sat 21/09/2019

Visual arts

10 Questions for author Martin Gayford

Over the past four decades Martin Gayford, The Spectator’s art critic, has travelled the world, been published in an amazing range of print and digital publications and written more than 20 books, many of them involving his fascination not only with...

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Foragers of the Foreshore - London's mudlarks on show

Over the weekend, exhibitions and installations have started to bubble-up on the riverside walkway in London. Still-life photography of mudlark finds and a "scented history" of Barking Creek outside the National Theatre. Artwork from a dozen...

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Artists in Amsterdam, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a slight but evocative sketch

Done well, a one-room exhibition can be the very best sort, a small selection of paintings allowing the focused exploration of a single topic without the diluting effect of multiple rooms and objects. In this respect, Artists in Amsterdam rather...

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Edinburgh Festival 2019 reviews: Below the Blanket / Samson Young: Real Music

Below the Blanket ★★★★  There’s a deep vein of melancholy running through Glasgow producing house Cryptic’s promenade installation Below the Blanket, which currently occupies several sites across Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden....

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Black Sabbath: 50 years, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery review – not heavy going

The well-spring of certain musical genres and hometowns of certain influential musicians have long been a source of civic pride – and a boost to the tourist industry – in many clued-in parts of the world. One only has to think of the co-opting of...

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Helen Schjerfbeck, Royal Academy review - watchful absences and disappearing people

Light creeps under the church door. Entering as a slice of burning white, it softens and blues into the stone interior, seeming to make the walls glow from the inside. Beneath the lintel, a milder slot of sun pours upwards. To the right, a...

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Beuys' Acorns, Bloomberg Arcade London review – not much to look at, but important all the same

The City of London is an ecological disaster. Around Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street there’s scarcely a green leaf to be seen. Glass, steel, concrete and tarmac create an environment that excludes plant life, birds and insects and is...

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Yorkshire Sculpture International review - Hepworth and Moore loom large

Sculpture is as much a part of Yorkshire as cricket and a decent cup of tea, with the “sculpture triangle”, comprising four prestigious museums and galleries, feeling almost as well-established as the county’s famed rhubarb triangle. Now the...

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Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, Tate Modern review – beautiful ideas badly installed

At their best, Olafur Eliasson’s installations change the way you see, think and feel. Who would have guessed, for instance, that Londoners would take off their togs to bask in the glow of an artificial sun at Tate Modern. That was in 2003, when The...

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Takis, Tate Modern review - science and art collide

Half organic, half high-tech, a bank of magnet-flowers sways not in response to a breeze, but to a magnetic field. Their uncannily naturalistic movements are coupled with a form that is blatantly functional: an unseen, elemental force masquerades as...

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Les Rencontres d’Arles 2019 review - strength in tradition

With 50 curated exhibitions spread across the town, there is much to see at Arles. In an effort to whittle it down I asked the man in the press office what was hot. "The weather," he replied deadpan.For this feast we have to thank Lucien Clergue,...

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BP Portrait Award 2019, National Portrait Gallery review - a story for everyone

Once a year, the National Portrait Gallery gives us a slice of immediate social history presented in an array of contemporary painted portraits of the young, the old, and the inbetween. In its 40th iteration the international competition 44...

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