Quentin Sprague


37 ENTRIES Quentin Sprague is a Geelong-based writer. His first book, The Stranger Artist, won the 2021 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for nonfiction.


Jordan Wolfson, ‘Body Sculpture’ (detail), 2023


Call to arms: Jordan Wolfson’s ‘Body Sculpture’

The NGA’s newest acquisition, a controversial American artist’s animatronic steel cube, fuses abstraction with classical figure sculpture

Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anmatyerr people, not titled [detail], 1981


A clear view: Emily Kam Kngwarray at the NGA

A major exhibition of the late Anmatyerr desert painter is welcome, but the influence of the rapacious art market on Aboriginal art is inescapable

Ball-Eastaway House


The house at Glenorie

How Glenn Murcutt’s architectural vision created a space – and inspiration – for artists Lynne Eastaway and Sydney Ball

Artist Tjungkara Ken sits in front of a brightly coloured canvas with paintbrush in hand


White privilege and black disadvantage in the Aboriginal art industry

The recent revelations of “white hands on black art” underscore the authenticity myth that persists when it comes to Aboriginal art

Installation view, ‘Clearing’


The artist in space: Simryn Gill’s ‘Clearing’

A new commission for AGNSW’s Sydney Modern showcases the artist’s dedication to bearing witness

Illustration by Quentin Sprague


The artful ledger

Funding to artists shouldn’t require bureaucratic acquittals and demonstrated outcomes

Image of Daniel Boyd, ‘Untitled (TBOMB)’, 2020


Mission statement: Daniel Boyd’s ‘Treasure Island’

An AGNSW exhibition traces the development of the Indigenous artist’s idiosyncratic technique, which questions ideas of perception

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, ‘Dibirdibi country’ (2008


Art heist: The landmark conviction of an Aboriginal art centre’s manager

The jailing of Mornington Island Art’s chief executive for dishonest dealing has shone a light on ethics and colonialism in the Indigenous art world

Image of Ken Whisson’s ‘Seven Humans, One Vehicle and Three Birds’, 2020, oils on linen canvas, 96 x 105cm. Photographer: Mark Ashkanasy, Melbourne. Private collection, Sydney. Exhibited Ken Whisson 2021, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, 13–30 October, 2021. © Estate of Ken Whisson. Image courtesy of Niagara Galleries.


Ken Whisson: A life made in art

The late Australian painter offered a profound example of how to forge a path as an artist

Image of Helen Maudsley’s ‘Thinking is done in Words. Our minds Think in Words’, 2019, oil on canvas, 29.5 x 40cm


Helen Maudsley’s visual essays

The 94-year-old painter’s current exhibition reveals an interest in language and the mechanics of meaning

Photo: “Breakfast at Heide” (from left: Sidney Nolan, Max Harris, Sunday Reed and John Reed), circa 1945


Artful lodgers: The Heide Museum of Modern Art

The story of John and Sunday Reed’s influence on Sidney Nolan and other live-in protégés

Photograph showing an installation view of Katie West’s Warna/Ground, Hold, and Keeping pieces (all 2018), at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2021. Courtesy the artist. Photograph: Andrew Curtis


Bodies transformed: ‘A Biography of Daphne’ at ACCA

Centred on the myth of Daphne and Apollo, this group exhibition harnesses a vision of unchecked metamorphosis

Detail from ‘Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 2, Childhood’ by Hilma af Klint (1907)


A shock of renewal: ‘Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings’

The transcendent works of the modernist who regarded herself not an artist but a medium

Photo of installation view of the exhibition Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow at NGV International. Photo © Tom Ross


Simultaneous persuasions: ‘Camille Henrot: Is Today Tomorrow’

Radical difference and radical proximity are hallmarks of the French-born artist’s NGV exhibition

Image of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, ‘A way of flying’ (c. 1819–1824)


Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum

Goya’s dark and difficult works exhibited at NGV remind us how little the world has moved on from past horrors