Talk:Australian art

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Photography[edit]

Added a link to Bill Henson - there's already an article about him so a link seems like a good idea. Maybe there should be a sub-section or even an article on Australian photogrpahers, but I don't think I'm the one to do it.PiCo 02:01, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

List of Australian artists[edit]

There are lists of American and other artists and writers, so how about a List of Ausrtalian Artists? It would include the present list of wdrxqARMFGKJMRLGVMCM VVMMM Cyet. Cfitzart 06:44, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Don't we already have categories for this purpose? --Robert Merkel 13:33, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Do we? Show me where to find them and what I should do about them. Anyway, I've added a section titled List of Australian Artists, which will bring together all the existing Aust artists and provide stubs for further contribs. PiCo 13:41, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Category:Australian artists and its subcategories. You might want to have a look at Wikipedia:Category for details on how to use the category system. Great to see another contributor on Australian art! --Robert Merkel 13:58, 5 October 2005 (UTC)


Thanks Robert and Cfitzart. I see we have Australian artists as a category at the bottom of the page already, and now I've added a List of Australian Artists as a subsection.

I see that many of the artists in the list don't show up in the categories. So I'll go though the articles 0on the individual artists and make sure they're in the categories. This will take time :).

I find that there's an article titled List of Artists, [[1]], which is a set of links to artists by nationality. There's no stand-alone national list for Australia. At this point I'd prefer to keep the list as part of this article. Later, when it's moer complete, it might hive off as an article in its own right. (I'd also like to be a bit moer skilled at editing before I post any articles - it would be nice, for example, to include some illustrations, something I'm not yet confident I can do).

I'm not entierly happy with dividing this list chronologically - reality isn't quite so neat, people don't stop and start their careers according to whether the year has two zeroes in it. So I might do the list by simple alphabetical order, but adding the artists' dates in brackets after each.

All comment welcome.

Oh - thanks to whoever turned my across-the-line lists into vertical columns - another skill I haven't yet learned :).

PiCo 07:26, 6 October 2005 (UTC)


Theres quite alot listed under Category:Australian painters .. a subcategory of aus. artists, did you see that one? Cfitzart 15:03, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, I have found it - working my through it, adding the names from the category to the list and adding dates in brackets.PiCo 23:48, 6 October 2005 (UTC)


I've fleshed out the list using the following:

All names from the Australian artists category and the Australian painters sub-category, with a few exceptions (reqasons below)
Winners of the Archibald
The most recent winners of the Wynne (just to overcome the Archie's bias towards portraiture) - I'll add more Wynne's later

The missing names from the categories have been left out for specific reasons in each case. One is a deceased Aboriginal artist whose relatives have asked that his name not be used in public (but there's an article in Wiki using his name...); another is a person who has no achievements so far as I can see - no major prizes, no major galleries. But of course everyone is free to add names.

I'm going to be horribly culturally insensitive here and say that Wikipedia's mission to provide information outweighs the cultural sensitivities of Aboriginal people. Wikipedia contains all manner of information that offends one cultural group or another; we include it precisely because we think the rights of others to find out this information outweighs the offence taken. We respect the cultural taboos of Christians, Jews, Moslems, Americans, Poms, Turks, Germans, Russians, Japanese, New Zealanders, and admirers of Keith Windschuttle's historical acumen only as far as doesn't conflict with Wikipedia's mission to provide information, and sometimes not even then. Now, I'm sorry, but how the heck are we supposed to write biographies about deceased Aboriginal artists that people will find if we don't use their names?
While this is getting offtopic, one could imagine a similar question hypothetically coming up in the future if somebody added details of secret Aboriginal cultural ceremonies. I know a lot of Australian Wikipedians would immediately argue for the deletion of such material. But why should we do so when we link to the Fishman Affidavit, which details the secret initiation practices of the Church of Scientology? --Robert Merkel 15:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

I'll try to add a few biographies soon - there's a lot of red links showing and the more we can turn blue the better.PiCo 07:27, 7 October 2005 (UTC)


Just finished adding Wynne and Sulman winners. This section is now so long it's unbalancing the article, and I feel it should be hived off as a separate article - buty don't know how to do it. ALSO, concerning how to add names to the list, there has to be some criteria, otherwise it gets out of hand - looking at this now I' feeling it already is. Adding winners of major prizes is one obvious way, but I have some problems with that: many early prize-winners are now forgotten, possibly rightly so; and the Blake Prize seems to me a rather bad joke in a country that to me seems without religion, unless hedonism is a faith (and how can you respect a prize for religious art that numbers that old sinner Donald Friend among its recipients?)

