tue 21/08/2018

portraits

The Best Exhibitions in London

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain ★★★★ Otto Dix’s prints at the heart of ambitious survey of British, French and German artists’ inter-war work. Until 23 SeptAll Too Human, Tate Britain ★★★★ Bacon and Freud dominate but don't...

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Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A review - appearances aren't everything

When in 2004 Frida Kahlo’s bedroom – sealed on the command of her husband Diego Rivera for 50 years from her death – was opened, a trove of clothes and personal items was discovered. They shed new light on the life of this iconic Mexican...

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'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

The well-known portrait of New Zealand’s greatest writer, Katherine Mansfield, is exactly 100 years old on 17 June 2018 (main picture). It was painted by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice. At that time, Mansfield and Rice were both staying in...

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David Shrigley/Brett Goodroad, Brighton Festival review - showcases puncturing the medium's pretence

In his 1991 novel Mao II, Don DeLillo called the literary medium “a democratic shout”. His oft-quoted claim is that any man or woman on the street could strike it lucky, find their voice, and write a great book. Not only does everyone carry round a...

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Picasso 1932: Love Fame Tragedy, Tate Modern review - a diary in paint?

Painted in ice-cream shades punctuated with vivid red, the series of portraits made by Picasso in the early weeks of 1932 are as dreamy as love letters. His mistress Marie-Thérèse Walther – we assume it is she – lies adrift in post-coital languor,...

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Victorian Giants, National Portrait Gallery review - pioneers of photography

It is a very human crowd at Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography. There are the slightly melancholic portraits of authoritative and bearded male Victorian eminences, among them Darwin, Tennyson, Carlyle and Sir John Herschel. The...

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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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Charles I: King and Collector, Royal Academy review - a well executed display of taste

Titian! Mantegna!  Rubens! Dürer! Veronese! Van Dyck! Raphael! Velazquez! About 140 works which were once part of Charles I’s 2,000-strong collection are reunited in a sumptuous collaboration between the Royal Academy and the Royal Collection....

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From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed guide handed to visitors offers a detailed overview of working from...

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Highlights from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 - raw emotion, not always human

What does it take to be included in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition? This year 2,423 photographers entered 5,717 images: 2,373 of those photographers are left wondering what it takes to make the grade. Remarks from the...

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Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery review - eye-opening and heart-breaking

Some 50 portraits by Paul Cézanne – almost a third of all those the artist painted that have survived – are on view in this quietly sensational exhibition. Eye-opening and heart-breaking, it examines his art exclusively in the context of his...

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Soutine's Portraits, Courtauld Gallery review - a superb, unsettling show

This is the latest in a line of beautifully curated, closely focused exhibitions that the Courtauld Gallery does so well. Its subject is the great Russian-French painter Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) who, remarkably, has not had a UK exhibition devoted...

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