fig. 1

This essay examines a series of international art projects presented as John Kaldor Art Projects (JKAP) at the National Gallery of Victoria between 1971 and 1977.1 The foundation has undergone a number of name changes. It is now known as Kaldor Public Art Projects. From the first project in 1969 to 2004, it was known as John Kaldor Art Projects. For the purposes of this essay, it will be referred to as John Kaldor Art Projects (JKAP), its name during the period under examination. It explores the relationship that a private art patron developed with leading Australian state galleries during this period, and argues that while JKAP projects have largely been seen as a series of independent projects taking place beyond the realms of the art institution, during this pivotal early period of the foundation’s development all were presented within the context of a gallery or cultural institution.

The essay is set during a period of significant cultural and institutional change in Australia, between 1971 and 1977, as new galleries dedicated to contemporary art opened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW ); a new Opera House was opened; and the Biennale of Sydney was created to showcase contemporary local and international art, while a new funding organisation – the Australia Council – was formed to support these new endeavours. Meanwhile, a range of temporary and touring exhibitions showcased recent trends in contemporary local and international art, championed by a younger generation of professional curators.

The essay offers a valuable contribution to scholarship examining this period from an institutional, exhibition history and curatorial perspective. It assesses the significance and value of JKAP for the public institutions that collaborated with these private projects, and compares the emergence of JKAP with international practice where similar philanthropic, curatorial and institutional innovations were also emerging.2 See, for example, Anna Chave, ‘Revaluing minimalism: patronage, aura, and place,’ Art Bulletin, vol. 90, no. 3, Sep. 2008, pp. 466–8. There is little scholarly research either locally or internationally on the rise of private foundations that initiate projects rather than offering bequests and gifts. As this essay shows, JKAP was one of the first foundations to create a public-private partnership to present contemporary art projects.

JKAP has been somewhat canonised within the history of contemporary art in Australia. Kaldor’s own publication celebrating forty years of projects, which accompanied an exhibition at the AGNSW in 2009, presented valuable – but obviously singular – source material and documentation on these projects.3 Sophie Forbat (ed.), 40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney, 2009. The research presented here offers an additional perspective. It also discusses JKAP’s Melbourne projects during this period, which have been less well documented than Kaldor’s relationship with AGNSW and key Sydney curators, such as Daniel Thomas.

John Kaldor Art Projects in the 1970s

Following the critical success of Kaldor’s first Art Project in 1969, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped coast: one million square feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, he presented a further five art projects by leading international artists in Australia between 1971 and 1977. Not technically commissions, many had been presented elsewhere to critical acclaim prior to their Australian presentation.4 As many of these projects had already been presented elsewhere, in 2008 Kaldor noted that he did not commission works, but rather facilitated or enabled their presentation. See Rebecca Coates, ‘The rise of the private art foundation: John Kaldor Art Projects 1969–2012’, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 2014, p. 146. The projects included a visit and two exhibitions by the famous Swiss curator Harald Szeemann (1971); living sculptures Gilbert & George (1973); Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik (1975); and exhibitions by Sol LeWitt and Richard Long (1977).5 New York–based, Spanish artist Antoni Miralda was invited to Australia to present a coloured feast to launch Kaldor’s new showrooms, as well as a second event at the AGNSW, but this was not originally considered an Art Project; see Coates, pp. 168–70. These projects revealed Kaldor’s continued interest in a number of areas of contemporary art practice: performance, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and Conceptual Art. They also reflected Kaldor’s ongoing and strengthening relationship with Australian art institutions, first developed through his initiation of and involvement in the Alcorso Sekers Sculpture Prize.6 Exhibitions were held between 1966 and 1968; see Coates, pp. 114–18. State gallery directors selected the entrants to the travel grant prize, and an exhibition of their work was shown in alternate years at the state galleries. The projects between 1971 and 1977 were largely held at the NGV in Melbourne and the AGNSW in Sydney.

Philanthropic support by individuals to state galleries had traditionally been through bequest and donation of work. JKAP, by contrast, was one of the first operational foundations in the world to present temporary projects by contemporary artists. As an organisation, however, it bore no relation to the not-for-profit foundations we are now familiar with. Kaldor selected these projects without professional not-for-profit structure or staff, between and alongside his ‘day job’ as a Sydney textile businessman. Selection of artists often coincided with his acquisition of work for his growing art collection. From early on, the Art Projects were conceived as an ongoing series, rather than occasional events. Each successive project became part of this ongoing series, with John Kaldor selecting each artist and overseeing the management of the project. In this way, JKAP developed a clear identity as a stand-alone organisation not wedded to a single gallery or institution.

Two exhibitions and a curator

Kaldor’s project with Harald Szeemann was marketed as the second JKAP. For it, Szeemann made a series of studio visits in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in 1971, from which he curated two exhibitions of Australian art in Sydney and Melbourne, in April and June of that year.7 Bonython Gallery, Sydney, 29 April – 13 May 1971; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 4 June – 4 July 1971.

By 1971 Szeemann was already an important international curator, who ultimately emerged as the most influential curator of his generation.8 Harald Szeemann has been described as ‘the most celebrated independent organization of exhibitions in the latter part of the  20th century’, see Tobia Bezzola & Roman Kurzmeyer (eds), Harald Szeemann With By Through Because Towards Despite: Catalogue of  All Exhibitions 1957–2005, Edition Voldemeer and Springer Zürich, Vienna and New York, 2007, p. 7. See also Christian Rattemeyer, Exhibiting the New Art, ‘Op Losse Schroveven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, 1969, Exhibition Histories, Afterall, London, 2010; Daniel Birnbaum, ‘When attitude becomes form: Daniel Birnbaum on Harald Szeemann’, Artforum International, summer (June) 2005,  pp. 53–4; Hans Ulrich Obrist & Richard Serra, ‘Harald Szeemann 1933–2005’, Frieze, no. 91, May 2005, <http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/ harald_szee- mann_1933_2005>, accessed 12 Feb. 2012. He was an intensely European curator – charismatic, theatrical and travelled at the speed of light. Appointed at the age of twenty-eight to what was then a provincial institution without a permanent collection, the Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, Szeemann had adopted an ‘improvisational, working style’.9 Birnbaum. His 1969 exhibition Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form had been hugely influential, and its legacy and significance has only continued to grow.10 The exhibition was held at Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland on 27 March – 27 April 1969, and travelled to the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. See Rattemeyer; and Barry Barker, ‘When attitudes become form’, Flash Art, no. 275, Nov.–Dec. 2010, <http://147.123.148.222/interno.php?pagina=articolo_det&id_art=672&det=ok&title=WHEN-ATTITUDES-BECOME-FORM>, accessed 15 Sep. 2011. When Attitudes Become Form marked a notable methodological shift in exhibition practice. As is now widely acknowledged, it expanded the notion of art at that time, profiling an emerging generation of European and American artists, and highlighting new developments in post-sculptural avant-garde practice. The exhibition also reflected Szeemann’s insistence on the presence of the artist, turning the gallery into a studio and enabling artists to see firsthand the works of their contemporaries, many of them made in situ. Eschewing traditional museum curatorial work classifying and displaying art based on scholarship and research and a permanent collection, Szeemann’s exhibitions were not easily categorised. He described himself as an ausstellungsmacher, or ‘exhibition maker’,11 Harald Szeemann, quoted in Birnbaum. rather than a curator, in a linguistic shift that placed his role firmly alongside the artists with whom he worked. The collaborative nature of exhibition maker working with artists was one that would have resonated with Kaldor’s own role as ‘project co-ordinator’ working with Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as was the artists’ own presence during installation of the exhibition.

Kaldor’s decision in 1970 to invite a curator rather than an artist reflected Szeemann’s status as an avant-garde exhibition maker, or a style of curator now commonly termed ‘curator as artist’. This international curator-led project was the first of its kind in Australia. It presaged later developments in biennale curating, in which visiting artistic directors adopted an almost artistic role in the conception and realisation of their chosen theme.

Kaldor wanted Szeemann’s Art Project to have a longstanding influence in Australia, with the additional hope that it might lead Szeemann to present Australian artists’ work in his exhibitions overseas.12 See Nicholas Baume, From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor Art Projects and Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1995, p. 26. Ironically, Szeemann’s major export was an international touring exhibition documenting Wrapped coast for European and American audiences.13 See David Bourdon, Christo, Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York, 1972. The 1970 European tour of the documentation for Wrapped coast enabled Szeemann to once again work with the artists, and present their first large-scale environmental wrap to a European audience. Szeemann’s travelling exhibition of the Australian project firmly located Kaldor’s place within the artists’ international oeuvre.

Szeemann’s knowledge about Australian artists prior to arrival was scant, and he was questioned about it prior to arriving, during a Sydney television interview on the project.14 Noted in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304, although no specific details are given of the television interview. He noted that though he was aware of an older generation of Australian artists, including Sidney Nolan (then based in England), of the younger generation he knew very little, apart from some information gleaned from a single article in Art International.15 Noted by Szeemann in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304. Why then would Szeemann have wanted to come to Australia? Kaldor’s invitation came at a relatively quiet moment between Szeemann’s resignation from his institutional position at the Kunsthalle Bern and his next big project, documenta V in Kassel, Germany. Kaldor offered him the opportunity to travel and see more radical forms of contemporary art in a little-known country. Szeemann described the scope of his Australian trip as follows:

(a) to gather general information on the Australian art scene;

(b) to make a very subjective choice of works by artists met during this stay. The result is a non-representational survey about recent tendencies in Australian art.16 I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1971, p. 17; quoted in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304.

