Peter Fuller, the Celtic midwife and Some [other] Northern Critics of Southern Art
AbstractContent outline: Jaynie Anderson ? Biographical Introduction Andrew Sayers, AM, Bernard Smith ? A Half Century On R?diger Joppien, Cooperation and Friendship ? Correspondence with Bernard Smith on ?The Art of Captain Cook?s Voyages? Robert Gaston, ?My greatest debt?: Bernard Smith, the Warburg Institute, and the evolution of ?European Vision? Elizabeth Findlay, Canberra Bernard Smith?s Noble Savage and Concepts of Race Kathleen Davidson, Photography and the Triumph of Science in Bernard Smith?s European Vision and the South Pacific Catherine Speck, Outward bound: national art without borders Catherine de Lorenzo,Bernard Smith, ?cultural convergence? and art history Nicholas Thomas, Out of Place: history and art in the Pacific James Berryman, Documenting art: Bernard Smith, academic art history and the role of the curator Joanna Mendelssohn, Bernard Smith and the professional art museum Stephen Miller, Contingency as the guard dog of history: Bernard Smith and the Art Gallery of New SouthWales Ann Stephen, Bernard the Power curator: soixante-huitard or art shopper? Christopher Marshall, Mind the gap! Bernard Smith versus the museum, 1961-95 Peter Beilharz, Bernard Smith?s Autobiographical Writings John Clark, Trajectories of the nation in Australian Art Biography: Smith to McQueen Simon Pierse, Peter Fuller, the Celtic midwife and Some [other] Northern Critics of Southern Art Paul Giles, The Antipodean Manifesto Ian McLean, Engaging Aboriginal Art from the Idea of Australia Sheridan Palmer, Ideological conduits and political coat hangers: Bernard Smith on Counihan and Courbet Kate Challis The Marxist Patron: Bernard Smith?s Art Collection Kate Darian Smith, The Kate Challis RAKA Award for Indigenous Creative Arts: Legacies and Impact Philip Morrissey, The University of Melbourne Encountering Aboriginal Art Warwick Thornton and Marcia Langton, From ?Mimi? to ?Mother Courage? - a conversation with Warwick Thornton about the place of art in his film work
First published as a foreword to Peter Fuller?s The Australian Scapegoat: Towards an Antipodean Aesthetic (1986), Smith?s essay Some Northern Critics of Southern Art is a personalised account of his encounters with British and American critics who visited Australia in the post-war period. ?I knew them all. I lived through it. I saw it happening,? Smith writes. Sir Kenneth Clark was a ?genius spotter? who appropriated Nolan and, like Saint Francis, used him to prop-up the ?waning vigour of British art.? But Clark?s interest in Australian art was essentially ?environmental?. Clement Greenberg, who Smith invited to Australia to give the inaugural Power Lecture in Contemporary Art in 1968, preferred figurative ?Antipodean painting? to the ?second-hand? work of Australian colour-field painters. Bryan Robertson, described elsewhere by Smith as ?Chief Celtic midwife to our London Australiana?, looked to America for salvation and in doing so, led British art into provinciality. But Peter Fuller alone had the ?determination to work out a fully-fledged aesthetic for himself?. ?As I read Fuller?, Smith wrote, ?I gain the impression frequently that I am traversing my own past?. This paper explores correspondences between Fuller?s aesthetic philosophy and Smith?s own, especially Fuller?s ?radical critique of late modernism?. Are ?the trans-national implications? of the Antipodean exhibition (1959) confirmed, and its manifesto exonerated, in Fuller?s criticism of reductive and anti-human late modernism with its implied kenosis, or ?emptying out? of content and feeling?
Non peer reviewed
Pierse , S J 2014 , ' Peter Fuller, the Celtic midwife and Some [other] Northern Critics of Southern Art ' Paper presented at Legacies of Bernard Smith Symposium, Power Institute University of Sydney and Art Gallery of New South Wales , Sydney , Australia , 09/11/2012 - 10/11/2012 , .
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