PiCo 13:35, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Artists articles: Drysdale and after[edit]

Expanded the stub for RD - please have a look and tell me what you think

Very nicely done, its a good article now. It would help if you included links or references for the quotes though. Cfitzart 00:45, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
I have commented on the article at Talk:Russell Drysdale. --Robert Merkel 02:14, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Retitled this section and will add links to articles as I write them (or expand stubs). PiCo 01:23, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Heide Circle[edit]

I've created a stub for Heide Circle; if anybody wants to extend it that'd be great...--Robert Merkel 12:08, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Good article. I added a little to your line about the Heide Museum, just to state that it's more than just a museum.

Antipodeans[edit]

Added an article on the Antipodeans Group. Baased largely on Bernard Smith's Australian Painting 1788-1990 and on the 2 websites linked at the end of the article. Any edits welcomed

Incidentally, I came across this site, which is about the best little potted history of Australian art I've seen. I wonder how we can use it - add it as a link to the main article? PiCo 09:43, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Ive added links to the antip group from the artists which were in it, the history is good, maybe a mention of the Sydney 9 that it mentions should be in the antip article too. Ive also started Angry Penguins but its pretty basic now Cfitzart 14:40, 30 October 2005 (UTC)


list article[edit]

It was mentioned before about making a separate article for the list, thought it was more complete now so I made it at List of Australian artists Cfitzart 09:56, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


Good. At the moment I've set myself the task of profiling all Caravaggio's paintings (am I mad?) - but will come back to the Aussies, true! PiCo 11:50, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Aboriginal art[edit]

There's a problem trying to write about Ab. art here - you end up saying either too much or too little. Maybe better to make clear in the intro that this article is about post-settlement Aust. art, and include the link to the full article on Aboriginal art for those who want that? PiCo 11:38, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

"Aboriginals" and "White Australians": noun or adjective?[edit]

Or should that be "aboriginals" and "white Australians?" It is optional. I don't know what the convention should be for this article.

Achmedpurple (talk) 06:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:The bridge in curve 1926.jpg[edit]

The image Image:The bridge in curve 1926.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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The following images also have this problem:

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --09:45, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

John Passmore[edit]

In 2003 Elinor and Fred Wrobel converted a pub into a museum for their friend, the abstract artist John Passmore (1904-1984). It is one of the few museums in Australia dedicated solely to one artist's life and work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Achmedpurple (talkcontribs) 15:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Frank Hinder, Grace Crowley[edit]

need a section on these artists —Preceding unsigned comment added by Achmedpurple (talkcontribs) 01:23, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was moved to Visual arts of AustraliaJuliancolton | Talk 16:15, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Visual Arts of AustraliaVisual arts of Australia — The word "arts" should bot have a capital "a". Achmedpurple (talk) 04:34, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


feminist art[edit]

Hello, seeking feedback on a new page on feminist art in australia, please do contribute... australian feminist art timeline. i've added a link to this under 'see also'. thanks all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Femarttimeline (talkcontribs) 05:01, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

time to develop more structure[edit]

Thanks to HappyWaldo for the suggestion - the article needs subsections to break it up. I suggest these should not be about individual artists - even major artists probably should not have enough text to warrant their own subsection in such a broad overview. Options are to have subsections about:

  • particular periods
  • movements
  • not to organise it chronologically at all, but use other types of headings for example:
    • Europeans in the antipodes (really a kind of early chronological category)
    • Indigenous art
    • Painting and drawing
    • Sculpture
    • New media
    • Galleries, organisations and exhibitions
    • Prizes, scholarships and awards / support for the visual arts
    • Major movements
    • Impact of Australian art internationally
    • ...or something like that

