25 May 2016

Yayoi Kusama: Mesmerising Attractions Despite Queues Like Disneyland

It’s six o’clock on a warm spring night, I head to down to the Victoria Miro Gallery in Islington to the private view of the much-anticipated Yayoi Kusama exhibition. I’m early but there’s a long queue that stretches all the way down Wharf Road and I trudge to the back. After 45 minutes of waiting and […]

20 May 2016

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Photo London 2016 Assertively Swaggers After Last Year’s Experiment

This year’s Photo London moves with swagger after last year’s experiment, asserting itself as an international event of note, clear and focussed rather than brash, assured rather than overproduced. The majority of the works on display are, on the whole, still saleable, but most galleries are playing less safe than they did last year, showcasing […]

18 May 2016

Mona Hatoum: Hair, Electricity And Barbed Wire Tate Modern

Mona Hatoum’s work, as collected together in this retrospective, neatly straddles recent preoccupations at the great institution where it currently resides. There’s quite a lot to do with performance art, though the artist seems to have moved away from this in recent years. There are political echoes from the ever-turbulent Middle East. Hatoum was born in Beirut to a Palestinian family in […]

9 May 2016

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Frieze NY Round-Up Lizanne Merrill Spots Sparkle At A Lacklustre Fair

The New York iteration of London’s seminal Frieze art fair event, held on the idyllic landscape of Randalls Island was plagued with grey skies this year, in more ways than just the weather. Frieze’s 5th  season in New York, was lacking  in spark.  Very little was new. Very little challenged the status quo or inspired further thought. […]

3 March 2016

Botticelli Appropriated: The Art Of Recycling Old Masters By Their Disciples – Reveiw

Not long after the National Gallery’s opening of Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art, here is another exhibition showing an iconic artist’s influence on subsequent generations.  However, unlike the Delacroix, with Botticelli Reimagined at the Victoria and Albert Museum the very title suggests what to expect and so there is no disappointment involved.   At […]

21 October 2015

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Fig-2 Week 27 – July 6-12 – Karen Mirza – The Ectoplazm of Neoliberalism (by AJ Dehany)

Week 27 – July 6-12 – Karen Mirza – The Ectoplazm of Neoliberalism “This is yoga. Lots of smart people do it instead of going to church.” – Stewie Griffin Each Wednesday they announce the following week’s Fig-2 artist. Today they’ve announced that next week the ICA studio space is going to be given over to physical activities. Like […]

26 June 2015

Goldsmiths Investigative Spirit Shines In 2015 BA Fine Art Degree Show

Goldsmiths has, over its 110-years of existence, developed a well-earned reputation as one of London’s pioneering institutions of contemporary art across a range of interdisciplinary approaches. Its rich academic history has ensured an international legacy of learning that has introduced us to some of the most influential practitioners of our day: figures like Damien Hirst, […]

22 May 2015

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Week 15 – 13-19 April – The White Review (by AJ Dehany)

The quarterly White Review publishes photography and art (decide for yourself what and means in that sentence) alongside the usual shorter literary forms from essay to poetry. It is named after and partly inspired by La Revue Blanche, the French art and literary magazine run between 1889 and 1903, which was strongly associated with Marcel Proust in the days before […]

12 May 2015

Venice Biennale 56 Official UK and Ireland Artists Lead The Pack

The British Pavilion This year’s Venice Biennale had a powerful presence from both the UK and Ireland. Sarah Lucas’ British Pavilion was strong both in visuals and concept. The yellow painted walls made the sculpture appear to float in golden sunshine or was it vitrines of golden shower fluid. The sculptures came in two styles big yellow balloon forms depicting Franz West […]

3 May 2015

Whitney Museum Chelsea: A Culturally Responsible New Yorker’s First Impression

I took advantage of the member preview days before the actual May 1st launch to visit the new Whitney Museum in Chelsea.  As an art enthusiast, a mid-level aesthete and a culturally responsible New Yorker I have attended important exhibitions at the major New York museums for over the last 30 years. So I felt […]