Szeemann’s visit enabled Kaldor to present this new form of exhibition making to Australians, while at the same time presenting the work of Australian artists to a curator with an international reach who was preparing for documenta V. Exhibitions were to be presented in Sydney and Melbourne. Szeemann’s intensive two-week visit between 14 and 27 April 1971, during which time he visited museums, galleries, and seventy artists’ studios in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, resulted in an exhibition entitled I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here (1971).17 The exhibition was held at Bonython Gallery, Sydney, on 29 April –  13 May 1971, and at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, on 4 June – 4 July 1971. Travelling fast, and wearing a safari jacket, dark glasses and occasionally a bear-fur hat, his visit was accompanied by photographers and an ABC film crew. This lent a tone of a celebrity to the event, in contrast to the more serious scholarly endeavours of the art academy.

I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here appeared first at Sydney ’s Bony thon Gallery in Paddington. The Sydney exhibition featured the work of twenty-two young artists – only one of whom was a woman, Margaret Dodd. In the accompanying exhibition catalogue, Szeemann explained that ‘works were selected because of their pictorial and plastic qualities or their intensity of  method, concept, intention, obsession’. In his review of the Sydney exhibition, Terry Smith noted a focus on ‘open-form construction, deriving from either sculpture or wall- hangings’.18 Terry Smith, ‘Szeemann: exhibition maker’, Sunday Australian, 9 May 1971, p. 17. Much of the work was installation, or sculptural, but a couple of paintings were included. Aleks Danko showed a slide projection; Peter Kennedy recorded the sound of a willow tree blowing in the wind and played its original sound back to visitors. Durational works were included by Tim Johnson and Neil Evans. As part of his contribution to the exhibition, Mike Parr produced an exhibition invitation in the form of a questionnaire that asked the visitor whether the show was a) ‘material’, b) ‘immaterial’ or c) ‘neither’ (fig. 2). Another work by Parr, Shadow piece, 1971, presented a series of intersecting strings arranged across the length of the wall, which cast shadows and changed with light and time. For the Melbourne NGV show a new work was added: Mike Brown contributed a large, mixed-media installation (fig. 4). The exhibition catalogue documented the visit in written form. Its simple stapled format included Szeemann’s itinerary and selected images capturing his visit, and Szeemann’s hand-written notes on the exhibition rationale and a list of works (fig. 3).19 The exhibition included work by John Armstrong, Tony Bishop, Robert Boynes, Gunter Christmann, Tony Coleing, Aleks Danko, Margaret Dodd, Neil Evans, Ross Grounds, Dale Hickey, Tim Johnson, Peter Kennedy, Warren Knight, Nigel Lendon, Ian Milliss, Ti Parks, Mike Parr, Guy Stuart, Alec Tzannes and a collaborative work by William Pigdeon, Brett Whiteley and Tony Woods. Mike Brown’s work was added for Melbourne.

While Ian Burn’s conceptual work had been included in the NGV’s groundbreaking exhibition The Field in 1968, I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here was the largest exhibition featuring conceptual art that had yet been staged in an Australian museum.20 Smaller, highly influential shows of conceptual work were shown in Melbourne and Sydney from 1969 onwards (in Melbourne at Bruce Pollard’s Pinacotheca gallery, for example). However, audiences would have been niche and far smaller than any form of contemporary show or project presented in a state gallery. See Maggie Finch, ‘Information exchange: Robert Rooney and Roger Cutforth’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, no. 52, 2013, pp. 55–67; and David Homewood, ‘RR/SK: public exhibition’, Discipline, no. 2, autumn 2012, pp. 97–105. After a fourteen-day whirlwind visit that included lectures, the bestowal of art prizes, and numerous parties and dinners, Szeemann returned to Zurich two days before the Sydney exhibition opened. Melbourne was also left to others to install.

What contributed to the choice of commercial gallery for Szeemann’s first Australian project? The decision was unusual, and might be attributed to a number of factors. Bonython Gallery’s purpose-built commercial spaces, interior courtyard, and focus on leading international and Australian artists lent itself to a challenging exhibition of this kind. However, Terry Smith’s review also noted that the ‘chic nature of Bonython Gallery itself defeats some of the work’.21 Smith. Smith suggested Mike Parr’s String-shadow piece and his Invitation had suffered from the context. Kaldor would have come into contact with the director of the gallery, Kym Bonython, and his gallery activities through his own early collecting of Australian art and commissioning of designs by Australian artists for his fabric-making activities. Other alternative spaces may have been considered as possible sites but found lacking for various reasons. For example, the small alternative Sydney gallery Inhibodress, conceived by artists Mike Parr and Tim Johnson as a venue for ‘new art’ and intended as a space for the most experimental art possible, may have shared similar aspirations as Szeemann’s curatorial vision, but its tiny size, lack of funds and minimal gallery administration made the space unsuitable for Kaldor’s project with Szeemann. It is conceivable that, as in Melbourne, Kaldor might have preferred to work with a state art museum for the Sydney exhibition, and Daniel Thomas, the curator of contemporary art at the AGNSW, had been highly supportive of Wrapped coast. However, the gallery’s contemporary gallery spaces were closed for refurbishment, and there was no talk of showing the work anywhere else in the AGNSW. The presentation of the Melbourne exhibition at the NGV implicitly provided an institutional imprimatur. It also enabled the institution to work with more experimental contemporary art by Australian artists, selected by one of Europe’s bright curatorial stars.

Subsequent documentary photography of the project largely focused on images of the exhibition at the NGV rather than the Bonython Gallery installation.22 Baume, p. 22; Forbat, pp. 77, 84–5. A small photograph of Szeemann installing work at the Bonython Gallery appears in Forbat, p. 78. In part, this may be attributed to the fact that the exhibition spaces of Roy Grounds’s new St Kilda Road gallery better lent themselves to the avant-garde and conceptual nature of the work, in contrast to the smaller spaces of Bonython Gallery. It could also be due to the authority an institutional setting had in endorsing the significance and value of many of the experimental works.

Szeemann’s exhibition at the NGV was also important for further developing relationships with key contemporary curators at the institution. As part of the first John Kaldor Art Project, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Woolworks had been shown at the NGV in 1969. This exhibition had introduced Kaldor to John Stringer, Brian Finemore and Frances McCarthy (later Lindsay).23 Working with Brian Finemore, McCarthy was Associate Curator of Australian Art. In 1972 McCarthy was appointed Assistant Curator of Australian Art at the AGNSW, and worked directly with Daniel Thomas, also a keen supporter of Kaldor’s Art Projects. NGV curator John Stringer had enlisted the help of a number of artists to assist with complications that arose installing Woolworks.24 Frances Lindsay, ‘Christo and Jeanne-Claude’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, no. 50, 2011, p. 118. When the open bales proved unsuitable for the proposed exterior site, Stringer successfully negotiated their installation in the NGV’s temporary galleries, in sight of a larger wrapped stack in Murdoch Court, which was open to the elements in Grounds’s original designs.

Stringer well understood the potential influence and impact that critically significant contemporary artists, works of art and exhibitions could have on a developing artistic field. As exhibition officer at the NGV in the late 1960s, he had worked on the influential Museum of Modern Art New York touring exhibition Two Decades of American Painting in 1967, which was also shown at the AGNSW and coordinated by his curatorial counterpart, Daniel Thomas. Stringer reflected in 2002 that the exhibition had been a ‘significant catalyst’ for his own historically important exhibition co-curated with Brian Finemore, The Field, which opened the new NGV building in St Kilda Road.25 For a discussion on the impact and legacy of The Field see Jason Smith & Charles Green, Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968–2002, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2002, p. 12. See, in particular, essays by Frances Lindsay, ‘Left field, fieldwork in  context’, and John Stringer, ‘Cultivating the field’, in Smith & Green, pp. 8–11, 18. While Daniel Thomas’s support for and involvement in Kaldor’s Art Projects has been well documented,26 Daniel Thomas wrote extensively on early projects in his capacity as critic for local newspapers and magazines. See Daniel Thomas, ‘The Art Collectors 10. John Kaldor’, Art and Australia, vol. 8, no. 4, March 1971, pp. 312–23; Daniel Thomas, ‘Reminiscing’, in Forbat, pp. 36–41. John Stringer’s engagement with these early Art Projects is less well-known. Kaldor’s links with Stringer did not end with the NGV. In 1976 Stringer, by then a New York–based exhibitions coordinator, assisted with Kaldor’s Fourth Art Project, a series of performances in Sydney and Adelaide by Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman.

At Szeemann’s exhibition opening at Bonython Gallery, on 29 April 1971, Kaldor outlined what he hoped the project would achieve and enable:

Firstly, local artists and interested people will have the opportunity to get a better understanding of dominant international trends through first-hand observation and contact. Secondly, I hope that through these visits Australia will receive more and more international recognition and encouragement for the talent and potential we have here. Unfortunately it is not within my scope to bring to Australia major exhibitions either of trends or retrospective shows … The role I would like to play, from time to time, is to single out a dominant theme or personality whose impact will stimulate our scene. I also feel that at this formative state of our development the personal contact has a deeper meaning than just a straight-out exhibition.27 John Kaldor quoted in Baume, p. 26.

Kaldor’s opening remarks signposted a number of key issues that would develop in his subsequent Art Projects. He would present leading contemporary international art to a local audience; he hoped that the international visits would focus attention on the work of Australian artists, and wished his projects to focus on individuals rather than large-scale surveys. Presenting, or being involved in, large-scale international survey exhibitions was not Kaldor’s interest. Financially costly, they also required curatorial and scholarly expertise, and considerable time, none of which Kaldor possessed.

The significance of Szeemann’s visit was immediately clear to reviewers. James Gleeson, writing for The Sun newspaper, commented: ‘it presents the conceptual artist’s point of view as decisively and with as much impact as the now famous Field exhibition’s presentation of abstract minimalism in 1968’.28 James Gleeson, The Sun, May 1971, p. 47. Critic and historian Terry Smith summed up the sentiment surrounding Szeemann’s visit in an article for The Sunday Australian: ‘Dr Szeemann will direct the exhibition documenta at Kassel, Germany, next year. He has to live up to its reputation as the biggest, most intelligent, most innovatory and just plain good mega-exhibition in the world … His exhibition of the “most exciting” art in Australia, is obviously less ambitious than documenta but in local terms almost as important’.29 Smith.

