thu 17/06/2021

Visual arts

Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, Ashmolean Museum review - a rich array

Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting and sculpture. When we walk into an art gallery, we find ourselves gravitating towards the large, impressive oil paintings....

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films. Putting film of yourself online was, after all, a way of communicating with an audience, and had...

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The Making of Rodin, Tate Modern review - surrealist tendencies

Undoubtedly the strangest thing in this exhibition dedicated to Rodin’s works in plaster is a rendition of Balzac’s dressing gown, visibly hollow, but filled out nevertheless by the ghostly contours of an ample male form. Not surprisingly, the...

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Matthew Barney: Redoubt, Hayward Gallery review - the wild west revisited

The focal point of Matthew Barney’s Hayward exhibition is Redoubt, a two-and-a-quarter-hour film projected on a giant screen that invites you to immerse yourself in the rugged terrain of the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, where he grew up. The...

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David Hockney / Michael Armitage, Royal Academy review - painting with an iPad vs brushes and paint

David Hockney has a new toy, an app designed specially for him that allows him to work on an iPad with fine brushes. He spent the first five months of lockdown In Normandy making daily records of the coming of spring; the results are displayed in a...

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Eileen Agar, Whitechapel Gallery review - a free spirit to the end

Eileen Agar was the only woman included in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936, which introduced London to artists like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. The Surrealists were exploring the creative potential of chance, chaos and the...

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Turner's Modern World, Tate Britain review - the universal artist

When Turner’s Modern World opened at Tate Britain last autumn only to close again days later, we might have felt then an echo of sensations and sentiments powerfully expressed in the exhibition itself. Its subject is the dirty cacophony of newly...

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Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee's harbour-based sound art impresses

They stand in a row, nine of them, in a long, strange corridor between rows of stacked, palleted, planked wood and the red brick wall of an endless warehouse. Nine tripods, each two humans high, with a spinning helicopter head, double-ended by...

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Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review - apocalyptic sheds

Sheds have flourished in lockdown: they’ve always been places to escape to and in the past year, when spruced up as home offices, even more so. They’re also emblems of isolation. Poltergeist (main picture) and Doppelganger, the works that...

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This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

It’s no surprise that 30 years on, the individuals most closely connected to the world’s biggest art heist are showing their age. Anne Hawley was a young woman just months into her directorship of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston when...

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Prix Pictet: Confinement review - a year in photographs

Sustainability and the environment are watchwords for the Prix Pictet, the international photography prize now in its ninth cycle. Since its launch in 2008, it has responded to the state of the world with urgency and compassion, its shortlists all...

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Pioneering Women, Oxford Ceramics Gallery online review - domestic pleasures

Pioneering is an attractive adjective in this context, alerting the spectator to what has been, over the past half century, an extraordinary body of contemporary ceramics produced by women. Underlying the notion of a gender-defined exhibition is a...

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