30 July 2020

Ai Weiwei A Disturbing History Of Bombs IWM Marina Vaizey

Ai Weiwei IWM: History of Bombs. Little Boy, Fat Man, Daisy Cutter, Snake Eye, Grand Slam, Tomahawk, Tsar Boba, are seemingly innocuous even childlike labels for toys or games. But they are seared into the historic memory and are the actually terrifying, curious official nicknames of objects that are weapons in wars of mass destruction and attrition. The first two are those of the 1945 atomic bombs unleashed on Japan. Daisy Cutter (1970) did just that, flattening swathes through the forests of Vietnam.

27 July 2020

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Anish Kapoor Country House Splendour – Stuart Semple

Anish Kapoor Houghton Hall Norfolk:  Have you ever felt like you want to ring your mum to tell her you think you might have left an important part of your brain somewhere in a field in Norfolk? Well, this whole experience is a bit like that!

19 July 2020

Wartime London Explored in Paintings – Marina Vaizey

London was never invaded, but London has been at war. The look of London during the Blitz and after is captured in this marvel of a picture book, Wartime London in Paintings by Suzanne Bardgett, which reminds us of the superb collections of Modern British art held at the Imperial War Museum.

16 July 2020

Anish Kapoor Bringing Heaven To Earth – Houghton Hall – James Payne

“Anish Kapoor is a magician,” says Lord Cholmondeley in his introduction to this exhibition. His ancestral seat, Houghton Hall is presenting the largest ever exhibition of outdoor sculptures by Kapoor, including stone pieces he has been making for 25 years but never shown in the UK. Quite a coup for Cholmondeley who it seems has pulled off some magic of his own.

13 July 2020

Revisiting the Decameron – Flowers Gallery Online – Edward Lucie-Smith

An online show called Revisiting the Decameron, curated by Laura Gascoigne, has recently gone up on the Flowers Gallery web-site. It runs until 9th of August.

11 July 2020

Sean Scully: Rhythm, Restraint, Splendor – Raphy Sarkissian

Painting, sculpture, architecture: here is a triumvirate wherein painting and sculpture remain in commanding dialogue with architecture throughout the impressive output of Sean Scully, as exemplified in the exhibition titled INSIDEOUTSIDE currently on view at the Villa Waldfrieden and the Cragg Foundation Sculpture Park in Wuppertal

27 June 2020

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Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics – Revd Jonathan Evens

Galleries and museums around the world are reopening. Among the first exhibitions being shown that caught my eye were Leaves of Grass by Max Gimblett at Page Galleries in Wellington, the pairing of Kudditji Kngwarreye and Idris Murphy at Mitchell Fine Art in Brisbane, and Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics at Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki.

26 June 2020

Zoobs Ansari – Elephant West – Edward Lucie-Smith

As this exhibition demonstrates, Zoobs Ansari’s work covers a lot of contemporary themes. On the one hand, there is the experience of the outsider, living in a culture that is not his own. Secondly, there is the fascination of show-business

25 June 2020

London’s Masterpiece Art Fair Moves Online – Edward Lucie-Smith

The Masterpiece Art Fair, a regular feature of the summer season in London, is now up online and will be available there until 28 June.

17 June 2020

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Vincent Van Gogh A Durable Art Legend – Two New Books – Edward Lucie-Smith

Two books from Thames & Hudson about Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most durable legends in art. One offers his life-story, as told in letters written by himself, most of them to his brother Theo, who became a moderately successful art dealer. The other, by Mariella Guzzoni, is entitled Vincent’s Books: Van Gogh and the Writers Who Inspired Him.

11 June 2020

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Bryan Robertson Promoter Of New Art – Edward Lucie-Smith

Andrew Lambirth’s The Life of Bryan, recently published by Unicorn, describes itself rather demurely as a celebration, rather than as a biography.

27 May 2020

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Joe Machine Unseen Spring A Virtual Exhibition – Edward Lucie Smith

Joe Machine The London Magazine Online: The pandemic, for all its woes, has brought a few benefits with it. In the art world, one of the most conspicuous of these is the multiplication and diversification of the places where you can see images, as opposed to having to trek to a gallery of some kind where you can see the supposedly ‘real thing’.

18 May 2020

Photographer Don McCullin Online At Hamiltons – Edward Lucie-Smith

The ways of the art market are pretty strange. Hamiltons, a leading gallery here in London that specialises in photography, have just put a new series of images up on the web, black and whites from various stages in his career by Sir Don McCullin

17 May 2020

Home Alone Together Twenty Five Artists – Revd Jonathan Evens

Home Alone Together: We are told that home is where the heart is, but also that, while we can travel the world in search of what we need, we must return home in order to find it. Home has been described as the centre and circumference, the start and finish, of most of our lives.