Similarly, artist Tim Johnson later remembered the exhibition as a very important event. He had seen When Attitudes Become Form in London and noted that it had been one of the two most significant exhibitions he had seen in London and New York.30 Sue Cramer (ed.), Inhibodress 1970–1972, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 1989, p. 54. Kaldor’s exhibition offered Australian artists the chance to work with one of Europe’s most significant curators of the day. However, working with Szeemann in Australia left a little to be desired. Szeemann’s approach was autocratic – he informed Johnson, ‘You can’t put photos on the wall in a gallery’, referring to the artist’s exhibition of photographs at artist-run space Inhibodress. And as Johnson later recounted, everything was left to the last minute, and Szeemann did not spend much time actually talking to him about the artist’s ideas and work.31 See interview with Tim Johnson and Sue Cramer in Cramer, pp. 54–5. Though Johnson’s comments reflect much-repeated concerns about autocratic curators, Szeemann’s whistle-stop tour of cities and venues – visiting seventy artists and selecting work from twenty-two, amid a whirlwind of dinners, social events and media presentations – would have left little time to actually talk at length or do anything but the most cursory research.

Clive Murray-White’s recollections of Szeemann’s visit to Bruce Pollard and the Pinacotheca group of artists in Melbourne are similarly ambivalent about his visit, though for different reasons:

There was at least the core of Pinacotheca artists plus girlfriends and a couple of hangers on. Like nobody was going to say ‘OK, what do you want?’ and there was this really weird … sort of wandered around feeling … it was actually going along to have a look at a German ‘artocrate’, rather than sell our wares to him.32 Clive Murray-White, quoted in Jonathan Sweet, Pinacotheca 1967–1973, Prendergast Publishers, Melbourne, 1989, p. 31.

The meeting sounds uncomfortable, and a conflict of cool in the face of art-world awe. Clearly it was an international game with unwritten, or as yet unarticulated, rules of engagement. Murray-White was not included in the exhibition, though other Pinacotheca artists were.

While I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here appears to have been largely well received, Kaldor did not achieve his secondary goal: no Australians were shown at Szeemann’s documenta V exhibition in 1972. Perhaps for this reason, John Kaldor did not invite an international curator to make another JKAP until 2013.33 Kaldor Public Art Project 27: 13 Rooms, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach, 11–21 April 2013, Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney. Instead, for forty years Kaldor focused on inviting individual international artists to come to Australia to present a work.

Nor did Szeemann’s Australian exhibition have much impact internationally; it was not reviewed overseas. And while it was included in the 2007 catalogue raisonné of Szeemann’s exhibitions, it was not covered as extensively as other projects – much of the six pages were taken up reproducing Szeemann’s hectic fourteen-day itinerary. Christo’s touring exhibition that Szeemann organised in 1970 was not mentioned at all.34 See Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, pp. 304–50.

British artists Gilbert & George (Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore) had achieved international notoriety as ‘living sculptures’ in 1969.35 Thomas Crow notes that the artists’ collective entity Gilbert & George evoked a double act from the archaic English music hall tradition, a reference that was further revealed by The singing sculpture. See Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent 1955–69, Lawrence King Publishing, London, 1996, p. 163. John Kaldor invited them to present their Singing sculpture in 1973 as John Kaldor Art Project 3. The singing sculpture and The shrubberies number I and number 2 were presented at the AGNSW, Sydney, on 16–21 August, and the NGV, Melbourne, on 29 August – 2 September 1973 (fig. 7).

Atop a table, dressed in almost identical tailored suits and ties, their faces and hands covered in metallic paint, and holding a cane and one rubber glove, the two artists genteelly sang along to Flanagan and Allen’s 1930s music-hall tune ‘Underneath the arches’, which played on a portable tape recorder (fig. 1). Charles Green and others have written extensively on Gilbert & George’s presentation of The singing sculpture in Australia.36 For a discussion of Gilbert & George’s Australian presentations, see Charles Green, The Third Hand: Collaborations in Art From Conceptual- ism to Postmodern, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2001; and Charles Green, ‘Doppelgangers and the third force: the artistic collaborations of Gilbert & George and Marina Abramović/Ulay’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, vol. 59, no. 2, 2000, pp. 36–42.

When Kaldor invited Gilbert & George, The singing sculpture was already a well-known work internationally, having been presented nineteen times between 1969 and 1972 in a series of commercial galleries and art museums across Europe.37 See Anthony McCall (ed.), Gilbert & George, The Singing Sculpture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1993, p. 59. It was the work’s New York presentation that drew Kaldor’s attention, at a commercial gallery with which he had close ties. In 1971 Gilbert & George travelled to the United States to present the work at the launch of Ileana Sonnabend’s second New York Gallery on 420 West Broadway.38 This visit is also noted in Baume, p. 29; and Roberta Smith, ‘Gilbert & George 20 years later’, New York Times, 27 Sep. 1991. It was reviewed in a number of key international art journals and magazines, including ARTnews, Studio International, The New Yorker and Artforum.39 ARTnews, New York, Nov. 1971; Studio International, London, Nov. 1971; The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 1971; Artforum, New York, Dec. 1971. Excerpts republished in McCall, pp. 54–7.

Kaldor’s invitation to Gilbert & George reflected his complete confidence in Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who had introduced him to Gilbert & George. Kaldor then met them for tea and conversation in London.40 See Forbat, p. 95. It also reflected the close, advisorial role that gallerists and artists played in Kaldor’s decisions about significant work and artistic developments, a role later taken up by curators including Daniel Thomas, Nicholas Baume and other public gallery directors. Kaldor’s decision to present a work unseen also reflected, in all likelihood, the impact of Szeemann’s curatorial risk-taking. Szeemann had invited artists to participate in exhibitions without choosing specific existing works, reflecting an innate confidence in his choice of artist to continue to produce significant works for new curatorial opportunities. At the time of their arrival in Australia, Gilbert & George’s new form of sculptural practice was still radical and groundbreaking.41  See Green, The Third Hand, p. 142.

As with Szeemann’s Art Project, The singing sculpture was accompanied by a publication. Conceived and designed by the artists, it was presented as an artists’ book rather than an exhibition catalogue (fig. 8). This was in keeping with the many publications they had already made.42 Publications reprinted in McCall; and Forbat, p. 97. Noted by Baume, p. 29. It contained images from their twenty-three-part drawing The general jungle, 1971, imagining the artists in parkland settings and shown as part of their Sonnabend New York exhibition in 1971, alongside details from a large ‘charcoal on paper sculpture’ drawing, The shrubberies number 1 and number 2, 1972. These massive, floor-to-ceiling drawings again featured Gilbert & George walking through a bucolic landscape. Along the bottom ran a line of text, with phrases borrowed from the English gentleman sports of cricket and racing, such as ‘Well bowled’, contrasting with pub vernacular terms including ‘Bad blood’. These works on paper featured in both Australian venues, though little mention was made of them in their Australian context. This differed from the reception of previous showings of the The shrubberies overseas, where it was given pride of place in London’s Hayward Gallery exhibition The New Art (1972), and the artists also featured on the exhibition’s invitation card.

Publications, invitations and announcements had formed a significant part of the artists’ production. English art critic William Feaver suggested it was designed to ‘save them having to hang around as art-works for a month’, while others noted that it stemmed from their ‘promotional capabilities’.43 See William Wood, ‘Still you asked for more: demand, display and “The New Art”’, in Michael Newman & Jon Bird, Rewriting Conceptual Art, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1999, pp. 66–87. Kaldor’s publication to accompany a durational work of art was his, and their, means of capturing an essentially ephemeral work. Brian Adams filmed a documentary of Gilbert & George’s visit for ABC television’s Survey program. His films of the first three JKAP projects for the ABC played an important role in locating these exciting and cutting-edge projects within a wider cultural consciousness.

Gilbert & George increased the profile of JKAP and Kaldor’s philanthropic and artistic activities. The title ‘John Kaldor Art Projects’ was used as an overarching marketing brand. In his personal notes for the artists’ visit, Kaldor noted that he would acknowledge the project as the third in the John Kaldor Art Project series.44 Item 11 of the reminder noted: ‘11. Remember John Kaldor Art Project 3’; Forbat, p. 96. Whereas other philanthropists often chose anonymity, Kaldor’s note reflected his desire to be clearly identified, and for the individual project to be seen as part of a wider and ongoing program of philanthropy.

JKAP’s third project consolidated Kaldor’s relationship with the country’s two leading state art museums, which had begun during the Alcorso-Sekers scholarship, when the gallery directors were involved in selecting the finalists, which were then shown in exhibitions at one of the two galleries.45 See Anne Sanders, ‘Mildura Sculpture Triennials 1961–1978: an interpretative history’, PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, 2009, <http:// hdl.handle.net/1885/7452>, accessed 11 Aug. 2011; and Baume, 1995, p. 1. Kaldor had also been involved with both art museums through earlier Art Projects: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Woolworks had been shown at the NGV in 1969, as had Szeemann’s exhibition I Want to Leave a Well-Done Child Here in 1971. Kaldor’s relationship with curatorial staff was also important. Both exhibitions not only developed strong links with Kaldor at a directorial and board level, but also enabled him to work closely with key curators in these institutions with a keen interest in contemporary art.

