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.
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.
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.
The much-anticipated Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition at the National Gallery in London has now been indefinitely postponed, to the disappointment of many.
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
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
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
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 (1928-1987) has, even since his death more than thirty years ago, retained a central position in the world of contemporary art.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
9 February 2020
Entering the new British Baroque show (as one does) from Tate Britain’s central upstairs space, currently, home to a multitude of group photographs of pupils in London primary schools is to enter a different world. Different socially, different aesthetically. Above all, different, in the attitudes, the event expresses concerning what visual art is about.
7 February 2020
A new exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield features two very British artists with crossover interests. The photographer Bill Brandt (1904-1983) and sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) first crossed paths during the Second World War when they both created images of civilians sheltering in the London Underground during the Blitz.
5 February 2020
The rather splendid show of new figurative painting, now on view at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, boasts that it is the first event of its kind since the New Spirit in Painting exhibition that made such an impact here in London in the now long-ago 1980s.
5 February 2020
‘We Will Walk—Art and Resistance in the American South’ is one of the most powerful and important shows I’ve seen. It is co-curated by the artist Hannah Collins, who initiated the project, and curator Paul Goodwin. The exhibition traces the history of African-American artists in the Deep South during the second half of the 20th century, a time of racial terror so savage, so traumatic but yet so recent.
4 February 2020
Rose Wylie has become one of the leading British contemporary artists of her generation. In the last decade, her work has come to the forefront both domestically and internationally, with a practice that is youthful, playful and fresh.
29 January 2020
The new American Pastoral exhibition at Gagosian’s Britannia Street space is of museum quality, even if what’s on show doesn’t always seem to relate to the title.
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