11 May 2020

Botanical Mind Online: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree – Revd Jonathan Evens

Spring 2020 was to have been an appropriate season for the launch of one of the Camden Arts Centre’s most ambitious exhibitions to date. The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree is a major thematic group exhibition investigating the significance of the plant kingdom to human life

6 May 2020

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The Last Leonardo Art Porn For Millennials – Edward Lucie-Smith

Ben Lewis’s book The Last Leonardo, subtitled ‘A Masterpiece, A Mystery and the Dirty World of Art’, has now appeared in paperback after its publication in hardcover last year.

30 April 2020

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London’s New Art Scene Creative Britain 1962-68 – Edward Lucie-Smith

Here’s a handsome new volume, well-illustrated, but more social history than art book, which tells of the emergence of London as an international art scene, during the years that followed World War II.

23 April 2020

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Infamous Colony Room Relived In New Book – Edward Lucie-Smith

Darren Coffield’s well-presented Tales from the Colony Room, Soho’s Lost Bohemia, memorialises an epoch in the London world of the arts that now seems very far away, even though the once-famous Colony Room closed its doors as recently as December 2008. 

16 April 2020

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Artemisia Gentileschi A Retrospective Online – Edward Lucie-Smith

The much-anticipated Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition at the National Gallery in London has now been indefinitely postponed, to the disappointment of many.

9 April 2020

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Piranesi Drawings – Neoclassical Visions – Edward Lucie-Smith

This handsome soft-cover catalogue published by Thames & Hudson for the British Museum was intended to commemorate an exhibition that hasn’t in fact taken place, due to the coronavirus.

26 March 2020

Edmund de Waal Books Thousands of Books British Museum – Marina Vaizey

Books written in exile by the exiled. It is this phenomenon, the triumph of the human spirit in dire circumstances, that is the focus of a gesamtkunstwerk, a complete work of art, by Edmund de Waal which may be viewed at the British Museum when it reopens

19 March 2020

Titian: A Pity To Miss – National Gallery – Edward Lucie-Smith

The Titian show at the National Gallery in London has arrived at a particularly inauspicious moment. Major public galleries in Europe are shutting their doors because of the coronavirus. The National Gallery has now temporarily closed.

16 March 2020

Drawn To Another World Alexander Hinks – The Cello Factory

What is this ‘other world’ Alexander Hinks is drawn to and asks that we be drawn into?

His current exhibition at ‘The Cello Factory’ spans some four years of art-making. The paintings introduce themselves as unabashedly interested in transcendence, possibly unfashionable given an increasingly materialistic contemporary background.

12 March 2020

Andy Warhol Multiple Identities – Tate Modern – Edward Lucie-Smith

Andy Warhol (1928-1987) has, even since his death more than thirty years ago, retained a central position in the world of contemporary art.

12 March 2020

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Peter Saul And Jordan Casteel New Museum NYC – Ilka Scobie

A weird and interesting dichotomy of two painters who share neither age, gender, race or subject matter are united by passionate painting and masterful brushwork. Peter Saul, at 85 is having his first-ever NYC retrospective show

9 March 2020

Among The Trees A Sense Of Loss – Edward Lucie-Smith

Among the Trees which just opened at the Hayward Gallery, is an ambitious exhibition that has all the best intentions, and somehow fails to make its point. Or, rather, it makes a point that is perhaps different from what the organisers intended.

4 March 2020

Aubrey Beardsley: A Sensual Sometimes Erotic Divertissement – Edward Lucie-Smith

As the exhibition catalogue notes, the Beardsley show that just opened at Tate Britain is the first comprehensive survey of his work to have found a place there, since an exhibition of his drawings in 1924. That is to say, very nearly a century ago.

27 February 2020

Young Rembrandt: Influencer Of His Generation – Edward Lucie-Smith

I’ve always liked the exhibitions at the Ashmolean in Oxford. They offer sensible examples of art historical explanation – something that can’t always be said for official institutions that present equivalent exhibitions in London. The new Young Rembrandt show just opened at the Ashmolean is an excellent example of their approach.

25 February 2020

David Hockney: Two Major Shows Open In London – Edward Lucie-Smith

As the National Portrait Gallery prepares for its long sleep – three years with its doors firmly shut – it is not surprising to find it playing host to a major show of work by David Hockney.

20 February 2020

Masculinities: An Extremely Interesting, Timely Event – Edward Lucie-Smith

After a plethora of exhibitions featuring women, women’s art, women’s attitudes of the world, it comes as a relief to find a big London show that is all about men.

18 February 2020

Los Angeles Gallery Visit February 2020 – Edward Lucie-Smith

I am just back from a quick trip to Los Angeles, which gave me a lot to consider – chiefly about how different the LA art world is from the one we have here in London, though it is also in some respects very much the same.

15 February 2020

Caravaggio / Bernini: Baroque Wonderment Vivacity And Horror – Sue Hubbard

Most great artistic movements begin as a reaction to the art and times that precede them. Impressionism in the 19th century. Surrealism, Dadaism and the YBAs in the 20th c. Baroque began in Rome around 1600 in response to the austere 17th-century Protestant culture of the Netherlands.