Quentin Sprague

Quentin Sprague is a writer and curator based in Geelong.

Articles by this author

The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then It Stopped
The German artist transforms Carriageworks
Katharina Grosse’s riot of colour
“The smallest space we build for ourselves is our clothes,” the German artist Katharina Grosse says. She pulls at her blouse for emphasis. “Our clothes are an added-on space that...
Histories personal and national inform Helen Johnson’s large-scale canvases
A space of one’s own
Some works, the painter Helen Johnson explained to me recently, can’t help but take on different characters as they find their form in the studio. Some are less likeable than...
Image of installation view of Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman at Neon Parc
‘Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman’ illustrates the possibilities for curated shows in commercial galleries
Strength in numbers at Neon Parc
The curated exhibition is often seen as the domain of the non-commercial gallery or large-scale arts institution. Commercial galleries – those, that is, that operate as commercial...
Exhibitions by Brent Harris and Karl Wiebke reinforce how abstract painting can both beguile and explore big questions
Two approaches to abstraction
In the crisp setting of Tolarno Galleries in Melbourne, Brent Harris’ exhibition of new paintings, The Small Sword (until 4 November), presents as intriguingly aloof. Soft bodily...
Still from Cao Fei’s Rumba II: Nomad
Five Australian and international artists engage with history, impermanence and decay
The possibilities of flux at the TarraWarra International
The two-yearly TarraWarra International, currently on display at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, is not strictly concerned with international art,...
Ian Potter Museum for Art’s ‘Vertigo Sea’ and ‘I was born in Indonesia’ are very different answers to the same question
What is art for anyway?
The first time I walked into Vertigo Sea at The Ian Potter Museum of Art (until 16 July), a three-channel film by the London-based Ghanaian artist John Akomfrah, it had...
ACCA’s exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art was a long overdue success
After ‘Sovereignty’
The dust settled on Sovereignty, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s (ACCA) long overdue survey of First Nations art from south-eastern Australia, a little over six weeks...
The collected wisdom of Patrick Pound and Brook Andrew at NGV
Archives are us
“To collect,” according to Patrick Pound, the New Zealand–born, Melbourne-based artist whose vast archive project The Great Exhibition has recently taken over the ground-floor...
What does it take to transform the National Gallery of Australia into the Palace of Versailles?
A moveable feast
On a Friday morning in late October I met Adam Worrall in the National Gallery of Australia’s members lounge, a quiet, low-ceilinged room on the Level 2 mezzanine of Colin Madigan...
Still from Collisions
Lynette Wallworth’s ‘Collisions’ brings virtual reality to the Western Desert
Seeing visions
Nyarri Nyarri Morgan was a young man when he witnessed the atomic plume rise above the Western Desert in the 1950s. Like many Martu, he was at the time yet to meet a European, so...
Artist Jan Senbergs prepares for his NGV retrospective
Life’s work
Jan Senbergs sits surrounded by the ephemera of his life’s work: folders of correspondence, press clippings, catalogues and plastic sleeves of 35mm slides that document his five-...
Dugong figure, Tudu Island, Torres Strait.
The National Museum of Australia’s ‘Encounters’ and the politics of collection
Bringing them home
“The English took the place without consent.” Harley Coyne, a Noongar man in his late 50s, was speaking to me in early November from Albany, on Western Australia’s southern coast...
Dibirdibi Country (2012), Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda (Mrs Gabori).
The meteoric career of Kaiadilt painter Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda
The extraordinary Mrs Gabori
By any measure, Mrs Gabori’s rise was stellar. When the Kaiadilt artist began painting in 2005 she was aged in her early 80s, already a long-term resident in her community’s old...
Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart (until 13 April 2015)
Matthew Barney’s ‘River of Fundament’
On its publication in 1983, Norman Mailer’s epic Egyptian novel, Ancient Evenings, was widely panned. “Pretentious, unreadable, even incomprehensible” was the consensus. Mailer,...
National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Melbourne Now’
Melbourne Now, the NGV’s ambitious exhibition of the city’s contemporary art and related disciplines, has been a varied undertaking. This is partly because contemporary art,...
Tony Oliver and Paddy Bedford, Kununurra, 2003. © Giancarlo Mazzella
The unlikely collaboration of Paddy Bedford and Tony Oliver
Two painters in the Kimberley
For Paddy Bedford, the day usually began soon after dawn. Tony Oliver, a former Melbourne gallerist who had worked alongside Bedford for close to a decade since arriving in the...