It was a little unusual that Kaldor could personally offer the artists exhibitions in two state art galleries. He was neither a gallery trustee, nor did he have an official role, and while it was an opportunity for each art gallery to present a significant work by leading international contemporary artists, it was odd for an invitation of this kind not to come from the gallery directors themselves. For state institutions, what were the advantages of working with a private individual to present cutting-edge contemporary art projects? In Sydney, the newly dedicated space for contemporary art, the James Cook Gallery of Contemporary Art, opened in 1972, offered curatorial staff the chance to develop and present a vastly expanded program of exhibitions and events. Daniel Thomas noted that until that point, the staff size was small and the primary curatorial focus was on the care and development of collections, with exhibition making as only ‘a very occasional activity for collection curators’.46 Daniel Thomas worked at the AGNSW from 1958 to 1976. He noted the other professional staff were director Hal Missingham and deputy director Tony Tuckson, both of whom were artists outside their AGNSW work. Steven Miller, ‘Daniel Thomas: empathy and understanding ’, Artlink, vol. 26, no. 4, 2006, <http://www.artlink.com.au/articles/2863/daniel-thomas-empathy-and-understanding/>, accessed 17 Aug. 2010. In contrast, the NGV was ‘rich and big and professional’.47 Miller. Thomas described the period from 1972 to 1978 as a ‘six-year golden age of exhibition-management and exhibition-making’.48 Daniel Thomas, quoted in Miller. As Thomas noted, these included modern masters exhibitions, the newest American art, Chinese antiquities, and in-house produced exhibitions of colonial art, historical modernism and the newest Australian art, such as  Tim Burn’s A change of plan, 1973, a closed-circuit TV piece in 1973, which he suggested ‘must have been the first New Media work seen by a big public’. For AGNSW Director Philip Laverty (1971–78), Kaldor’s first series of Art Projects played an important role. They offered another means by which the AGNSW could showcase leading international contemporary artists and their art as part of the institution’s expanded exhibition program. No doubt, in Melbourne the projects offered the same for the NGV.

Kaldor’s close association with major public art museums developed through close personal relationships with a key curator, Daniel Thomas, who played an integral role in his support of Kaldor’s Art Projects and his relationship with the AGNSW. Brian Adams’s ABC television program Survey documented Gilbert & George’s visit, filming Thomas with the artists at Mrs Macquaries Chair on the harbour.49 Image from film republished to accompany Daniel Thomas’s essay in Forbat, p. 36. A black-and-white photograph of Gilbert & George, Daniel Thomas and others at the same harbourside event captured Thomas’s close friendship with the artists.50 Baume, p. 29; Forbat, p. 36. This photograph was reproduced in both major retrospectives of JKAP. In 2011, in a conversation with Kaldor at the launch of the Kaldor Family Collection – a donation of over 200 works, then valued at over $35 million – AGNSW Director Edmond Capon described Gilbert & George’s The singing sculpture as ‘a defining moment in the history of art in Australia’.51 Edmund Capon had previously reflected in his foreword to Forbat, 2009, that ‘though he wasn’t much given to the notion of “defining moments” … it was surely the very first Kaldor project’ (Forbat, p. 18). The value of Kaldor’s gift to the AGNSW was estimated by The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 2011. That it occurred within his institution reinforced the role of the AGNSW and the NGV – and JKAP – within that history. Kaldor’s ability to introduce international artists to an institution and bring financial support was a generous offer; one too good to refuse.

A changing institutional landscape

Institutional partnerships between state galleries and JKAP continued between 1973 and 1977. These projects are significant for reflecting an ongoing relationship between Kaldor’s Art Projects and state institutions, and the role that a private foundation played in influencing the shape of these institutions’ more experimental contemporary international art programs. Institutional programming was also changing, however, as was the interest in arts and culture in Australia in the 1970s. While a detailed examination of the Sydney projects during this period are not within the scope of this essay, a brief reference is useful to highlight exhibition and curatorial factors that influenced these changes.

In 1973 a visit by New York–based artist Antoni Miralda to launch Kaldor’s new fabric showrooms in Surry Hills, Sydney, enabled Daniel Thomas, as Senior Curator at the AGNSW, to present one of Miralda’s coloured feasts in the gallery’s entrance. Images of Coloured bread, an 8.5-metre-long table of dyed bread, show the installation displayed in front of Morris Louis’s Ayin, 1958, a work the gallery had acquired from the influential MoMA New York touring exhibition Two Decades of American Painting.52 Acquired by the ANGSW in 1967 (see AGNSW online catalogue, <http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/work/OO2.1967/>, accessed 30 July 2012). At the time, the project was not considered an Art Project, possibly reflecting the commercial motivations for Miralda’s visit.53 John Kaldor subsequently reclassified the project to include it as part of Forbat’s 40 Years publication. See Coates, p. 104.

Kaldor’s fourth project in 1976, with New York–based Korean video artist Nam June Paik and classically trained New York cellist Charlotte Moorman, continued his presentation of contemporary art to Australians. It was, however, only presented in Sydney, in partnership with the AGNSW, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Festival, and in Adelaide with the Adelaide Festival (the first Art Project presented in this city). Annette Dixon, NGV curator of European and American art at the time, spoke of the difficulties in showing and collecting video art for art institutions, and their resistance to the medium.54 See Stephen Jones, ‘Video art at the National Gallery of Victoria: 1973–1978’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, no. 52, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, pp. 69–79. The experimental music and video performances were the first of Kaldor’s projects to receive government funding from the newly formed Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council.55 Baume, p. 35. This in part reflected Kaldor’s ability to gather support and funding from a range of public and private sources, and was a tacit acknowledgement of the role that the Art Projects played as part of a wider cultural landscape.56 For a discussion of these projects, see Coates.

JKAP was not alone in bringing international contemporary art to Australia, though he was the only individual to be working on this scale. Another influential MoMA touring exhibition, Some Recent American Art in 1973–74, was also important in this respect.57 See Jennifer Licht, Some Recent American Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, with permission of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1973. Organised by the International Council of MoMA New York as part of their touring exhibition program, the exhibition was accompanied by curator Jennifer Licht and toured to Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland.58 Tour details were published in the exhibition catalogue; see Licht. The exhibition was shown at the NGV, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the AGNSW, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Auckland City Art Gallery. It included work by Carl Andre, Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Dan Flavin, Eva Hesse, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Robert Morris, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Lawrence Weiner, and others in an exhibition comprised of installation and video art. Whereas video had sometimes been seen as subordinate to an artist’s main work, video was the primary medium for many of these artists. LeWitt, Andre, Yvonne Rainer, Acconci and Robert Irwin all visited Melbourne during the exhibition.59 Jones.

The exhibition included significant works, such as Eva Hesse’s Contingent, 1969, which had occupied the cover of the May 1970 edition of Artforum.60 The issue also featured Cindy Nemser, ‘An interview with Hesse’, pp. 59–63. Presented in the last phases of the Vietnam War, the exhibition was criticised by a vociferous group of Marxist artists and academics in Adelaide,61 For a discussion of the debate the exhibition generated, see David Dolan (ed.), Cultural Imperialism and the Social Responsibility of the Artist, Contemporary Art Society of Australia, Adelaide, 1976. See also Brian Medlin, Donald Brook and Ian North’s articles from 1974–75, reprinted in ‘Cultural imperialism revisited’, Broadsheet, vol. 40, no. 4, 2011, pp. 262–75. who accused it of elitism and American cultural imperialism, condemning the self-referential quality of works presented. In Melbourne, Patrick McCaughey, art critic for The Age (and later to become director of the NGV), wrote of the great significance of Andre’s floor piece Lever, 1966, comprised of 137 standard house bricks arranged in a line: ‘The value of seeing these particular objects in the flesh is immeasurable … So far we have heard the rhetoric but not seen the art’.62 Patrick McCaughey, ‘The seriousness of 137 bricks’, The Age, 13 Feb. 1974, p. 7. Carl Andre’s work Equivalent VIII, 1966, had been purchas- ed by the Tate Gallery in London in 1972, and was shown in 1974, although controversy only erupted after a Sunday Times article in Feb. 1976. See Editorial, Burlington Magazine, vol. 118, no. 884, Nov. 1976, pp. 762–7. The exhibition enabled artists and the public to see such works at firsthand.

Works from the exhibition were acquired for the developing National Gallery of Australia collection. In 1973 the gallery acquired Hesse’s Contingent from the estate of the artist, and in 1975 purchased Robert Morris’s Untitled, 1969, a felt wall sculpture similar to the one included in the touring show. The NGV acquired two works from the exhibition in 1974: Morris’s felt work Untitled, 1970, and Donald Judd’s aluminium form with blue interior, Untitled, 1969–71. Both were purchased through the Felton Bequest. Kaldor also acquired a work by Carl Andre from the exhibition in 1974: Andre’s Steel-copper plain, 1969, a small, square, steel and copper floorpiece of thirty-six units. Nicholas Baume noted that the work had originally been made for the Guggenheim Museum, New York, as part of 37th piece of work, 1970, a gigantic floorpiece made up of 1296 metal plates, arranged alphabetically by the element symbol of the metals.63 Baume, p. 40. The acquisitions reflected the significance of these works for both private and public collectors in Australia, and the key role of early touring exhibitions.

As major international works continued to be presented through exhibitions of this kind in state galleries, artists themselves increasingly travelled to Australia. Donald Judd, for instance, accepted an invitation to visit Australia and create a public work in association with Some Recent American Art.64 John Neylon, ‘Dear Donald’, Adelaide Review, June 2012 <http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/article/1547>, accessed 12 Aug. 2012. As a suitable site could not be found at the AGNSW, the offer was made to the Art Gallery of South Australia. Judd created Untitled, 1974–75, a large, triangular, concrete sculpture permanently installed in the courtyard of the AGSA. As Ian North, the gallery’s curator of paintings and sculptures, noted in the work’s press release, ‘the Judd sculpture was Adelaide’s Blue Poles – suggestive of artistic progressiveness against the conservatism of the times’.65 AGSA media release, ‘Donald Judd in Adelaide, 30th anniversary display at the Art Gallery of South Australia’, 15 Oct. 2004 – 30 Jan. 2005, AGSA, <http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/agsa/home/Media/docs/Past_media_releases/MR04_Donald_Judd.pdf>, accessed August 2, 2011. North also gave a lecture as part of the thirty-year celebrations, 14 Oct. 2004, noted in the media release, though no transcript exists. Like Szeemann in 1971, Judd did not stay for the final completion of the work. It was one of very few site-specific outdoor installations he ever made.66  Others are in Germany and New York, and in the grounds of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaaan, Connecticut, United States. Where visits by leading international artists had to date been John Kaldor’s preserve, his Art Projects were no longer distinctive.

