fri 20/01/2017

Visual Arts Reviews

War in the Sunshine, Estorick Collection

Clem Hitchcock

North London’s much loved Estorick Collection is reopening its doors after a five-month spruce up. The Georgian listed building that houses a 120-piece collection of modern Italian art now boasts a new glass conservatory, opened out entrance hall and "daylight-enhanced" gallery spaces. It all bodes well, even if the reliance on a period of prolonged British sunshine to complete the effect feels a touch optimistic right now. Here’s hoping.

Read more...

Gavin Turk, Newport Street Gallery

sarah Kent

The timing of Gavin Turk’s retrospective couldn’t be better.

Read more...

Australia's Impressionists, National Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Painted in 1891 by Tom Roberts, A Break Away! shows us a flock of maddened, thirsty sheep careering down a hillside stripped of grass by drought, accompanied by rollicking sheepdogs and cowboy shepherds on horses. If those sheep pile on top of one another into the puny stream at the bottom of the hill, injury – even death – will occur. The perspective is vertiginous, and the scene almost visibly pulsates with energy. 

Read more...

Best of 2016: Art

Florence Hallett

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and spectacular events like Lumiere London, and London’s Burning bringing light in dark times.

Read more...

Sunday Book: Treasure Palaces - Great Writers Visit Great Museums

Florence Hallett

The modern experience of visiting museums is so far from the hushed contemplation envisaged by our Victorian forebears that the very idea is sufficient to induce a rosy glow of nostalgia, as befits the time of year. And while the Christmas hordes in the Natural History Museum are surely motivated less by the vain hope of a quiet corner than some brief respite from enforced conviviality, museums remain as much a part of the festive cocoon as carol-singing and ghost stories.

Read more...

Zaha Hadid, Serpentine Gallery

sarah Kent

It is appropriate that this exhibition of Zaha Hadid’s early drawings and paintings should be shown at the Serpentine’s Sackler Gallery, which adjoins the restaurant she designed in 2013. The white, curvilinear extension was one of the first permanent structures she was able to build in London. And looking at her visionary drawings and paintings, it becomes clear why she had to wait so long for her work to be accepted here.

Read more...

Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern

Marina Vaizey

The Good American, a Texan no less, has landed at Tate Modern in style. This posthumous retrospective of the great Robert Rauschenberg includes a paint-bespattered, fully made-up bed hung vertically on the wall, and called – you guessed – Bed,1955 (pictured below right).

Read more...

Painters’ Painters, Saatchi Gallery

sarah Kent

The nine artists in this exhibition mainly paint large, eye-catching canvases; yet the most arresting image on show is a tiny, rather tentative picture of an unprepossessing man with yellow hair. It is hard to say why Richard Aldrich’s ethereal Future Portrait no 49, 2003 (main picture) is so compelling.

Read more...

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen's Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Born in Rome and taught by her artist father, Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652) led a colourfully energetic life. As an adolescent she was raped by her father’s assistant  – an episode which unusually, then as now, actually came to public trial – but she nevertheless became a confident, resolute woman, and a successful artist.

Read more...

Flaming June, Leighton House Museum

Florence Hallett

The chances are, you’ve only ever seen Flaming June in reproduction: since 1963 it has resided in the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, an out-of-the-way location that reflects the universal disdain for Victorian art in the post-war period.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

T2 Trainspotting

"This had better not be shite, Danny," was the warning delivered to director...

LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Symphony is a word carrying heavy historical baggage. It’s understandable when composers dig for inspiration elsewhere. All the same, Mark-Anthony...

Photo Gallery: Aberdeenshire Sand Dunes

These photographs of sand dunes were taken by Brian David Stevens in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, along a stretch of pristine Scottish coastline. The...

Jackie

“A First Lady must always be ready to pack her suitcases,” remarks Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Melania...

Winter Solstice, Orange Tree Theatre

A day or so after Theresa May’s keynote speech about Brexit ...

DVD/Blu-ray: The Glass Shield

Charles Burnett is one of the neglected pioneers of African-American film-making. He first won attention back in 1978 with his poetic, powerful...

Lion

The homecoming narrative is one of the most elemental ones we know, playing on the most primal human emotions. Stories of separation and reunion...

Picnic at Hanging Rock, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

We probably think we know the story. From Peter Weir’s cult 1975 film, or even from the original 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay. An excitable gaggle...

CD: Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life

It may be five years since their last album, Celebration Rock, and the world may have turned several somersaults of late, but Japandroids...

Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President, Channel 4

Tom Lehrer famously declared satire dead when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger not long after he'd bombed Cambodia back to the...