Power Institute Newsletter, July 2016
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From the Director

Welcome to another bumper newsletter – and to a very packed spring program of events and publications. This month in Sydney we’re celebrating the launch of not one but two books on the life and work of eminent art historian Bernard Smith: Sheridan Palmer’s wonderfully insightful biography Hegel’s Owl: The Life of Bernard Smith, and The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics, the handsome and intelligent offspring of our previous conference held in partnership with the Australian Institute of Art History, Melbourne – a fitting multivocal compliment to Palmer’s biography. Following two successful launches of Hegel’s Owl in Melbourne and Canberra, Terry Smith will be in Sydney to launch both Hegel’s Owl and The Legacies of Bernard Smith with a lecture at the Art Gallery of NSW. Terry Smith’s talk Seeing Art Historically Today: Where We Are and Ways to Go will examine the current state and future possibilities of art history today. There are limited seats left, so be sure to email us to RSVP and we look forward to seeing you there.
Another highlight this spring will be the opening at the University Art Gallery of the exhibition Floating Time, Contemporary Chinese Prints 1954–2002 curated by departmental colleague Stephen Whiteman and two graduate students, Minerva Inwald and Bingqing Wei. Opening on 2 August, the exhibition will be accompanied by a significant book by Power Publications, beautifully designed and featuring new essays by Whiteman, Inwald, Wei and Emeritus Professor John Clark. The whole project is an excellent model of collaboration, demonstrating the richness of our collections, the skill and scholarship of our colleagues, the ambition and talent of our students, as well as the effect of generous philanthropic support for our projects.
Such generosity is also to be seen in the recent announcement of support from the Keir Foundation, of a new series of collaborative talks to be held here and at the University of Melbourne. We’re delighted to be able to partner once again with the University of Melbourne, and we look forward to bringing some of the world’s great minds to Australia in the coming years. Such generous philanthropy enables new partnerships and more ambitious plans for Power, and greater access to culture and ideas for our audience.
Coming up in the next few months, we continue to present a nice variety of international speakers. Dessa Goddard, Vice President and Asia Specialist at Bonhams North America will explore the collecting of Chinese art worldwide. Claire Goldstein, one of the brightest of the new generation of cultural historians of early modern Europe, will be here not only to give a Power lecture, but to also take part in a symposium on fashion and dress. In September, two great specialists of British art will be here for a conversation on exactly that – British art (and maybe Brexit..!): Mark Hallett and David Solkin.

These are just some of the highlights of a packed few months for us all. And remember, there are still a few days left to get your Terrence and Lynette Fern Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Fellowship application in for residencies in Paris at the Power Cité studio. We hope you’ll find something to enjoy here – and remember, you can catch up with us via our new website or our facebook page so you never miss an event!

Mark Ledbury
Director, Power Institute


Power Lecture by Terry Smith
Seeing Art Historically Today: Where We Are & Ways to Go

20 July, Domain Theatre, The Art Gallery of NSW
In Seeing Art Historically Today: Where We Are and Ways to Go Terry smith, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Pittsburgh, will reflect upon the conditions in which Bernard Smith came to his understanding of art history, before turning to examine the current state of art history today and its future possibilities. Please note: places are limited for this event, so please email us directly if you wish to register your interest in attending at or by clicking the register button below: 

Power Lecture by Claire Goldstein 
Beyond the Eye of Absolutism: Claude Perrault's Royal Observatory and the Intractable Challenge of Comets

17 August, Law School Foyer, The University of Sydney
In the reign of the Sun King Louis XIV, France was greeted by two other celestial bodies – the comets of 1664 and 1680-81. In her talk, Claire Goldstein, Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of California, Davis, examines the influence of these heavenly wonders on the design of the Royal Observatory and the broader political climate particular to Louis’s reign and the time of the creation of his famous Versailles.

Power Lecture by Dessa Goddard
China and the West: The Dynamics of Power, Passion and Personality in the Chinese Art Market

30 August, Lecture Theatre 101, The University of Sydney
Dessa Goddard is Vice President and Head of Asian Art at Bonhams North America. Reflecting on past and present collectors of Chinese art based in America, Europe and China, Goddard’s talk will explore the cultural, political and economic forces that have shaped collecting tastes, while addressing the challenges that members of the Chinese art community face when participating in the twenty-first century global marketplace.


New Power Publication
The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics
Wherever we work today in Australian art history and cultural studies, we are Bernard Smith’s legatees – for better and for worse, because of his achievements, despite his blindspots. This timely book reviews the art historian who thought constant reviewing the only way to understand contemporary art. And reconsidering Smiths’ legacies illuminates not only the past, but future possibilities.

– Julie Ewington

We are very pleased to announce the publication of our second book celebrating the life and work of Bernard Smith: The Legacies of Bernard Smith: Essays on Australian Art, History and Cultural Politics, edited by Jaynie Anderson, Christopher R. Marshall and Andrew Yip, and published in association with the Art Gallery of NSW. 
The Legacies of Bernard Smith is available to purchase from our online shop:

New Power Publication
Floating Time: Contemporary Chinese Prints 1954-2002
Floating Time: Contemporary Chinese Prints 1954–2002 is the latest Power Publication to be launched with our friends the University Art Gallery. The book accompanies the exhibition of the same name, curated by Stephen Whiteman, Minerva Inwald and Bingqing Wei, presenting a selection of Chinese prints from the University Art Gallery collection. Beautifully designed with nearly a hundred full-colour prints, Floating Time reveals the collection in its entirety, illuminated by expert texts from Wei and Inwald and framed with essays by Whiteman and Clark.
Floating Time is available to purchase from our online shop:


Cité applications closing soon!
A reminder that applications close on 21 July for the 2017 Terrence and Lynette Fern Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Fellowship at the Power Cité des Arts studio complex in Paris. Australian artists, critics, historians and administrators, as well as eligible staff from the University of Sydney are all encouraged to apply.

Focus on: Cité artists

As we near the deadline for applications for our 2017 Cité residency fellowship, we thought we would bring you some news stories from some of our previous winners, detailing their experiences at la Cité and its influence on their art practice and broader cultural life. Read on to find out more from artists Gabriella Hirst, Ivan Cerecina and Linda Dement.

Read, Watch, Listen!

Couldn't make it to an event? Or maybe you heard a talk you just have to share. We've got lots of podcasts and videos online, and plenty of publications to browse. Visit our new website now to get reading, watching and listening.

IMAGES FROM TOP: Terry Smith; Presentation of the Members of the Academy of Sciences to Louis XIV in 1667 by Henri Testelin; Vase; The Legacies of Bernard Smith; Hegel's Owl; Floating Time; Paris; This is Literature by Gabriella Hirst, artist book, graphite on paper.
Copyright © 2016 Power Institute Foundation for Art & Visual Culture, All rights reserved.

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