John McDonald

John McDonald was born in Cessnock, NSW, in 1961, and graduated from Sydney University in 1981 (majoring in English literature & philosophy). He has written for newspapers and journals for over 25 years, and done occasional work for radio and television. He is perhaps best known for his lengthy art columns in the Sydney Morning Herald from 1983-89, 1994-1998, and again from the beginning of 2005.

In 1999 JMcD took up the post as Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia, and resigned in December 2000, after acting as Curator of the NGA exhibition ‘Federation: Australian Art and Society 1901-2001’, which toured the nation until June 2002. 

JMcD has lectured throughout Australia, and taught Art History & Theory at the National Art School, Sydney. From 2002-04 he was director of Newcontemporaries, a non-commercial exhibition space at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, committed to showing the work of new & emerging artists. He has acted as publisher-in-chief of East-West Editions, and founding editor of the magazines, Australian Art Review, and East-West Arts. 

JMcD’s publications include monographs on Australian artists such as David Strachan, Ari Purhonen and Jeffrey Smart, and an essay to accompany Rex Dupain’s photographs in the book, ‘From Bondi to Broken Hill’. Living in England from 1990-94, he edited the anthology, 'Peter Fuller's Modern Painters' (Methuen 1993). In 2007, with photographer, Ian Lloyd, he published Studio, an overview of 61 contemporary painters and their studios – as a book, an exhibition and a DVD. The show was launched at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, in July 2007 and is still touring Australia.

The Art of Australia – the first volume of a new – and comprehensive – three part history of Australian art for Pan Macmillan, was issued in December 2008. He has written a catalogue of the White Rabbit collection of contemporary Chinese art, for a new private museum & foundation in Sydney. He is currently working on by Volume two of The Art of Australia, and a TV documentary series on the history of Australian art.

Click here to John McDonald's main page.

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Leon Kossoff - Drawing from Painting
1,980 words (September 01, 2010 )

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The Three Gorges Museum [Unpublished article]
1,389 words (May 03, 2011)

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