
Step out of a broken jar
Synthetic polymer paint on board
36.5 x 42 cm

| John Nixon | Ruth O’Leary | Charles O’Loughlin | Sanja Pahoki | Nik Pantazopoulos | Sean Peoples | Joshua Petherick | Drew Pettifer | André Piguet | Kenny Pittock | Toby Pola | Kerrie Poliness | Patrick Pound | Daniel Price | Lisa Radford | 
Lisa Radford
Furniture Painting (Blue Bricks)
Acrylic on board with yellow frame
40 x 30 cm (plus frame)

| Aaron Christopher Rees | Stuart Ringholt | Geoff Robinson | Kiron Robinson | Brigit Ryan | Christopher Sciuto | Sally Smart | Julian Aubrey Smith | Vivian Cooper Smith | Sam Songailo | Bryan Spier | Masato Takasaka | Emily Taylor | Natalie Thomas | Meredith Turnbull | Peter Tyndall | Danae Valenza | Ronnie van Hout | Isadora Vaughan | Daniel von Sturmer | Nick Waddell | Xanthe Waite | Lydia Wegner | Grace Wood | Benjamin Woods | DAMP and others.
Patrons Pre-sale : Thursday 21 April 2016, 4–6pm*
Opening : Thursday 21 April 2016, 6–8pm
Exhibition Dates : Friday 22 April to Sunday 24 April 2016
Contact : Thea Jones - thea@westspace.org.au - for further info
West Space : Level 1, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic, 3000

Oh, and...

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
 someone looks at something...


19 April 2016

The Connoisseur of The Connoisseur

A work we knew of but had not seen in the flesh, "The connoisseur" by Bernard Hall, is one of the supporting works available for regard in the antechamber to the NGV's exhibition of

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1
Portrait de la mère de l'auteur
Whistler's Mother
at the NGV. 

The image below shows 
"The connoisseur" 
by Bernard Hall, 1890.

NGV Matrix Label Poem
] all a Matter of eMphasis (

(The connoisseur)
(c. 1890)
Bernard HALL

Medium :  oil on canvas
Measurements :  60.7 × 33.0 cm
Place/s of Execution :  (London), (England)
Accession Number :  2004.769
Department :  Australian Painting    
Credit Line :   National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 
                      K.M. Christensen and A.E. Bond Bequest, 2004
Gallery location :  17th Century & Flemish Paintings Gallery,
                            Level 2, NGV International

Later that night, having emptied the content(s) :
"The Drunken Connoisseur" by Judith Leyster, 1629.

Next morning, somewhat worse for wear, we renew our vow to start afresh : "The Young Connoisseur", An Arrangement in Grey and Black by Theatre of the Actors of Regard, 1952.
AAA_Art Archive Australia  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
 someone looks at something...

 Post Script

 Later that night, "The Drunken Cubist" 
 by Haydos, Brisbane, 2016 ( listen here )


16 April 2016

Art & the Connected Future symposium today

‘The blog is the modern drawing… It gives the most information: it shows my complete surroundings’ 
– Ai Weiwei

‘I want to be a machine’ 
– Andy Warhol

Our worldview is increasingly mediated by digital technology. How do leading innovators think it might also impact on our creativity?

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei innovators of their age, push boundaries between culture and technology – Warhol through film, television and publishing, and Ai through social media networks that use art to engage with global social and political issues.

Inspired by the artistic practices of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, share in the discussion of how we make and experience art alongside rapid changes in technology.

What might the future of art look like?

Cost $70A / $56M / $64 C
(Includes Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition entry)
Venue Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, 
NGV International
Saturday 16 April 2016
Optional morning exhibition viewing 9–10am
Symposium program 10.15am–5pm


AAA_Art Archive Australia  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
 someone looks at something...


14 April 2016

One Way To Treat A Critic

After yesterday's post here, our Paris bureau suggested another such image, as published in
Le Charivari, by Cham (Charles Amédée de Noé).

 Amédée de Noé / Cham (1818–1879) Photo by Carjat c.1866

 One Way to Treat a Critic, by Courbet.
 Ferocious Payback :
 I am Courbet! If you dare to touch my landscapes 
 again... I'll do your portrait!!

click image to enlarge  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
 someone looks at something...


13 April 2016

One Way To Treat A Work Of Art

Before publishing their online catalog for the auction of the Estate of Joy Warren, the auction house Mossgreen wrote to the artist's representative, Anna Schwartz Gallery, seeking image reproduction rights for a 1975 artwork by Peter Tyndall. They attached with their request this muddy image...