French art uses the approach of movements within a chronological framework. Visual arts of the United States is similar, though not a great article in terms of comprehensiveness. I think the "notable figures" section at the end of that article is a bad idea. I suggest movements within periods, plus occasional other headings as required (a section on galleries etc after the whole chronological section. Other views? hamiltonstone (talk) 23:13, 6 December 2010 (UTC)


Thanks for your clean up work. I agree the article structure can be improved and "movements within periods" is a good way to do it. I think some chronological structure still works and suggested headings could be:
    • 1) Pre-European Indigenous art
    • 2) Painting and drawing:
    • 3) Sculpture
    • 4) New media
    • 5) Galleries, organisations and exhibitions
    • 6) Prizes, scholarships and awards Ozhistory (talk) 04:16, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm comfortable with something like that except I wouldn't separate sculpture out, but integrate it into that historical structure.hamiltonstone (talk) 07:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Regarding images, I would suggest tallying the numer of times a particular work appears in Australian art books, such as Bernard Smith's Australian Painting and Robert Hughes' The art of Australia, so only the best and/or most important Australian works are featured. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:26, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

article is too far gone[edit]

It seems near impossible to begin improving this article in its current state. It is by far the longest national art article, but one of the least informative. The structure and sheer length is bewildering, the text an incoherent list of random (mostly unsourced or poorly sourced) trivia that doesn't tell much of anything. The only way of saving it I can think of would be having several editors write seperate (previously discussed and decided upon) sections from scratch in sandboxes and then piecing them together. - HappyWaldo (talk) 03:28, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Re: "Regarding images, I would suggest tallying the numer of times a particular work appears in Australian art books, such as Bernard Smith's Australian Painting and Robert Hughes' The art of Australia, so only the best and/or most important Australian works are featured. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:26, 12 May 2011 (UTC)"

Obviously there is a great deal of information here so you're quite wrong to call it "the least informative" article. Atrociously incorrect. Yes, I can't deny the article is extremely badly written and there is no reason not to do an entire rewrite. What you've suggested above, about your belief that the article is "bewildering" and made up of "random trivia" raises questions about your own ability to do a better job. What makes it random trivia if it is directly referring to the the people and art works in the story of art in twentieth century Australia? Most Australian art is trivial anyway and the best of it is good, not great. There is not much point in being elitist and expecting truly great works of art from the Australian canon, although if you're into art as an investment there are plenty of people who will claim to have supposedly great or important art to sell. And you're misguided if you think a mention in Hughes's The Art of Australia meant Hughes actually admired a given work of art in his book. That book was written as a Dear John letter to Australian art. Nor did Christopher Allen write about Brett Whiteley or Imants Tillers just because he was so smitten with their work. The Smith book was written forty years ago and features numerous forgettables. These are books of art criticism, not books of art fawning. The best artists in them get superficial treatment. They're also male dominated and omit equally good female artists. Your observations make you sound rather glib. Please try getting over yourself and do some extra research and thinking before doing any rewriting of this section. Achmedpurple (talk) 04:43, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

The attacks aren't necessary. I never claimed to be an expert on Australian art, which is why I'm cautious to make any bold edits to the article. But I do have a keen interest in Australian art and articles related to it, so I'm making some harmless noises on the talkpage. I only mentioned the Hughes and Smith books as two examples, and suggested tallying mentions/reproductions of paintings in well-known Australian art books to find a consensus on the "best and/or most important" works. Clearly, works can be important and far from "the best". Take for example Benjamin Duterrau's The Conciliation, Australia's first historical epic. So your lecture on art criticism/fawning was pointless. Perhaps my initial gripes with the article were over the top, I just wouldn't to spark some kind of discussion, do some collaborative "research and thinking". - HappyWaldo (talk) 05:51, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I can see there is no harm done. Why not be bold and add The Conciliation? With a bit of luck your boldness would attract other interested individuals and there would be a greater sense of what reaches consensus. Achmedpurple (talk) 06:15, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

