Whilst Oscar Wilde once stated that ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life’, the course in 2020 will look at how love, sex and death, and artists’ obsessions with these, underpin much of the art that has been produced for millennia.
The theme will provide new information about some artists who we thought we knew but whose skills and output were sometimes driven by other desires. We also look at why some artists died lonely and under-appreciated whilst others had celebrated careers, grand funerals and elaborate tombs.
Image: Richard Larter Five in a row show 1969 (detail). Art Gallery of New South Wales
Michael Brand: Love, sex and death - reading life through the art museum
Iain Shearer: Orpheus and Ishtar - death defying desire
Jason Smith: The family tree stops here darling - the art of David McDiarmid and David Wojnarowicz
Howard Morphy: Death and the regeneration of life – bodily themes and imagery in Yolngu art
Peter McNeil: Oscar Wilde and the green carnation - sex, queer desire and decadence
Jeremy Clarke: Sexy Shanghai calendar girls and the artists who painted them
Andrew McNamara: Between apocalypse and redemption - German modernism 1903–33