Artists had been corresponding, exchanging catalogues and conceptual works with other international artists since the early late 1960s.67 See, for example, Finch. These occasionally resulted in later visits. In 1978, Carl Andre visited Australia on the invitation of his Australian friend and fellow artist, Robert Hunter.68 See Jenepher Duncan, Robert Hunter Paintings 1966–1988, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, 1987, p. 11. Also noted by Alan Dodge, ‘Robert Hunter and Minimal art’, in Duncan, p. 15. Hunter had met Andre in 1971, when he had represented Australia at the Second Indian Triennale of Contemporary Art, in which Andre was also participating. The artists had become good friends.69 Heather Barker & Charles Green, ‘The watershed: Two Decades of American Painting at the National Gallery of Victoria’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, no. 50, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2011, pp. 65–78. On his visit to Australia in 1978, Andre presented three joint exhibitions with Hunter, held almost simultaneously at Pinacotheca, Melbourne; Newcastle City Art Gallery, Newcastle; and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.70 For details see Joanna Mendelssohn, ‘Andre/Hunter joint exhibition’, Art and Australia, vol. 16, no. 3, March 1979; Duncan, p. 11; and Dodge, p. 33. Hunter notes his friendship with Andre, as an artist and colleague, in Gary Catalano, ‘Something out of nothing: an interview with Robert Hunter’, Art and Australia, vol. 33, no. 2, summer 1995, pp. 203, 204. Each installation was different. Joanna Mendelssohn, reviewing the exhibition for Art and Australia, observed the exhibition was a variation on the travelling shows that had dominated gallery programs.71 Mendelssohn, p. 225. There was still scope for single-artist projects in the state institutions.

A quieter reception

Kaldor was primarily interested in collecting Conceptual and Minimal Art, and his selection of artwork was museum-like for the scale and quality of work acquired. The closest international comparison is Friedrich and Phillipa de Menil’s support for American artists in what was to become the Dia Art Foundation in New York.72 See Coates, p. 44. Kaldor’s fifth and sixth projects, with Sol LeWitt and Richard Long respectively, reflected this focus. In 1977 each artist made site-specific installations at both the AGNSW and the NGV. Catalogues were published for both projects.73 Sol LeWitt, Wall drawing, artists book, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1977; Richard Long, A Straight Hundred Mile Walk in Australia: A Walk along a Line, Returning to the Same Campsite Each Night, artist’s book, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1978.

For the 1977 JKAP project, Sol LeWitt created a wall drawing: Wall drawing #146. All two part combinations of arcs from four corners and four sides, straight, not-straight and broken lines in four directions, 1972–77. It had already been installed a number of times overseas. Acquired by the Italian collector Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumino, permission was ‘lent’ to LeWitt for its temporary installation at the AGNSW.74 Daniel Thomas, in his article on LeWitt for The Bulletin, notes the artist’s relationship to the collector. See Daniel Thomas, ‘The master of the grid’, Bulletin, 2 April 1977, p. 69. LeWitt, Wall drawing #146. All two part combinations of arcs from four corners and four sides, straight, not-straight and broken lines in four directions, 1972–77, now forms part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Panza Collection, Gift 92.4160. By 1977 LeWitt’s wall drawings had been shown in leading museums worldwide.75 For a discussion of LeWitt’s wall drawings, see Rosalind Krauss, ‘The LeWitt matrix’, in Sol LeWitt: Structures 1962–1993, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1993, pp. 25–33. He was widely collected.76 For an extensive bibliography of LeWitt’s solo and group shows, see Sol LeWitt, pp. 119–21. LeWitt was included in Szeemann’s When Attitude Becomes Form, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1969), while his renowned text ‘Paragraphs on conceptual art’ was published Artforum, 5, no. 10, June 1967, pp. 79–83, and reprinted in Gary Garrels (ed.), Sol LeWitt: a Retrospective, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in association with Yale University Press, San Francisco and New Haven, CT, 2000, p. 369. With each installation, the instructions varied in size and dimensions. No two works were exactly the same: at the AGNSW’s central space, he used the double height wall to join the old and new wings. Students from the Alexander Mackie College acted as LeWitt’s assistants.77 Baume, p. 38.

At the NGV, a 3 x 12 metre wall was divided into four equal panel squares of white lines on yellow, red, blue and black. The work’s title, Lines to points on a grid. On yellow: Lines from the centre of the wall. On red: Lines from four sides. On blue: Lines from four corners. On black: Lines from four sides, four corners and the centre of the wall, 1977, described the process of the work (fig. 9). Originally conceived to be shown in the ‘quasi-ghetto’ of the Prints and Drawings Gallery (as Daniel Thomas described the gallery in his review for The Bulletin), the wall drawing was shown instead in the broad corridor facing the Oriental Courtyard. Presented within an art museum context, the differences between this project and other gallery-curated exhibitions were difficult to discern for a general public. For Australian audiences, LeWitt’s works were not novel. Examples of the artist’s wall drawings had first been shown in Australia in Some Recent American Art in 1973.78 Licht. Artist Peter Cripps, then working at the NGV as an exhibitions officer, met LeWitt through this show, and then travelled around Australia installing the work at other venues.79 Peter Cripps, artist floor talk, ‘Less is more’, curated by Sue Cramer, Museum of Modern Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria, 26 Aug. 2012. A black and white photograph of Cripps installing LeWitt’s wall drawing at the NGV was included in documentation as part of the collection show in the John Kaldor Family Galleries, AGNSW, in 2014. Cripps, artist Robert Rooney and others exchanged postcards with LeWitt following this exhibition (fig. 10).80 Peter Cripps, conversation with the author, 26 Aug. 2012. Cripps notes that he was unaware other artists in Melbourne were exchanging postcards with LeWitt at the time, and only discovered this when viewing other postcards to Rooney in Endless Present: Robert Rooney and Conceptual Art, NGV, 12 Nov. 2010 – 27 March 2011. Postcards from the correspondence between Rooney and LeWitt were also included in the collection show in the John Kaldor Family Galleries, AGNSW, in 2014. The opportunity for younger Australian artists to work with an artist of LeWitt’s status was clearly extremely valuable.

Kaldor’s interest in presenting a LeWitt Art Project developed from his purchase of the artist’s drawings and sculptures. Kaldor first acquired works by Sol LeWitt in 1975, shortly after Some Recent American Art. He purchased two drawings from the John Weber Gallery, The location of 21 lines with lines from middle points mostly, 1974, and The location of six geometric figures, 1975.81 Baume, p. 32. Kaldor continued to collect LeWitt, and while the artist was in Australia for the 1977 JKAP, Kaldor commissioned him to make a wall drawing for his collection, Six geometric figures superimposed in two parts, 1977.82 ibid., p. 38. Kaldor’s personal collection and Art Projects were becoming intertwined.

When LeWitt wrote to Kaldor on 17 April 1976 to confirm his visit to Australia and his desire to create wall drawings for Kaldor’s office and the art museums in Sydney and Melbourne, he noted: ‘I don’t want to do any lectures or parties, dinners and too much social stuff’.83 Sol LeWitt, letter to John Kaldor, 17 April 1976, reproduced in Forbat, p. 124. Indeed, the artist’s reluctance to answer questions about himself while visiting Australia was noted by Jill Sykes, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald.84 Jill Sykes, ‘Lines of communication’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 1977, p. 7. While LeWitt’s quieter approach differed from the more theatrical earlier Kaldor projects, the presentation of work by an artist who had already been seen in Australia, with both large-scale wall works and as part of a group exhibition, meant the work was unlikely to receive the celebrity coverage of earlier projects. Once again, the project was consciously presented as the Fifth JKAP, part of a series of independent projects presented by a private foundation. Its location, however, within an exhibition program in an institution with greater capacity to show contemporary art, made it difficult for the average visitor (and even the discerning art audience) to differentiate between the gallery’s own growing number of contemporary art projects and commissions and those of Kaldor.

The project with LeWitt had little immediate public impact, unlike the first three Art Projects in 1969, 1971 and 1973. Sandra McGrath, writing for The Australian, noted his ‘seriousness’, and the fact that he was ‘cast in a different mould to John Kaldor’s more theatrical projects’. Two reviews appeared in local Sydney papers. As Nicholas Baume noted of the project, media response was ‘muted, if generally positive’.85 Baume, p. 38. Daniel Thomas wrote a longer article on the project for The Bulletin, locating LeWitt’s wall drawings within the history of Minimal and Conceptual Art.86 Thomas, ‘The master of the grid’. Acknowledging Italian collector and patron Count Giuseppe Panza di Buimino, who had keenly supported artists such as LeWitt through the acquisition and commission of works, Thomas also mentioned the financial support of the recently created Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council.87 Given Count Giuseppe Panza di Buimino’s involvement with Minimalist artists closely associated with Dia Art Foundation, it is likely that Kaldor knew of this method of support from a private individual. See Chave, pp. 466–86. A familiarity with LeWitt’s wall drawings, existing connections between LeWitt and Australian artists, the rigorous quality of the work itself, and LeWitt’s reluctance to be the subject of a media program no doubt all played their part in the subdued response. Baume attributed the lack of interest to LeWitt’s ‘uninterest [sic] in personal publicity and the low-key nature of his work’.88 Baume, p. 38.