E. Phillips Fox, Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay, 1770, 1901, National Gallery of Victoria
John Longstaff, Arrival of Burke, Wills and King at the deserted camp at Cooper's Creek, 1907, National Gallery of Victoria
I did add a Duterrau to the Tasmanian Aborigines page, and a Dowling. There are many paintings we could add, but I dont think it's really helpful throwing them all in galleries at the bottom of each section. A good way of organising images would be in multi-image boxes (see right). Not as cluttered, won't leak into other sections, and can fit in more works to compliment the corresponding paragraph and enhance the reading experience. Vincent van Gogh is a good example of that. - HappyWaldo (talk) 10:56, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

That's a good way to do it. I can only assume if people are going to Wikipedia for info on Australian art they are typing into Google something basic, like "Australian art history", "Australian colonial paintings", "Famous Australian artists" or "Contemporary Australian art pictures". Stuff like that I guess. For contemporary art I think a mix of images can vaguely speak for the broader trends of what is happening in contemporary art, ie model making, pop art's influence, Western Desert painting, art world art versus vernacular styles. As for the section on modernist art I think there is an apparent visual trend when those art works are grouped together. It isn't necessary to separate modernist photography and sculpture and painting if they are stylistically similar. I put the images into very general categories because I expect readers to be laymen and not all that specific about particular artists, but it makes sense to have the image correspond with what is in the text. I haven't used multi-box images before, so I didn't think of using them. Achmedpurple (talk) 11:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't think painting and photography should be seperated. Both painters and photographers seemed to follow similar styles and capture the same subject matter at the same time. Like Cazneaux and Heysen, or photographers Dupain and Caddy and painters Meere and Freda Robertshaw who depicted Sydney beachgoers as athletic gods of the surf. I know there are books which examine these links much more closely. - HappyWaldo (talk) 11:55, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Most expensive Australian paintings[edit]

I've created a list of the most expensive Australian paintings sold at auction, it can be found on my sandbox here. Anyone have suggestions regarding the list's criteria? Should it be limited to paintings sold for over $1,000,000 (which is still something of a milestone in Aus art), or should it be something like the top 50 or top 100? Also should the list have its own article, or be integrated into the Australian art article, perhaps in a [show][hide] template. I think it would make a useful addition to a section on the Australian art market, and will be one way of deciding which artists receive the most coverage in the article. HappyWaldo (talk) 11:54, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Some thoughts for improvement[edit]

Here are some things that I think ought to change:

  • The sections are still largely disconnected statements and/or value judgements, rather than paragraphs that have a coherent topic.
  • the text should provide a narrative of the influences, schools and reactions through various periods. Currently, the sections rarely flow.
  • a lot of the most important and general statements (e.g. first para of the Heidelberg school) are completely unreferrenced (the Heidelberg school quotes Sayers, who is not linked, nor footnoted) There are lot of good general Australian Art history books now, so this should not be hard to remedy.
  • The Gallery Sections have plenty images that are not very useful. Moreover, the extensive use of many small galleries disrupts the flow (especially when they start sections - e.g. 20th Century)
  • Too many artists are mentioned, or have only a trivial fact stated about them. Better to cover the main figures of a movement more thoroughly, and rely on the linked Movement Article to cover the fuller range of artists. (There may be some movement pages that need creation.)
  • Very few artworks are referenced directly. I know it is not easy in such high level overview, nor to have it well referenced, but I think it vital. E.g. it is fine to say that the Heidelberg School achieved "a truer sense of light and colour" for the Australian landscape, but it is even better if we can refer to a specific painting and mention some ways that artist is achieving it there (but probably not using "Shearing of the Rams" as an example - it is an indoor view!)
  • Some sections, especially contemporary ones, are too long and detailed (WP:RECENT) and should be cut a lot and/or split out to sub-articles.
  • Probably a bit too long overall - quite a bit longer than American Art, and longer than Italian, British and French Art pages.

I am happy to help. Other ideas also welcome. I have previously done substantial work on Spanish art and Venetian school (art) pages, but both those were really expansions, which is not really what we need done here at all. So - help welcome! Mozzy66 (talk) 11:29, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Yep it needs better flow. I'm not much of a prose writer and I tend to not want to miss any names, so this article is is pretty convoluted. If you want to do as you have proposed, the article will be more user friendly. Matnatlak (talk) 05:20, 4 September 2013 (UTC)