mon 25/03/2019

Visual arts

Mike Nelson, The Asset Strippers, Tate Britain review – exhilarating reminder of industrial might

Mike Nelson has turned the Duveen Galleries into a museum commemorating Britain’s industrial past (pictured below right). Scruffy workbenches, dilapidated metal cabinets and stacks of old drawers are pressed into service as plinths for the display...

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The Best Exhibitions in London

 Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum ★★★★★ Daring, flair and elegance over 80 year. Until 14 July Don McCullin, Tate Britain ★★★★★ The darkest, most compelling exhibition you are ever likely to see. Until 6 MayBill Viola...

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An encounter with John Richardson, Picasso's biographer who has died at 95

When I interviewed John Richardson, who has died at the age of 95, he was edging through his definitive four-tome life of the minuscule giant of Cubism. Of the various breaks he took from the business of research and writing, one yielded The...

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Kader Attia / Diane Arbus, Hayward Gallery review - views from the margins

Feelings run high at the Hayward Gallery in a fascinating pairing of two artists from widely differing backgrounds. Kader Attia muses on unhappy, conflicted relationships between cultures in visual meditations on variations of colonialism. Diane...

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Louise Bourgeois, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge review - a slender but choice selection

Pink walls, slightly dusky in the subdued light of a room shielded from the wintry sun, suggest the bodily concerns of this show, which through the touring collection Artists' Rooms, boldly reviews Louise Bourgeois’s career in a single, modestly...

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Dorothea Tanning, Tate Modern review – an absolute revelation

Tate Modern’s retrospective of Dorothea Tanning is a revelation. Here the American artist is known as a latter day Surrealist, but as the show demonstrates, this is only part of the story. Tanning’s career spanned an impressive 70 years – she died...

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Franz West, Tate Modern review - absurdly exhilarating

Franz West must have been a right pain in the arse. He left school at 16, went travelling, got hooked on hard drugs which he later replaced with heavy drinking, got into endless arguments and fights, was obsessed with sex and, above all, wanted to...

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Phyllida Barlow: Cul-de-sac, Royal Academy review - unadulterated delight

It doesn’t get better than this! Phyllida Barlow has transformed the Royal Academy’s Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries into a euphoric delight. Entering the space, you have to turn right and process through the three galleries; but by closing the...

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John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, Two Temple Place review - inside the mind of a visionary

The power of seeing was the bedrock of John Ruskin’s philosophy. In the bicentenary of his birth, a revelatory exhibition at Two Temple Place in London opens out the idea and makes it manifest through both his own work and the treasures of his...

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Don McCullin, Tate Britain review - beastliness made beautiful

I interviewed Don McCullin in 1983 and the encounter felt like peering into a deep well of darkness. The previous year he’d been in Beirut photographing the atrocities carried out by people on both sides of the civil war and his impeccably composed...

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Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory review, Tate Modern - plenty but empty

“Slow looking” is the phrase du jour at Tate Modern, an enjoinder flatly contradicted by the extent of this exhibition, which in the history of the gallery’s supersized shows counts as a blow-out. Unless you plan to camp overnight, much will need to...

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Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum - sumptuous

The heart of the V&A’s sumptuous Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is a room dedicated to the workmanship of the fashion house’s ateliers. A mirrored ceiling reflects dazzling strip-lit cases which hold the ghosts of ballgowns, slips and...

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