Richard Long’s Art Project was similarly framed. For the Art Project, he presented Bushwood circle, 8 December 1977 – 7 January 1978, NGV, Melbourne (figs 11 and 12); and Stone Line, 15 December 1977 – 5 February 1978, AGNSW, Sydney. In December 1977, he undertook one of his conceptually defined walks, this time through the Australian landscape somewhere near Broken Hill. The walk was made on a daily basis, with the artist returning to the same campsite each night: one of a series of straight 100-mile walks the artist had made in a number of countries. In an interview, Long said:

Back in the early seventies I had this idea to make straight hundred mile walks along straight lines in different landscapes. I did one in the classical boggy temperate landscape of Ireland and then I did one on the prairies of Canada so that the idea was that the hundred mile walks were always the same but the landscape changed. I did another one in a bamboo forest in Japan, and another in the red Australian outback.89 Richard Long, quoted in Colin Kirkpatrick, ‘Richard Long: no where’, Transcript, vol. 2, no. 2, 1997, p. 46.

Kaldor had for some time been interested in Long’s installations and walks and first invited the artist to create a project in Australia in the early 1970s.90 Forbat, p. 136. Even at this point the artist had already achieved considerable international recognition. A student of Anthony Caro at the St Martin’s School of Art, London, along with Gilbert & George, by 1968 Long had already been shown in Dusseldorf, in Konrad Fischer’s commercial gallery.91 Crow, p. 162. Szeemann included one of Long ’s text works in When Attitudes Become Form in Bern in 1969, and along with Gilbert & George, Long had been included in the Hayward Gallery’s important exhibition, The New Art (1972). As William Wood noted, he was an artist who works with ‘things at their rawest, their simplest, their most pure’, and it was these qualities that led followers of his work to prize it for its immediacy, its ability to escape the meditations of representation and the burdens of art history.92 Wood, p. 73. An article on Long’s walks and engagements with nature by Germano Celant for domus magazine in 1972 formed part of the JKAP project file on the artist, and was clearly an important early source.93 Germano Celant, ‘Richard Long ’, domus, no. 511, June 1972, pp. 48–51. By 1977, Long’s work had been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1971); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1972); documenta V, in Kassel, Germany (1972); and the Venice Biennale (1976).94 Germano Celant, ‘Richard Long ’, domus, no. 511, June 1972, pp. 48–51. Long’s walks, sculptures and conceptually based photographic documentation were a well-established part of art museum and biennale programs, and were widely documented through images in exhibition catalogues and associated critical texts.

Long’s Art Project responded to the Australian outback. It was part of the artist’s exploration of process through walks in many countries. Near Broken Hill, Long made solitary walks over a period of eight days and nights, walking in a straight line by compass and returning to the same, randomly chosen, campsite each night.95 Baume, p. 38. He documented this process in photographs. They were ‘simple and straightforward’, taken at eye level.96 Richard Long, quoted in Baume, p. 39. Long installed Stone line, 1977, at the AGNSW, and Bushwood circle, 1977, at the NGV. An artist’s book was made of the documentary photographs of the walk.97 Installation views in Baume, pp. 38, 39; and Forbat, pp. 140–3. Like Sol LeWitt’s project earlier that year, Long’s Australian project was supported with assistance from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council.98 Noted in Jill Sykes, ‘The rocky road’, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend, 17 Dec. 1977, p. 16. With both institutional and government support, Kaldor was now the leading partner in what were, effectively, consortia of private, art museum and government-supported projects.

The influence of Long’s Australian visit was reflected in his choice of titles for subsequent exhibitions; he included images from Australia in later publications. His 1978 exhibition at Lisson Gallery, London, was titled Outback. It featured one of the artist’s black and white photographs of his bush camp, surrounded by Australian eucalypts and native bush.99 Project 7: an invitation from Richard Long’s exhibition Outback, shown at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1978. Reproduced on JKAP website, <http://kaldorartprojects.org.au/project-archive/richard-long-1977>, accessed 12 May 2012.

In Australia, responses to Richard Long’s projects were muted. This, in part, was due to the December–January summer slot.100 Baume, p. 40. Long ’s project was reviewed in major Australian newspapers. See ‘Now art comes by the tonne’, Daily Telegraph,  15 Dec. 1977, p. 7; David Elias, ‘Artist who knows his way around’, The Australian, 9 Dec. 1977, p. 5; Margaret Geddes, ‘As a work of art  it’s a ring-in’, The Age, 9 Dec. 1977, p. 2; and Sykes ‘The rocky road’. It was prior to mass tourism at that time of year, and programming that reflects this shift: the bulk of Australia retreated to the beach. In the popular press, it drew the familiar derisory ‘silly season’ comments. Critical reviews on Long’s work more generally appeared in February and May 1977, in Art News and Art Monthly.101 Articles included Paul Overy, ‘Richard Long’, Art Monthly, no. 4, Feb. 1977, p. 21; and William Feaver, ‘Passionate togetherness’, Art News, vol. 76, no. 5, May 1977, pp. 94–5. These assisted in attracting international art-world interest to his Australian project. The private and solitary nature of Long’s walks also differed radically from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s complex processes of social and political interaction, Szeemann’s sensationalism, and the spectacle of the performances of both Gilbert & George and Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik. The community participation involved in Wrapped coast contrasted sharply with Long’s working method, which was solitary and invisible. Long’s exhibitions at the two state art museums could easily have been mistaken, once more, as having been generated by the institutions themselves. Though Kaldor had long wanted to make a project with Long,102 Articles included Paul Overy, ‘Richard Long ’, Art Monthly, no. 4, Feb. 1977, p. 21; and William Feaver, ‘Passionate togetherness’, Art News, vol. 76, no. 5, May 1977, pp. 94–5. by the time his Art Project with the artist materialised, he was not only internationally well-known, but had already received considerable official public recognition. Kaldor purchased a number of significant works by Long, consolidating a personal relationship that was to develop further in later years.103 Baume notes that Kaldor acquired Slate cairn, 1977, in 1978, the year after the Art Project (p. 40). A double-page image of it in Kaldor’s garden features in Wayne Tunnicliffe (ed.), John Kaldor Family Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, pp. 142–3. Sydney Harbour driftwood, 1977, was also made on the visit, and gifted to the AGNSW in 2008. Other works by Long, and acquired from Anthony d’Offay, who first met Kaldor in 1978 when he started showing the artist, included ‘mud works’ on paper and made directly onto a wall at Kaldor’s house, and text works such as A moved line in Japan, 1983, acquired in 1986 and part of the John Kaldor Family Collection, AGNSW. Long also returned to Australia to complete a major new mud wall work, Southern gravity, 2011. See Tunnicliffe, pp. 134–49.

The subdued responses to LeWitt and Long may also have reflected social and artistic changes in Australia. Cheaper travel and increased coverage of international exhibitions and artists made projects of this kind available to a widening audience. The establishment of the Sydney Biennale in 1973 had significantly altered the cultural and artistic frame for Kaldor’s projects. The 1976 Sydney Biennale, Recent International Forms in Art, was curated by Thomas G. McCullough, who had been director of the innovative Mildura Sculpture Triennials in the 1970s.104 See Sanders. Working closely with AGNSW curators, where the biennale was primarily held, McCullough was able to bring together artists, critics and the public for a series of live events, installations and works of art that extended beyond the gallery context. McCullough involved curators Daniel Thomas, Frances McCarthy (Lindsay), Bernice Murphy and Robert Lindsay, whom he described as ‘talented individuals’. He noted that their ‘employers placed too much emphasis on traditional things like the Archibald Prize to give them the scope to experiment’.105 ‘History’, Biennale of Sydney, <http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/about/ history/1976>, accessed 21 Aug. 2015. The biennale was now creating the opportunity to work closely with more experimental artists, both local and international.

With the establishment of the Visual Arts Board (VAB) in 1973, one of seven boards of the newly chartered Australian Council for the Arts, government funding was now also more available to support artist visits and exhibitions in Australia.106 Heather Barker and Charles Green noted that the VAB assumed some of the functions of the former Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, but not those relating to acquisitions for the Australian National Gallery. Its main responsibilities lay in the general fields of painting, sculpture, photography, industrial design, architecture, art education and the conservation of works of art. See Heather Barker & Charles Green, ‘The provincialism problem: Terry Smith and centre-periphery art history’, Journal of Art Historiography, no. 3, Dec. 2010. For details of the establishment of the VAB, see Australia Council for the Arts, First Annual Report 1973, Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney, 1974. For a history of the development of arts funding in Australia, see John Gardiner-Garden, ‘Commonwealth arts policy and administration’, Parliament of Australia, Social Policy Section, background note, 7 May 2009, <http://www.aph.gov.au/ library/pubs/ bn/2008-09/ArtsPolicy.pdf>, accessed 29 Sep. 2011. Long’s project itself was presented with the financial assistance of the VAB of the Australia Council (as it had subsequently become). The newly formed VAB defined its role in two parts. First, it was to mount Australian exhibitions to tour internationally, as outlined in the Australian Council for the Arts’ first annual report, in 1973. Secondly, it was to cooperate with state galleries in bringing ‘outstanding overseas exhibitions to Australia’.107 Australia Council for the Arts. Because both LeWitt’s and Long ’s projects with JKAP were shown at major state galleries, they were eligible for support. Potential government funding offered another motivation to present Art Projects within a state art museum, but it also meant that the private initiative was ‘competing’ directly for government funds with other newly formed enterprises, such as the Sydney Biennale.

Conclusion

Formed between state galleries and a Sydney-based private foundation, the John Kaldor Art Projects collaborations held between 1971 and 1977 created a new form of philanthropic engagement between the private and public realms. These Art Projects were attractive for an institution such as the NGV and the AGNSW, as they provided them with the opportunity to present important and internationally acclaimed projects by leading international artists, such as Gilbert & George, Sol LeWitt and Richard Long. A number of leading contemporary curators working at the NGV played a leading role in the support and presentation of contemporary art, through their involvement with international touring exhibitions or these solo projects. Through the presence of the artist, often working with younger generations of local art students and artists, these projects offered valuable connections to be made between local and international art worlds. However, as government support for the cultural sector developed, and galleries such as the NGV had greater financial and artistic freedom to present contemporary projects, offers of these kinds needed to be reassessed.