12 April 2015

Eric Ravilious: A Bekonscot Time-Warp That Nigel Farage Would Approve Of

It has been over ten years since Eric Ravilious (1903-42) had his first major retrospective at the Imperial War Museum in London. I first discovered his work through his ceramic designs for Wedgwood. My family owned a large punch bowl titled, “The Boat Race” and I was always fascinated by the narrative ability of his linear style. Ravilious’ graphic sensibilities […]

26 October 2014

Turner Prize 2014: Headscratchingly Challenging And Not Very Public Friendly

The Turner prize, created thirty years ago to promote public discussion about new developments in contemporary British Art, couldn’t be less public-friendly this year, and will be hard pressed to lure the masses. Aside from elements like the exuberant colour in Ciara Phillips’ installation and the musicality of Tris Vonna-Michell’s voice, some works can be […]

4 October 2014

Turner Prize 2014: Beyond The Valley Of Tabloid Titillation

Clenching anuses, mass-produced rainbows of wallpaper, pretentious postcolonial posturings, and the ramblings of a nervous madman are what fill the tabloid-titillating Turner Prize in 2014. Or at least, that’s what some would have you believe. Named after the English Romantic landscape painter JMW Turner, a radical artist in his own day, the annual contemporary arts […]

3 August 2014

Hackney WickED A Triumph For London’s Best Alternative Art Festival

Last weekend was sizzling and what better way to spend a day than wandering around one of the UK’s leading alternative free art festivals, Hackney WickED! I was there on Friday and there was so much to do that I  make my way down again Sunday for a final look around. This was a great […]

11 May 2014

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Frieze New York: Cultural Temple Or Just Another Trade Show

There are no words for the fatigue I felt after five full hours on my feet, traversing the 29 countries represented in 190 galleries on 250,000 square feet of Frieze Fair floor. I left Brooklyn early morning in the rain to catch the (bumpity bump school bus) shuttle from the Guggenheim Museum on the Upper […]

30 March 2014

The Great War in Portraits: A Painterly Remembrance National Portrait Gallery

Of all the events and memorial activities scheduled for this year to mark the centenary of the beginning of the first Great War – that bitter and ugly conflict of arguably worse fighting conditions than the Second World War; a spiralling, futile lottery of chance that several European countries found themselves mired in – one […]

9 March 2014

Whitney Biennial And ADAA: Ben Austin’s Armory Week Diary day 4

Dear reader, so here I am in Starbucks on 67th and 3rd, seems like this is the only place apart from McDonalds in New York where there is free WiFi, beggars can’t be choosers I suppose, so I will suck up their frothy overpriced crappy coffee. Today is bright and considerably warmer, feels like spring […]

8 February 2014

India Art Fair 2014 Explored By Manoj Nair and Tatiana de Stempel

They were all there at the India Art Fair, 2014 that was held between January 30 and February 2. Neha Kirpal, founder and director, India Art Fair is a proud person. She has enough reasons to be, because beyond the figures — 91 exhibitors, which includes Delhi Art Gallery with 330 works covering 400 square […]

1 February 2014

Mike Kelley: Explosions Of Colour That Lurked Inside His Deep Dark Life

I went to the Mike Kelley retrospective at PS1 late, at 9pm, for the packed NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM event. I was also late in the exhibition schedule as the “Mike Kelley” show ends Feb 2nd. I wish I had made the trek to PS1 in Long Island City, sooner, so I could go back […]

5 December 2013

Art Basel Miami Opens To The Public In A Wave Of Optimism – Review

The art world has descended on glamorous Miami Beach for this year’s Art Basel Miami, which opened for a VIP and press preview yesterday and to the public today (Thursday). This is one of the most important events on the international art calendar and a place to catch up on the trends and directions for […]

18 October 2013

Paul Klee An Artist’s Artist: New Tate Modern Exhibition Review

Paul Klee is an artist’s artist.  One thinks of him as a free artist with his fluid lines, blocks of colour and naïve child-like images of cartoonish people, fish and plants but there is so much more to him.  Klee was a meticulous artist, superb draughtsman with a deliberate, scientific approach to his work.  Hugely […]

