thu 23/02/2017

Visual Arts Galleries

Photo Gallery: Aberdeenshire Sand Dunes

theartsdesk

These photographs of sand dunes were taken by Brian David Stevens in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, along a stretch of pristine Scottish coastline. The pictures themselves, while captivating and beautiful in their own right, also have political freight. For it is dunes such as these over which a long and ugly battle raged for several years.

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The Best of Frieze Masters 2016

Alison Cole

The fifth edition of the highly popular Frieze Masters – the quieter sibling of the boisterous contemporary Frieze Art Fair London – is underway in Regent's Park, London. This year, the fair features 133 leading galleries from around the world.

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Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016

Bill Knight

Nous avons Brexité but we are still welcome at the 47th Rencontres d'Arles. Each summer this beautiful French town gives itself over to an international photography festival which this year features around 40 exhibitions of varying sizes with countless lectures, parties, book signings and fringe events.

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Hugh Pearman

Arts festivals the size of the Venice Biennale are inevitably patchy. The appointed directors are hardly ever given enough time to curate and fill absolutely vast volumes of space. They can exhort the many national and individual participants to follow their lead, and yet they have no editorial control over them.

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Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

theartsdesk

In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile flood, greets visitors just as it met sailors entering the busy trading port of Thonis-Heracleion some 2,000 years ago.

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The Best of Photo London 2016

Bill Knight

Asking theartsdesk's theatre photographer to review Photo London is like asking a car mechanic to review the London Motor Show. "Remember the big picture!" I kept telling myself as I tried to deconstruct the lighting of a particular shot or measure the depth of field.

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Avedon Warhol, Gagosian Gallery

Marina Vaizey

It is an inspired pairing: iconic images by the American photographer Richard Avedon (1923-2004) and the painter, printmaker and filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-1987), almost all of whose mature work was based on the photographic image. They are together in a large exhibition at Gagosian, Britannia Street, itself one of the largest and most elegant commercial art spaces in London, designed by that cultural architectural duo Caruso St John.

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Lumiere London 2016

david Nice

To liberate traffic-choked city streets for pedestrians, to suspend phantasmagorical, literally high art above their heads and give a sense that London belongs to them: that’s an admirable vision, surely. Artichoke has been wowing the crowds since it brought Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant to town in 2006. Its festivals of light have drawn crowds and prestige to Durham in three alternate years, and to Derry-Londonderry. Could Lumiere work in as diffuse a city as London?

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Søren Dahlgaard’s Dough Portraits

theartsdesk

Can a portrait really be a portrait if we can’t see a person’s face? And what if the reason we can’t see their face is that it is covered with a lump of dough? Is it a joke? And if it is a joke, is it on us or them? Or perhaps it is a joke about art itself: doughy masks aside, Dahlgaard’s portraits are in every other way conventional, and dough is not so dissimilar to clay, a venerable material in the history of art.

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The Amazing World of MC Escher, Dulwich Picture Gallery

theartsdesk

Walls that are floors, floors that are walls, and stairs that go up to go down: in the brain-befuddling art of MC Escher (1898-1972) the mundane everyday meets a world of paradox in which the rules of gravity, space and material reality are thrown into disarray.

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