Not-for-profit foundations have become an increasingly visible and powerful presence in the contemporary art world today. The examination of these early art projects offers an insight into the curatorial considerations around such public–private partnerships, as a means of better understanding this more significant and widespread role.

Dr Rebecca Coates, independent curator, writer, and lecturer in Art History and Art Curatorship in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne (in 2015)

Notes

1      The foundation has undergone a number of name changes. It is now known as Kaldor Public Art Projects. From the first project in 1969 to 2004, it was known as John Kaldor Art Projects. For the purposes of this essay, it will be referred to as John Kaldor Art Projects (JKAP), its name during the period under examination.

2     See, for example, Anna Chave, ‘Revaluing minimalism: patronage, aura, and place,’ Art Bulletin, vol. 90, no. 3, Sep. 2008, pp. 466–86.

3     Sophie Forbat (ed.), 40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney, 2009.

4     As many of these projects had already been presented elsewhere, in 2008 Kaldor noted that he did not commission works, but rather facilitated or enabled their presentation. See Rebecca Coates, ‘The rise of the private art foundation: John Kaldor Art Projects 1969–2012’, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 2014, p. 146.

5     New York–based, Spanish artist Antoni Miralda was invited to Australia to present a coloured feast to launch Kaldor’s new showrooms, as well as a second event at the AGNSW, but this was not originally considered an Art Project; see Coates, pp. 168–70.

6     Exhibitions were held between 1966 and 1968; see Coates, pp. 114–18. State gallery directors selected the entrants to the travel grant prize, and an exhibition of their work was shown in alternate years at the state galleries.

7     Bonython Gallery, Sydney, 29 April – 13 May 1971; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 4 June – 4 July 1971.

8     Harald Szeemann has been described as ‘the most celebrated independent organization of exhibitions in the latter part of the  20th century’, see Tobia Bezzola & Roman Kurzmeyer (eds), Harald Szeemann With By Through Because Towards Despite: Catalogue of  All Exhibitions 1957–2005, Edition Voldemeer and Springer Zürich, Vienna and New York, 2007, p. 7. See also Christian Rattemeyer, Exhibiting the New Art, ‘Op Losse Schroveven’ and ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, 1969, Exhibition Histories, Afterall, London, 2010; Daniel Birnbaum, ‘When attitude becomes form: Daniel Birnbaum on Harald Szeemann’, Artforum International, summer (June) 2005,  pp. 53–4; Hans Ulrich Obrist & Richard Serra, ‘Harald Szeemann 1933–2005’, Frieze, no. 91, May 2005, <http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/ harald_szee- mann_1933_2005>, accessed 12 Feb. 2012.

9     Birnbaum.

10   The exhibition was held at Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland on 27 March – 27 April 1969, and travelled to the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. See Rattemeyer; and Barry Barker, ‘When attitudes become form’, Flash Art, no. 275, Nov.–Dec. 2010, <http://147.123.148.222/interno.php?pagina=articolo_det&id_art=672&det=ok&title=WHEN-ATTITUDES-BECOME-FORM>, accessed 15 Sep. 2011.

11   Harald Szeemann, quoted in Birnbaum.

12   See Nicholas Baume, From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor Art Projects and Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1995, p. 26.

13   See David Bourdon, Christo, Harry N. Abrams Publishers, New York, 1972.

14   Noted in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304, although no specific details are given of the television interview.

15   Noted by Szeemann in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304.

16   I Want to Leave a Nice Well-Done Child Here, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1971, p. 17; quoted in Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, p. 304.

17   The exhibition was held at Bonython Gallery, Sydney, on 29 April – 13 May 1971, and at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, on 4 June – 4 July 1971.

18   Terry Smith, ‘Szeemann: exhibition maker’, Sunday Australian, 9 May 1971, p. 17.

19   The exhibition included work by John Armstrong, Tony Bishop, Robert Boynes, Gunter Christmann, Tony Coleing, Aleks Danko,  Margaret Dodd, Neil Evans, Ross Grounds, Dale Hickey, Tim Johnson, Peter Kennedy, Warren Knight, Nigel Lendon, Ian Milliss, Ti Parks, Mike Parr, Guy Stuart, Alec Tzannes and a collaborative work by William Pigdeon, Brett Whiteley and Tony Woods. Mike Brown’s work was added for Melbourne.

20   Smaller, highly influential shows of conceptual work were shown in Melbourne and Sydney from 1969 onwards (in Melbourne at Bruce Pollard’s Pinacotheca gallery, for example). However, audiences would have been niche and far smaller than any form of contemporary show or project presented in a state gallery. See Maggie Finch, ‘Information exchange: Robert Rooney and Roger Cutforth’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, no. 52, 2013, pp. 55–67; and David Homewood, ‘RR/SK: public exhibition’, Discipline, no. 2, autumn 2012, pp. 97–105.

21   Smith. Smith suggested Mike Parr’s String-shadow piece and his Invitation had suffered from the context.

22   Baume, p. 22; Forbat, pp. 77, 84–5. A small photograph of Szeemann installing work at the Bonython Gallery appears in Forbat, p. 78.

23   Working with Brian Finemore, McCarthy was Associate Curator of Australian Art. In 1972 McCarthy was appointed Assistant Curator of Australian Art at the AGNSW, and worked directly with Daniel Thomas, also a keen supporter of Kaldor’s Art Projects.

24   Frances Lindsay, ‘Christo and Jeanne-Claude’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, no. 50, 2011, p. 118.

25   For a discussion on the impact and legacy of The Field see Jason Smith & Charles Green, Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968–2002, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2002, p. 12. See, in particular, essays by Frances Lindsay, ‘Left field, fieldwork in  context’, and John Stringer, ‘Cultivating the field’, in Smith & Green, pp. 8–11, 18.

26   Daniel Thomas wrote extensively on early projects in his capacity as critic for local newspapers and magazines. See Daniel Thomas, ‘The Art Collectors 10. John Kaldor’, Art and Australia, vol. 8, no. 4, March 1971, pp. 312–23; Daniel Thomas, ‘Reminiscing’, in Forbat, pp. 36–41.

27   John Kaldor quoted in Baume, p. 26.

28   James Gleeson, The Sun, May 1971, p. 47.

29   Smith.

30   Sue Cramer (ed.), Inhibodress 1970–1972, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 1989, p. 54.

31   See interview with Tim Johnson and Sue Cramer in Cramer, pp. 54–5.

32   Clive Murray-White, quoted in Jonathan Sweet, Pinacotheca 1967–1973, Prendergast Publishers, Melbourne, 1989, p. 31.

33   Kaldor Public Art Project 27: 13 Rooms, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach, 11–21 April 2013, Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay, Sydney.

34   See Bezzola & Kurzmeyer, pp. 304–50.

35   Thomas Crow notes that the artists’ collective entity Gilbert & George evoked a double act from the archaic English music hall tradition, a reference that was further revealed by The singing sculpture. See Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent 1955–69, Lawrence King Publishing, London, 1996, p. 163.

36   For a discussion of Gilbert & George’s Australian presentations, see Charles Green, The Third Hand: Collaborations in Art From Conceptual- ism to Postmodern, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2001; and Charles Green, ‘Doppelgangers and the third force: the artistic collaborations of Gilbert & George and Marina Abramović/Ulay’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, vol. 59, no. 2, 2000, pp. 36–42.

37   See Anthony McCall (ed.), Gilbert & George, The Singing Sculpture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1993, p. 59.

38   This visit is also noted in Baume, p. 29; and Roberta Smith, ‘Gilbert & George 20 years later’, New York Times, 27 Sep. 1991.

39   ARTnews, New York, Nov. 1971; Studio International, London, Nov. 1971; The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 1971; Artforum, New York, Dec. 1971. Excerpts republished in McCall, pp. 54–7.

40   See Forbat, p. 95.

41   See Green, The Third Hand, p. 142.

42   Publications reprinted in McCall; and Forbat, p. 97. Noted by Baume, p. 29.

43   See William Wood, ‘Still you asked for more: demand, display and “The New Art”’, in Michael Newman & Jon Bird, Rewriting Conceptual Art, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1999, pp. 66–87.

44   Item 11 of the reminder noted: ‘11. Remember John Kaldor Art Project 3’; Forbat, p. 96.

45   See Anne Sanders, ‘Mildura Sculpture Triennials 1961–1978: an interpretative history’, PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, 2009, <http:// hdl.handle.net/1885/7452>, accessed 11 Aug. 2011; and Baume, 1995, p. 12.

46   Daniel Thomas worked at the AGNSW from 1958 to 1976. He noted the other professional staff were director Hal Missingham and deputy director Tony Tuckson, both of whom were artists outside their AGNSW work. Steven Miller, ‘Daniel Thomas: empathy and understanding ’, Artlink, vol. 26, no. 4, 2006, <http://www.artlink.com.au/articles/2863/daniel-thomas-empathy-and-understanding/>, accessed 17 Aug. 2010.

47   Miller.

48   Daniel Thomas, quoted in Miller. As Thomas noted, these included modern masters exhibitions, the newest American art, Chinese antiqui- ties, and in-house produced exhibitions of colonial art, historical modernism and the newest Australian art, such as  Tim Burn’s A change of plan, 1973, a closed-circuit TV piece in 1973, which he suggested ‘must have been the first New Media work seen  by a big public’.

49   mage from film republished to accompany Daniel Thomas’s essay in Forbat, p. 36.

50   Baume, p. 29; Forbat, p. 36.

51   Edmund Capon had previously reflected in his foreword to Forbat, 2009, that ‘though he wasn’t much given to the notion of “defining moments” … it was surely the very first Kaldor project’ (Forbat, p. 18). The value of Kaldor’s gift to the AGNSW was estimated by The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 2011.