9 March 2013

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Armory Show: A Tale Of Two Piers Modernist vs Young And Brash

Ben Austin Brings On Day Two Of His Armory Week Diary As a storm threatened to engulf New York with a blizzard of snow, it was comforting to get out of the wind and the sleet into the rarified and warm environment of the Park Ave Armory. This is a class act of a fair, […]

20 January 2013

Photo50 An Illuminating Meditation On Photography And Memory

This year’s Photo50 at the London Art Fair provided, yet again, a diverting and fascinating escape from the throngs  browsing the fair below. In the past, this curated exhibit has been assembled by a panel of selectors, but this year free reign was given to Nick Hackworth, owner of Paradise Row gallery. Allowing for one […]

7 January 2013

John Chamberlain Confluences My Favourite Show Of The Year – Review

John Chamberlain (1927-2011) lived just long enough to help plan his retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York (Feb 24 – May 13, 2012) and it proved exemplary. First, it looked good spiralling up the ramps, where its chronological ascent made sense. Second, the ‘Choices’ – a title designed to emphasise that Chamberlain selected his materials, […]

5 December 2012

Design Miami Opens With The Best Of Classic and Contemporary – Review

Design Miami in its eight edition opened last night with an impressive roster of 29 international participants in the gallery program and 7 emerging galleries as part of the Design On/Site program. One of the more interesting booths was mounted by Didier Ltd who put on a special featured exhibition of sculptural jewellery created by […]

29 November 2012

Bloomberg New Contemporaries Inescapable Sense Of Sameness ICA – Review

For many aspiring artists who are lucky enough to crack the proverbial nod, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries represents their first step up the ladder of the art world.  With funding from the Arts Council England and the National Lottery, the organisation assists new art school graduates at the beginning of their careers by introducing them […]

23 November 2012

Why Did Peter Doig Finish The Pink Hat? – Review

In Peter Doig’s show the other day, speaking with the charming girl working there, I was told that Peter Doig had finished the pink hat on ‘Cave Boat Bird Painting’ (2010-2012) in the gallery, as it was hanging there, hours before the opening. This anecdote has some importance to the entirety of this exhibition. The […]

5 November 2012

Hollywood Costume The Opulent Must Have Christmas Book – Review

There are only a handful of museum exhibitions that become events each year and the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A certainly falls into this category. It is one of those unpredictable occurrences, when the public engages and embraces an exhibition, that transcends into a phenomenon. Like a hit film, there are plenty of good […]

22 October 2012

Daido Moriyama And William Klein Two Monochrome Image Junkies – Review

So it’s another belter from Simon Baker whose appointment as Head of Photography for the Tate has proven to be a good choice. After the excellent ‘Another London’ at the Tate Britain, he brings us this initially unlikely pairing of two monochrome image junkies, Working with a co-curator, as he did with the Tate Britain […]

11 October 2012

Rothko Sugimoto Amplifying A Common Thrust Pace Gallery – Review

Because I’ve never attended the London or New York fashion week shows, I assume the opening of Pace gallery’s new London space was like one; or at least like the gallery openings in films, where people you apparently should want to know only whisper in each other’s ears. Pace have had (what now looks like […]

25 September 2012

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Elmgreen And Dragset Contrast Rustic Barn With The Guggenheim

Review – Elmgreen & Dragset’s second solo exhibition, Harvest, at the Victoria Miro Gallery, opened last week with a unanimous nod of approval from an audience who were allowed to venture four at a time upstairs to a loft room transformed into a barn. The installation complete with hay bales and a straw covered floor […]

14 July 2012

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Ryan Gander Art Meets Life The Universe And Everything Else

ArtLyst Review – Ryan Gander is going places. For such a young artist (Gander is only 35), he has produced an impressively expansive body of work that is as intellectually rich as it is varied.  And that is just one of the reasons why we like him.Renouned for his strong work ethic, Gander famously never […]