While Melbourne and Sydney duke it out, neither is as necessary to art as it used to be, according to a new book Australian Art: A History by Sasha Grishin.
Howard Taylor, Spiral 1970 (detail) Jarrah 232.5 x 87.5 x 72 cm Photo: Galerie Dusselfdorf
There has always been a traditional rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney for supremacy in the Australian art world. As with most parochial contests, where there exists no absolute qualitative criterion (in contrast to a sporting code, where there can be a finite winner), in the art world it has always been a case of perception based on frequently arbitrary criteria. Further, in questions of supremacy there is an implied comment on the relative strength of the art market in each city and on the collecting policies of the respective state art galleries as determined by their trustees and curators.
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