52   Acquired by the ANGSW in 1967 (see AGNSW online catalogue, <http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/work/OO2.1967/>, accessed 30 July 2012).

53   John Kaldor subsequently reclassified the project to include it as part of Forbat’s 40 Years publication. See Coates, p. 104.

54   See Stephen Jones, ‘Video art at the National Gallery of Victoria: 1973–1978’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, no. 52, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, pp. 69–79.

55   Baume, p. 35.

56   For a discussion of these projects, see Coates.

57   See Jennifer Licht, Some Recent American Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, with permission of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1973.

58   Tour details were published in the exhibition catalogue; see Licht. The exhibition was shown at the NGV, the Art Gallery of Western Austra- lia, the AGNSW, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Auckland City Art Gallery.

59   Jones.

60   The issue also featured Cindy Nemser, ‘An interview with Hesse’, pp. 59–63.

61   For a discussion of the debate the exhibition generated, see David Dolan (ed.), Cultural Imperialism and the Social Responsibility of the Artist, Contemporary Art Society of Australia, Adelaide, 1976. See also Brian Medlin, Donald Brook and Ian North’s articles from 1974–75, reprinted in ‘Cultural imperialism revisited’, Broadsheet, vol. 40, no. 4, 2011, pp. 262–75.

62   Patrick McCaughey, ‘The seriousness of 137 bricks’, The Age, 13 Feb. 1974, p. 7. Carl Andre’s work Equivalent VIII, 1966, had been purchas- ed by the Tate Gallery in London in 1972, and was shown in 1974, although controversy only erupted after a Sunday Times article in Feb. 1976. See Editorial, Burlington Magazine, vol. 118, no. 884, Nov. 1976, pp. 762–7.

63   Baume, p. 40.

64   John Neylon, ‘Dear Donald’, Adelaide Review, June 2012 <http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/article/1547>, accessed 12 Aug. 2012.

65   AGSA media release, ‘Donald Judd in Adelaide, 30th anniversary display at the Art Gallery of South Australia’, 15 Oct. 2004 – 30 Jan. 2005, AGSA, <http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/agsa/home/Media/docs/Past_media_releases/MR04_Donald_Judd.pdf>, accessed August 2, 2011. North also gave a lecture as part of the thirty-year celebrations, 14 Oct. 2004, noted in the media release, though no transcript exists.

66   Others are in Germany and New York, and in the grounds of Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaaan, Connecticut, United States.

67   See, for example, Finch.

68   See Jenepher Duncan, Robert Hunter Paintings 1966–1988, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne, 1987, p. 11. Also noted by Alan Dodge, ‘Robert Hunter and Minimal art’, in Duncan, p. 15.

69   Heather Barker & Charles Green, ‘The watershed: Two Decades of American Painting at the National Gallery of Victoria’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, no. 50, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2011, pp. 65–78.

70   For details see Joanna Mendelssohn, ‘Andre/Hunter joint exhibition’, Art and Australia, vol. 16, no. 3, March 1979; Duncan, p. 11; and Dodge, p. 33. Hunter notes his friendship with Andre, as an artist and colleague, in Gary Catalano, ‘Something out of nothing: an interview with Robert Hunter’, Art and Australia, vol. 33, no. 2, summer 1995, pp. 203, 204.

71   Mendelssohn, p. 225.

72  See Coates, p. 44.

73   Sol LeWitt, Wall drawing, artists book, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1977; Richard Long, A Straight Hundred Mile Walk in Australia: A Walk along a Line, Returning to the Same Campsite Each Night, artist’s book, John Kaldor Art Projects, Sydney, 1978.

74   Daniel Thomas, in his article on LeWitt for The Bulletin, notes the artist’s relationship to the collector. See Daniel Thomas, ‘The master of the grid’, Bulletin, 2 April 1977, p. 69. LeWitt, Wall drawing #146. All two part combinations of arcs from four corners and four sides, straight, not-straight and broken lines in four directions, 1972–77, now forms part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Panza Collec- tion, Gift 92.4160.

75   For a discussion of LeWitt’s wall drawings, see Rosalind Krauss, ‘The LeWitt matrix’, in Sol LeWitt: Structures 1962–1993, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1993, pp. 25–33.

76   For an extensive bibliography of LeWitt’s solo and group shows, see Sol LeWitt, pp. 119–21. LeWitt was included in Szeemann’s When Attitude Becomes Form, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1969), while his renowned text ‘Paragraphs on conceptual art’ was published Artforum, 5, no. 10, June 1967, pp. 79–83, and reprinted in Gary Garrels (ed.), Sol LeWitt: a Retrospective, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in association with Yale University Press, San Francisco and New Haven, CT, 2000, p. 369.

77   Baume, p. 38.

78   Licht.

79   Peter Cripps, artist floor talk, ‘Less is more’, curated by Sue Cramer, Museum of Modern Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria, 26 Aug. 2012. A black and white photograph of Cripps installing LeWitt’s wall drawing at the NGV was included in documentation as part of the collection show in the John Kaldor Family Galleries, AGNSW, in 2014.

80   Peter Cripps, conversation with the author, 26 Aug. 2012. Cripps notes that he was unaware other artists in Melbourne were exchanging postcards with LeWitt at the time, and only discovered this when viewing other postcards to Rooney in Endless Present: Robert Rooney and Conceptual Art, NGV, 12 Nov. 2010 – 27 March 2011. Postcards from the correspondence between Rooney and LeWitt were also included in the collection show in the John Kaldor Family Galleries, AGNSW, in 2014.

81   Baume, p. 32.

82   ibid., p. 38.

83   Sol LeWitt, letter to John Kaldor, 17 April 1976, reproduced in Forbat, p. 124.

84   Jill Sykes, ‘Lines of communication’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 1977, p. 7.

85   Baume, p. 38.

86   Thomas, ‘The master of the grid’.

87   Given Count Giuseppe Panza di Buimino’s involvement with Minimalist artists closely associated with Dia Art Foundation, it is likely that Kaldor knew of this method of support from a private individual. See Chave, pp. 466–86.

88   Baume, p. 38.

89   Richard Long, quoted in Colin Kirkpatrick, ‘Richard Long: no where’, Transcript, vol. 2, no. 2, 1997, p. 46.

90   Forbat, p. 136.

91   Crow, p. 162.

92   Wood, p. 73.

93   Germano Celant, ‘Richard Long ’, domus, no. 511, June 1972, pp. 48–51.

94   Noted in John Kaldor Art Project 6 press release, Kaldor Public Art Projects Archive.

95   Baume, p. 38.

96   Richard Long, quoted in Baume, p. 39.

97   Installation views in Baume, pp. 38, 39; and Forbat, pp. 140–3.

98   Noted in Jill Sykes, ‘The rocky road’, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend, 17 Dec. 1977, p. 16.

99   Project 7: an invitation from Richard Long’s exhibition Outback, shown at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1978. Reproduced on JKAP website, <http://kaldorartprojects.org.au/project-archive/richard-long-1977>, accessed 12 May 2012.

100   Baume, p. 40. Long ’s project was reviewed in major Australian newspapers. See ‘Now art comes by the tonne’, Daily Telegraph,  15 Dec. 1977, p. 7; David Elias, ‘Artist who knows his way around’, The Australian, 9 Dec. 1977, p. 5; Margaret Geddes, ‘As a work of art  it’s a ring-in’, The Age, 9 Dec. 1977, p. 2; and Sykes ‘The rocky road’.

101   Articles included Paul Overy, ‘Richard Long ’, Art Monthly, no. 4, Feb. 1977, p. 21; and William Feaver, ‘Passionate togetherness’, Art News, vol. 76, no. 5, May 1977, pp. 94–5.

102   Noted in a letter from John Kaldor to Leon Paroissien, Director Visual Arts Board, Australia Council, 9 May 1977, Kaldor Public Art Projects Archive. John Kaldor, conversation with the author, 11 Aug. 2008. Also noted in Baume, p. 38; and Forbat, p. 136.

103   Baume notes that Kaldor acquired Slate cairn, 1977, in 1978, the year after the Art Project (p. 40). A double-page image of it in Kaldor’s garden features in Wayne Tunnicliffe (ed.), John Kaldor Family Collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2011, pp. 142–3. Sydney Harbour driftwood, 1977, was also made on the visit, and gifted to the AGNSW in 2008. Other works by Long, and acquired from Anthony d’Offay, who first met Kaldor in 1978 when he started showing the artist, included ‘mud works’ on paper and made directly onto a wall at Kaldor’s house, and text works such as A moved line in Japan, 1983, acquired in 1986 and part of the John Kaldor Family Collection, AGNSW. Long also returned to Australia to complete a major new mud wall work, Southern gravity, 2011. See Tunnicliffe, pp. 134–49.

104   See Sanders.

105   ‘History’, Biennale of Sydney, <http://www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/about/ history/1976>, accessed 21 Aug. 2015.

106   Heather Barker and Charles Green noted that the VAB assumed some of the functions of the former Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, but not those relating to acquisitions for the Australian National Gallery. Its main responsibilities lay in the general fields of painting, sculpture, photography, industrial design, architecture, art education and the conservation of works of art. See Heather Barker & Charles Green, ‘The provincialism problem: Terry Smith and centre-periphery art history’, Journal of Art Historiography, no. 3, Dec. 2010. For details of the establishment of the VAB, see Australia Council for the Arts, First Annual Report 1973, Australia Council for the Arts, Sydney, 1974. For a history of the development of arts funding in Australia, see John Gardiner- Garden, ‘Commonwealth arts policy and administration’, Parliament of Australia, Social Policy Section, background note, 7 May 2009, <http://www.aph.gov.au/ library/pubs/ bn/2008-09/ArtsPolicy.pdf>, accessed 29 Sep. 2011.

107   Australia Council for the Arts.