sun 27/11/2022

contemporary art

Cathy Wilkes, British Pavilion, Venice Biennale review - poetic and personal

Dried flowers like offerings lie atop a gauze-covered rectangular frame. Pebbles surround its base alongside plaster casts, a desiccated dragonfly and an animal foot charm. Their placement is purposeful; their exact significance unclear. Four rib-...

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Sea Star: Sean Scully, National Gallery review - analysing past masters

Either side of a doorway, framing a view of Turner’s The Evening Star, c. 1830 (Main picture), Sean Scully’s Landline Star, 2017, and Landline Pool, 2018,  frankly acknowledge their roots. Abstract as they are, Scully’s horizontal bands of...

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10 Questions for Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben

The Brighton Festival begins in May. Since 2014 theartsdesk has had a media partnership with this lively, multi-faceted event which takes place over three weeks. This year the Guest Director is the Malian musician Rokia Traoré, who inhabits a...

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Edwin Landseer / Rachel Maclean, National Gallery review - a juxtaposition of opposites

Familiarity breeds contempt, which makes it difficult to look at Edwin Landseer’s The Monarch of the Glen (pictured below). The reproduction of this proud beastie on T-towels, aprons, jigsaws and biscuit tins blinds one to the subtle nuances of the...

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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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