Judy Annear is adjunct at the Art & Design Faculty, University of NSW, Sydney (2017–). She is author and editor of the publication The photograph and Australia (AGNSW 2015). In 2015-16 she lectured on writing photographic histories and the importance of photographic collections both nationally and in Canada, New Zealand and Japan. She regularly lectures on contemporary ideas and photo media.
In 2016 she initiated and was one of 16 writers for Exquisite consequences (effefe.net). Her literary writings have appeared in Cordite, Past simple 14, Plumwood Mountain Journal and Australian Poetry Journal. She was previously editor of and writer for the major publication Mnemosyne (AGNSW/Scalo 2005) on Bill Henson’s work and the Photography collection handbook (AGNSW 2007).
She has published extensively in journals such as Art Network, Art+Text (member of the editorial committee 1987–94), Photofile, Art Monthly, Art & Australia, Art Asia Pacific, LIKE, ART-iT Asia, Broadsheet. In 1980, she was a member of the collective that wrote and (largely) funded the feminist arts magazine LIP (1976–84).
Her research specialisations include Japanese modern and contemporary art (all mediums) and 20th century photography, Australian photography (pictorialism, modernism, contemporary), international photography (European modernist and contemporary, American contemporary and Korean contemporary), and literary feminisms.
Judy Annear was Senior curator photographs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from late 1995 until mid 2016. In this role she instigated a program of collection-based projects as well as curating major national and international exhibitions. She established a collection program for the photography gallery which opened in 2011. Some of the artists included in that program were Jacky Redgate, Tracey Moffatt, Bettina Rheims.
She spearheaded important photography exhibitions that furthered knowledge and exposure of the medium, and of Australian and international artists. These included: Len Lye (2001–2) celebrating the centenary of the artist’s birth, the first monographic exhibition of Man Ray in Australia (2004), a retrospective of Bill Henson – the result of a 3-year collaboration with the artist (2005), August Sander (2007) with the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Alfred Stieglitz: the Lake George years (2010) and Photography & place: Australian landscape photography 1970s until now (2011). She was curator of the large-scale exhibition, The photograph and Australia 2015. Her final AGNSW projects included editing Robert Mapplethorpe: the perfect medium for Sydney (2017) in conjunction with Los Angeles County Museum of Art and J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
In the 1980s and 90s Judy Annear’s work focused on contemporary and experimental practice particularly from Australia, Europe and Japan.