Sunday Star Times: ‘The Art of Grahame Sydney’

The NZ Sunday Star Times. Helen Watson White. “With the publication of this magnificent book, a finalist in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, Longacre has brought Sydney to an audience throughout New Zealand and beyond. Not for the first time, however; they approached this achievement in 1995 with the full-colour reproduction of over 50 major paintings in Timeless Land. The new book, impatiently awaited in the absence of any sort of catalogue for Regions of the Heart, is likely to enjoy the same sell-out success on the strength of it 144 plates alone.

This is emphatically not a book about Sydney illustrated by reference to his work, but (as far as possible) a book of his art set off by bits of questioning/supportive prose.

The problem is that plates are not “the art” itself but photo reductions of it. To appreciate Sydney’s talent as a realist artist, you need to understand the ways in which his paintings, etchings and lithographs are different from photography. Those differences can’t be conveyed through a series of photographs.  You need to see the works themselves.  Still this book is the next best thing.”