mon 22/07/2019

National Gallery

The Best Exhibitions in London

 Frank Bowling, Tate Britain ★★★★★ Major retrospective of one of the greatest painters alive today. Until 26 AugustCutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, Dulwich Picture Gallery ★★★★ Excellent exhibition sheds light on...

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Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, National Gallery review - a national treasure comes to London

The National Gallery is on a roll to expand ever further our understanding of western art, alternating blockbusters dedicated to familiar and bankable stars, with selections of work by lesser known figures from across the centuries. Last year for...

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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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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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Mantegna and Bellini, National Gallery review - curated for curators

Pitched as “a tale of two artists”, the National Gallery’s big autumn show promises a history woven in shades of friendship and rivalry, marriage and family, privilege and hard graft. Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini were brothers-in-law,...

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Monet and Architecture, National Gallery review - a revelation in paint

Art historians can so easily get carried away looking for a thesis, a scaffolding on which to hang theories which can sometimes obscure as much as reveal. Not so here: as near perfect as might be imagined, this is a beautifully laid out, fresh look...

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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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Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Mortality inflects commemoration. So it is with portraiture: the likeness – particularly those which celebrate lives of status and accomplishment – will always be limned with death.The National Gallery’s tiny exhibition of Murillo’s two...

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Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland review, National Gallery - light-filled northern vistas

Finland is celebrating its centenary this year and the National Gallery's exhibition of four paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kalela (1865-1931) of a very large lake in central Finland is a beguiling glimpse of the passion its inhabitants attach to its...

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Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell Collection review - guilty pleasures at the National Gallery

If only a modest fuss is being made about the rare and prestigious loan currently residing in Trafalgar Square, it could be that the National Gallery is keen to forget the role of its former director, Dr Nicholas Penny, in a row about art...

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h.Club 100 Awards: Art, Design and Craft - weaving magic at Dovecot Tapestry Studio

Art, design and craft is such a broad category that it is no surprise – even less a criticism – that most of the nominees comfortably inhabit just one of these areas of endeavour. Nominated principally in recognition of The Caged Bird’s Song, made...

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Chris Ofili, National Gallery

Flashes of intense colour pulse rhythmically across the piece, contrasting with delicate washes and pools of watery pigment that seem to quiver plumply, set to run uncontrollably at any moment. Lines drawn fast and bold describe four figures, while...

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