...and indicated the description they proposed to publish :

PETER TYNDALL (BORN 1951) One Way to Treat a Critic  1975 Ink Signed and dated lower right: Peter Tyndall 75 Stamped lower right: FOSTERVILLE INSTITUTE OF APPLIED & PROGRESSIVE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE Signed, dated and titled verso: ONE WAY TO TREAT A CRITIC 1975 PETER TYNDALL 21 x 16CM

ASG consulted with the artist and then informed Mossgreen they could reproduce the image but, rather than publish the proposed Mossgreen description, the following alternative was to be given :
However, when Mossgreen published the catalog, the Peter Tyndall entry was as shown below : click image to enlarge

Yes : it did feature an image that appeared as if painted by Bill Coleman - presumably an early postmodern appropriation by Tyndall.

   A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
   someone looks at something...

No : it did not give the Label/description that the Permission To Publish required

Wrong : the Mossgreen reading of the Tyndall drawing was published as ink. It was in fact pencil.

Tyndall, sometimes regarded as an absurdist, apparently thought this was all very funny. Only on the day before the auction did he alert ASG to the situation. A few hours later, the page in question showed a change of images :
  1. The Coleman image was gone and the Tyndall pencil drawing was now the featured image
  2. Because Mossgreen claimed their automated system ("Computer says No!") wouldn't allow for the Tyndall format Label description, the compromise was that the Label be presented not as the usual catalog Description but as a second image. *click image below to enlarge

Lot 380 : the hammer falls and the auctioneer pauses before summing up the result of this -1975-2016- space-time event :
"A hundred dollars is a hundred dollars."

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ 
someone looks at something...


10 April 2016

Secret Art of TAR

'Future Tense' this morning had a timely follow-on to yesterday's post in which our correspondent visited the NGV and experienced two very different scenes of Theatre of the Actors of Regard :
Antony Funnell: 'What will art look like in the future' is the topic you will be addressing at the NGV, and in talking to that theme, when you cast ahead you see art splitting into two, don't you. Let's start there, explain the two dimensions of art that you see developing.
Ben Davis: Well, I review museum and gallery art. So for me, the question is really what do we expect a museum to look like in the future? And I think it is a time of tremendous strain and stress for artists who work within that space because of technological change, because there is such a competition for attention at greater and greater scales, then you have people working in the tradition of the museum and painting and sculpture and in more adventurous media, but they have to fight for attention in that space.
So I think you see two directions developing, one is more and more spectacular turn in the museum where art looks more and more like theme parks for adults, very spectacular interactive environments that are crowd pleasing and interesting, but you don't necessarily need to know anything about art or art history in order to engage with that kind of contemporary art. That's one direction that museums are taking in the United States where I work and around the world.
And then, this is a little bit more speculative but I see sort of in a similar way to how there's a lot of talk about the culture of mindfulness and meditation, and it's so clearly this reaction to feeling over-wired and looking for space in a world where you are bombarded by information. So I do think there is a place for museums in the future as…the very fact that they house this old kind of culture that comes from a different time period, was built with a different rhythm in mind, I think it's possible that that becomes a virtue in this world we live in, and that art makes a virtue of its silence. I think that's more speculative, that's me speculating on what art's strengths really are within this world, this changing media world. But it's a hypothesis about the future that I have.
Antony Funnell: The first conception of art that you see, that idea of it becoming much more theme park style I suppose, networked and immersive, when it gets to that stage though will we still think of it as art, do we still think of it as art? What qualities does it have to retain in order for it to be art and not just entertainment or an experience?

Ben Davis: I think that's a big question. I think it's a dangerous road for art to go down. The name of my talk is Digital Art and Danger because I have that very question. For instance, in the United States...
After a quick survey, our correspondent had sought refuge from the Warhol-Weiwei fun fair. First in the Asian section, where the NGV Teens Art Party dance squad rehearsal music extruding from the Great Hall intruded on the likelihood of quietude.

Then with the few regarding 'Whistler's Mother'.

And eventually, in a nook, sharing regard with the Last Connoisseur and his attentive company. 

They too competed in this MUSEUM with the NGV Teens Art Party bombardment by MUSE and their Knights of Cydonia :
Come ride with me through the veins of history
I'll show you a god who falls asleep on the job
And how can we win when fools can be kings?
Don't waste your time or time will waste you 
No one's gonna take me alive
The time has come to make things right
You and I must fight for our rights
You and I must fight to survive
Attending this intimate Theatre of the Actors of Regard was the highlight of the day's visit.

After the Up Yours gestures of Ai Weiwei and the child imitators, and the mudras of the Buddha of Limitless Light, this TAR double blessing from the light and from the dark was experienced as an act of rare and special witness.

Thus we return to where we started this, to Ann Stephen's 1969: Retrieving the Black Box of Conceptual Art and therein to Mel Ramsden's Secret painting and from there to the other side of this secret holding, to the Secret Art of TAR.

Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...