fri 28/01/2022

Visual arts

'Of course art doesn't change the world': Situationist artist Jacqueline de Jong on violence, eroticism and the importance of humour

Jacqueline de Jong doesn’t want to talk politics. But this should have been foreseeable. After all, she has travelled to Mostyn, in Llandudno, for her first solo exhibition in a UK art institution. And this is a painting show, not a political rally....

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Documenting the unimaginable: photographer Sebastião Salgado talks about climate change, dodging caimans and changing perspectives

Sebastião Salgado has carved out his career by documenting the unimaginable. He takes areas of life all too often ignored by wealthy westerners and reveals them in mesmerising, teeming detail.To look at one of his photographs is to experience...

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Yoko Ono, Mend Piece, Whitechapel Gallery review – funny and sad in equal measure

Its more than 50 years since Yoko Ono first presented Mend Piece at the Indica Gallery, London in the exhibition through which she met John Lennon. The piece is currently being revisited at the Whitechapel Gallery and, in the intervening years, its...

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Theaster Gates - A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery review - mud, mud, glorious mud

Last year a stoneware jar by David Drake sold at auction for $1.3 million. It fetched this extraordinary price because of its history: Drake was a slave on a plantation in South Carolina who not only made fabulous pots, but dared sign and date them...

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Isamu Noguchi, Barbican review – the most elegant exhibition in town

Isamu Noguchi may not be a household name, yet one strand of his work is incredibly familiar. In 1951 he visited a lamp factory in Gifu, a Japanese city famous for its paper lanterns. This prompted him to design the lampshades that, for decades,...

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Gerhard Richter: Drawings, Hayward Gallery review - exquisite ruminations

In 2015, an abstract painting by Gerhard Richter broke the world record for contemporary art by selling at auction for £30.4m, and the octogenarian is often described as the most important living artist. But I’ve always found the prices fetched by...

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Mixing it Up, Hayward Gallery review - a glorious celebration of diversity

The 31 artists in Mixing it Up all live in this country, but a third of them were born elsewhere – in countries including Belgium, China, Columbia, Germany, Iraq, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and they’ve brought with them immeasurable cultural riches. The...

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Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - adventures in print

When you stand in front of Helen Frankenthaler’s Freefall, 1993, in your mind you drop into its gorgeous, blue abyss. It is enveloping, vertiginous, endless and yet there’s none of the terror of falling into a void, only intense, velvety comfort as...

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The Lost Leonardo review - an incredible tale as gripping as any thriller

It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals every twist and turn of this extraordinary tale. In New Orleans in 2005, a badly-damaged painting (pictured below left)...

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Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Tate Modern review - a creative talent that knew no bounds

Sophie Taeuber-Arp gave her work titles like Movement of Lines, yet there’s nothing dull about her drawings and paintings. In her hands, the simplest compositions sizzle with tension and dance with implied motion. Animated Circles 1934 (main picture...

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Paula Rego, Tate Britain review - the artist's inner landscape like never before

It is conventional for artists to reflect their surroundings, experiences and inspirations, whether this be in a subliminal manner or overtly. But Paula Rego is by no means conventional. She is a rebel, a nonconformist, a freethinker. Rego doesn’t...

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Karla Black, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh review - airy free-for-all

As Karla Black’s first retrospective opens to the public, the institution she has paired with, Fruitmarket, also reopens with a new £4.3 million extension. In lockdown, the Edinburgh gallery has had the builders in. And from the fragile yet powerful...

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