Being asked to write about an art fair is a bit like being commissioned to write about Waitrose and compare tins of baked beans with sardines or chocolate biscuits.
22 January 2020
Wow! This show is a real blockbuster! Spread out in the main exhibition galleries of the Royal Academy. It gives an excellent idea of who Picasso was, what he did, and why he is so centrally important to the story of Modern and Contemporary art.
19 January 2020
Ilka Scobie takes a look at the first New York exhibitions for 2020 and discovers a few surprises along the way.
2 January 2020
On 7th October 1943, Charlotte Salomon was deported to Auschwitz. She was 26 years old and five months pregnant. She probably died the day she arrived, one of the estimated 1.1 million people who did not make it out of that concentration camp alive.
18 December 2019
The exhibition, AMALGAM by Theaster Gates, now showing at Tate Liverpool is an experience not to be missed with a poignant message for our times.
15 December 2019
Walking into the Simone Subal Gallery on the lower east side, which was once ironically a hub for immigrants, I am taken aback by the beautiful work in front of me. From an aesthetic point of view alone, the sculptures of “Snake Skin,” an installation by Baseera Khan, an artist and a visiting faculty member at Bennington College in Vermont (my alma mater), holds one’s gaze in observation.
12 December 2019
Nan Goldin is an American photographer who has chronicled her life for art gallery-goers. Her themes include intimacy, moments from an encounter with the HIV crisis, living on the urban edge, the LGBT community, youth and love. She is called the voice of a generation.
12 December 2019
At Hamilton’s, London’s premier commercial gallery specialising in photography, it offers a series of images by Mario Testino
5 December 2019
The Eco-Visionaries show just opened at the Royal Academy, in its new set of galleries (easiest entry via Burlington Gardens) embraces the current fashion for moralistic participation. You don’t just visit an exhibition of this kind – wandering around, taking a look, liking or not liking what you see. You are instead invited to embrace a cause or even a series of causes.
4 December 2019
Vienna knows how to produce a blockbuster, and this Autumn/Winter season they have mounted two. For the first time in nearly twenty years, a new exhibition of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) has opened at Vienna’s Albertina Museum, while a beautifully curated show bookends this at the Kunsthistorisches Museum entitled Caravaggio and Bernini.
The noted writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent gives us his rolling ten recommended Contemporary and Modern art exhibitions in London now (December 2019).
28 November 2019
The Queen’s Gallery, behind Buckingham Palace, is the place where the British Royal Collection Trust displays its treasures. The latest exhibition there – George IV: Art and Spectacle – is a particularly splendid example. George IV, alias the Prince Regent, was, next to Charles I, the greatest collector of art in the history of the British monarchy.
26 November 2019
Fog was rising over the Wiltshire fields and the majestic beeches of Roche Court Sculpture Park dripping with November rain when we arrived for the opening of Tess Traeger’s photographs.
Kiki Smith creates an embodied art. She chose the human body as her subject because it is the one form that we all share; something with which each one of us has our own authentic experience. Her choice was informed by undertaking training to become an Emergency Medical Technician and also by the Catholicism of her upbringing.
25 November 2019
White Cube, in this instance, seems the perfect place for this exhibition. So perfect I feel it is over-designed. The perspex boxes of wires, cables are too perfectly matching, autumnal; this could be a fashion collection doesn’t Vogue recommend this kind of palette at this time of year, in tweed? Browns, rusts with a splash of turquoise? Nothing vulgar. Nothing synthetic. Organic colours.
19 November 2019
I increasingly get the feeling that the two London Tates are struggling to know what to do with the huge central spaces that are a characteristic feature of both buildings. The new show at Tate Britain – Steve McQueen: Year 3 – is symptomatic of this, though it is in many ways a more successful solution to the problem than some of the previous ones.
19 November 2019
As the nation plunges towards Brexit, and, as the official galleries – specifically the two big London Tates – grow more and more self-satisfied and increasingly inclined to offer displays of civic virtue as substitutes for anything you can actually describe as art, one turns towards the commercial galleries for solace.
The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize has come round once again, just as the announcement went out that the NPG will very soon close its doors for a much-needed update, and won’t be accessible again for three years. It’s hard to be entirely regretful about the hiatus.
4 November 2019
I found this latest exhibition at FACT Liverpool thought-provoking. It challenges the way we view the world and what we are being taught to believe. It encourages you to think about the possibilities of changing the limitations and constrictions imposed upon us through a contrived system of power and incivility that has been spoon-fed to us throughout our lives.
29 October 2019
At a time when there is a continual fuss about giving ‘fair representation’ to women artists, many of whom were not, in fact, central to the major art movements to which they, often peripherally, belonged, the Bridget Riley show at the Hayward comes as a major relief.
28 October 2019
Lucian Freud / Antony Gormley, two shows at the RA, both by contemporary British artists. Apparently very different from one another
24 October 2019
Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was a Korean-born artist who lived and worked in Japan, Germany and the United States. He played a considerable role in the international avant-garde. His first solo show, Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, was staged in Wuppertal Germany in 1963.
20 October 2019
The main items in Sterling Ruby’s exhibition at Gagosian Britannia Street (his first solo show with the gallery here in London) are huge works from a series called ACTS (2006-2018). In this case, the word has no direct reference to Holy Scripture.
20 October 2019
Beauty. Not a word used much today. Not a popular concept. Not necessarily an accolade. Yet Victoria Crowe creates beauty with her every brushstroke, line, smudge, highlight, shadow. Superb draughtsmanship combined with a perfect painterly touch and humane sensitivity produces overarchingly intelligent pictures, rarely encountered in 21st-century art galleries.
17 October 2019
All too often, when there is a sudden enthusiasm for a particular cause, those promoting it achieve the opposite of what they intend. This is the case with the exhibition entitled Pre-Raphaelite Women, which has just opened at London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Glasgow: Love it or loathe it, the Tate Turner prize is here to stay. It’s a huge accolade. And you don’t need to win. Being nominated (4 each year since 1984) is almost as good.
A new show at the Barbican is devoted to the theme of Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art.
If you are planning an imminent trip to the Netherlands, there are two must-see exhibitions on at the moment. Pieter de Hooch in Delft: From the Shadow of Vermeer at the Museum Prinsenhof, Delft and Rembrandt-Velázquez: Dutch & Spanish Masters at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
9 October 2019
The stone tower of Saint Augustine is a dramatic setting for an art exhibition and has been host to some interesting shows by alternative London artists over some years.
8 October 2019
Two London shows from big commercial galleries reflect different but related aspects of the current international scene. One, at Gagosian Grosvenor Hill, is for the internationally known American artist Cy Twombly.