thu 15/11/2018

contemporary art

Imagine... Tracey Emin: Where Do You Draw the Line, BBC One review - entertaining but deferential

It’s been a whirlwind year for Tracey Emin, CBE, RA. Her pink neon sign, “I want my time with you”, greets passengers at St Pancras station, she’s installed bronze birds all over Sydney city centre, she’s making a derelict print works in Margate...

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Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

What an ambitious project! Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde looks at over 40 couples or, in some cases, trios whose love galvanised them into creative activity either individually or in collaboration.The best thing about the...

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The Everyday and the Extraordinary, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne review - the ordinary made strange

There’s a building site outside the Towner Art Gallery and a cement mixer seems to have strayed over the threshold into the foyer. This specimen (pictured below right) no longer produces cement, though. David Batchelor has transformed it into an...

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Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage, Channnel 4 review - making meaning in death

Grayson Perry is at it again. The Turner Prize winner, Reith lecturer, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, curator, writer, British Museum trustee, CBE, RA – plus Britain's and the art world’s favourite transvestite – is trying to find sense...

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diep~haven 2018 review - a missed connection?

The daily car ferry from Newhaven in Sussex to Dieppe in Normandy is an unlikely phenomenon. Neither port is very large; neither region very populous, and the journey sways you along for four contemplative hours. It enjoys the custom of truckers,...

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The London Mastaba, Serpentine Galleries review - good news for ducks?

It’s not as immersive as New York’s The Gates, 2005, nor as magnificent as Floating Piers, 2016, in Italy’s Lake Iseo – it has also, according to Hyde Park regular Kay, “scared away the ducks,” – but superstar artist Christo’s...

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Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA, BBC Four review - unexpected facts aplenty

“Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light” was a vision of the American flag, that star-spangled banner, riding proud from Francis Scott Key’s patriotic poem of 1814 based on an episode in the War of 1812. His sentiments were decades later...

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The New Royal Academy and Tacita Dean, Landscape review - a brave beginning to a new era

This weekend the Royal Academy (R.A) celebrates its 250th anniversary with the opening of 6 Burlington Gardens (main picture), duly refurbished for the occasion. When it was dirty the Palladian facade felt coldly overbearing, but cleaning it has...

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Red, Wyndham's Theatre - Mark Rothko drama paints a vivid picture

The band’s back together. Alfred Molina plays Rothko for the third time in Michael Grandage’s revisiting of John Logan’s richly textured two-hander, first seen at the Donmar in 2009 and then bypassing the West End for Broadway. Another excellent...

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Taryn Simon: An Occupation of Loss, Islington Green review - divine lamentation

What a superb location for a performance! The flats on the north-east corner of Islington Green back onto a crummy atrium from which a staircase leads down to a vaulted, concrete pit (pictured below). A cross between a car park and a bull ring, or a...

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'There's a poetry in painting that gives endless possibilities'

It was always my dream to be an artist but I never expected to be a curator. Graduates considering vocations in critical and curatorial practice went to the Royal College of Art or studied art history at university. Not me: I trained at Chelsea...

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Tacita Dean: Portrait, National Portrait Gallery / Still Life, National Gallery review - film as a fine art

Sometimes you come across an artwork that changes the way you see the world. Tacita Dean’s film portrait of the American choreographer Merce Cunningham (main picture) is one such encounter. Occupying a whole room at the National Portrait...

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