The Drill Hall’s 2020 Lecture series is currently on hold. We are planning to present it in some form and will update you with details soon. In the mean time, keep an eye on our News page for interesting essays and excerpts by our 2020 lecturers.

Artists on Art

Many artists are reluctant to talk about their creative process, often with reason. Others have excelled in conveying indispensable ideas and insights through their writings, which can take many forms ā€“ diary jottings, lecture notes, manifestoes or treatisesā€¦ Our 2020 Lecture Series focuses on artists whose written commentaries and critiques are indispensable to any well-rounded understanding of their artistic achievements. Lecturers will examine ways artists have described their practices, analysed the work of their peers, responded to pressing issues of the times, and dealt with their own doubts and fears.


Peter Kohane, Le Corbusier

Architectural historian Peter Kohane discusses Le Corbusier (1887-1965) as a highly influential – and highly controversial – theorist and polemicist. He gives special attention to Corbusierā€™s late masterpiece, Ronchamp Chapel, built in 1955. Peter Kohane is a senior lecturer, Architectural Studies, at the University of New South Wales.

2: DATE to be advised

Helen Ennis, Carol Jerrems

Photography scholar Helen Ennis discusses the work of Carol Jerrems (1949-1980), who in the 1970s helped redefine the character of Australian photography. Jerrems kept diaries and notes which illuminate her views on art and life, intertwining with her photographic concerns. Helen Ennis is Emeritus Professor of the ANU School of Art & Design Centre for Art History and Theory.

3: DATE to be advised

Susan Best, Agnes Martin

Art historian and critical theorist Susan Best explores the oblique, allusive way of expressing ideas adopted by the solitary American minimalist painter, Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Dedicated to perfection in art and to spiritual exaltation in life, Martinā€™s journals, lectures and essays, including her ā€˜Advice to Young Artistsā€™, reveal an intensely poetic sensibility. Recent revelations demonstrate how precarious and hard won Martinā€™s sage-like serenity actually was. Susan Best is professor of art history and theory at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

4: DATE to be advised

Anne-Marie Jean, Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron. Artist Anne-Marie Jean considers the colour-theory lectures and critical writings of the celebrated British artist, Patrick Heron (1920-1999). Passionately loyal to the School of Paris, Heron also defended his British modernist contemporaries against the ascendancy of American Abstract Expressionism. His powers of description and skills in analysing paintings could be uniquely illuminating. Anne-Marie Jean is an artist and Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Drill Hall Gallery.

5: DATE to be advised

Chris McAuliffe, Robert Smithson

Art historian Chris McAuliffe reveals the pioneering ā€œland artistā€ Robert Smithson (1938-1973) as a prototype of the new category of artist-theorist which emerged in America in the 1960s. Drawing on a range of original material in the Smithson archives, much of it unpublished, this lecture examines Smithsonā€™s writing at a material level – how his ideas evolved from scraps of paper and jotted notes to heavily reworked holographs – and in terms of Smithsonā€™s shifting modes of address and degrees of conceptualization – his modes of rhetoric, shifts of voice and manipulation of textual structure. Professor Chris McAuliffe is Head of the Centre for Art History and Theory, ANU School of Art and Design. He co-authored Robert Smithson: Time Crystals published in 2018.

6: DATE to be advised

Oscar Capezio, Contemporary artists and the public

Curator Oscar Capezio introduces the critical theories of artists presented in his upcoming Drill Hall exhibition Out of Place, examining the ways in which contemporary artworks embody, transpose and reconfigure a sense of locality. Drawn to the performative and expansive possibilities of artistic work ā€“ beyond the written word – artists of the 1970s were beginning to reconceive embedding of art within specific contexts, often in response to a particular site or place. Oscar Capezio is an artist and Curator (Acting) of the ANU Art Collection, ANU Drill Hall Gallery.


ALL LECTURES are held at the ANU School of Art and Design Lecture TheatreĀ 

Level 1 Childers Street entrance – at 3PM

TICKETS $10 / $5 (student), FRIENDS of the Drill Hall Gallery FREE

Updated:  13 May 2020/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery