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Masquerade at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia is a powerful fairly contemporary survey of portraiture. Besides the names that we in North America are familiar with, such as Cindy Sherman, Ana Mendieta, Sam Taylor-Wood and others, it was fascinating to see artists perhaps more familiar to those “Down Under” such as Ronnie van Hout, Shigeyuki Kihara, and Tod McMillan tackle this genre. It was also great to see Francesca Woodman included in this show (who died quite young) reveal her poignant photographs and up and comer (at least to me) Kalup Donte Linzy’s hilarious video about her place in the art world.

Also at the MCA is Taylor-Wood’s Crying Men series and her video of David Beckham sleeping. The crying men seemed a bit fake (they are all Hollywood actors after all) but the one of Robert Downey Jr. is gorgeous (as was the vid of Beckham).

A few gallery shows worth noting are Andrew Sullivan’s paintings of indigineous Australian flora at Australian Galleries, David Band’s simple lines and color at Tim Olsen Gallery, and the darkly complicated paintings and sculpture of Lindy Lee and Linda Marrinon at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Also of interest are The Sydey Morning Herald’s open air Bigger Picture Exhibition in Hyde Park encountered on the way to the Archibald, Wynne, and Sulman Prizes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the balmy weather, interesting fashion, and the excellent coffee.

- amy berk [Saturday, April 22nd, 2006]

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