sat 15/05/2021

architecture

Charles Saumarez Smith: The Art Museum In Modern Times review – the story of modern architecture

“This book is a journey of historical discovery, set out sequentially in order to convey a sense of what has changed over time.” Add to this sentence, the title of the work from which it is taken, The Art Museum in Modern Times, and you’ll probably...

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Blu-ray: Visual Acoustics

One of the world’s leading architectural photographers, Julius Shulman was the subject of a show at London’s Photographers’ Gallery this autumn, “Altered States of America”. That title surely alluded to the visual modernism that changed the face of...

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Rebuilding Notre-Dame: Inside the Great Cathedral Rescue, BBC Four review - a race against time

One year on the world is drastically altered, but footage of Notre Dame’s stricken spire collapsing in flames is no less shocking. That this event, endlessly replayed, has not paled against the new reality of daily death tolls is testament to the...

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10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Normally we'd put a descriptor - "cellist", "film maker", "techno producer" for example - in the title of this interview, but for Irina Nalis there isn't space. Like, "10 Questions for psychologist, ministerial adviser, festival founder,...

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Bauhaus 100, BBC Four review - a well-made film about the makers

The Bauhaus school and its subsequent influence make an extraordinary story, and this film by Mat Whitecross, which has assembled a whole range of different voices and perspectives and woven them together, told it well.As a school, the Bauhaus...

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My Enemy's Cherry Tree: Wang Ting-Kuo review - a masterpiece from Taiwan

Early every evening, Miss Baixiu comes to sit in an isolated café. She is the daughter of Luo Yiming, the respected employee of a successful commercial bank in charge of loans throughout central Taiwan. As a rich man, an aesthete and a...

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Pitzhanger Manor review - letting the light back in

When in 1800 the architect Sir John Soane bought Pitzhanger Manor for £4,500, he did so under the spell of optimism, energy and hope. The son of a bricklayer, Soane had – through a combination of talent, hard work and luck – risen through...

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Fiona MacCarthy: Walter Gropius review - a master of modernism

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (literally, “Building House”) art school is on us, prompting publications and exhibitions worldwide. Subtitled “Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus”, Fiona MacCarthy’s revelatory biography of the figure...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Columbus

The director of this deeply charming debut feature is the Korean-American film critic who writes under the pseudonym Kogonada; one of his principle interests over the years has been the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, and there’s something of...

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Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill review - a brave attempt to recreate an important collection

It took 24 days to sell off the 4,000 items which Horace Walpole had amassed during 50 years of avid collecting. He bought a modest property beside the Thames in Twickenham in 1749 and, by 1790, had extended and transformed it into a fairy tale...

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Elmgreen & Dragset, Whitechapel Gallery review – when is a door not a door ?

A whiff of chlorine hits you as you open the door of the Whitechapel Gallery. Its the smell of public baths, and inside is a derelict swimming pool with nothing in it but dead leaves and piles of brick dust. Damp walls, peeling paint and cracked...

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DVD: New Town Utopia

You come to Christopher Ian Smith’s New Town Utopia expecting a damning indictment of post-war British planning. But while there are melancholy moments, this is mostly an upbeat documentary. Smith manages, without the use of CGI, to make the much-...

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