tue 16/08/2022

Visual arts

Ming Smith: A Dream Deferred, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery review - snapping the Blues

Ming Smith is a Black female photographer. When she first dropped off her portfolio at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1978 the receptionist assumed she was a courier. When MoMA offered to buy her work she declined at first because the fee didn’t...

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Ali Cherri: If you prick us, do we not bleed?, National Gallery review - cabinets of curiosity

I’m a sucker for traditional vitrines and the procession of old style display cases installed by Ali Cherri in the Renaissance galleries of the Sainsbury Wing look very handsome.During his residency at the National Gallery, the Lebanese artist has...

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Pionnières: Artistes dans le Paris des années folles, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris review - thrilling and slightly flawed

The hidden history of women artists continues to generate some ground-breaking exhibitions that contribute to a radical re-assessment of art and cultural history. This is a welcome trend, though not entirely without risk, as a new show in Paris...

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Surrealism Beyond Borders, Tate Modern review - a disappointing mish mash

The night after visiting Tate Modern’s Surrealism Beyond Borders I dreamt that a swarm of wasps had taken refuge inside my skull and I feared it would hurt when they nibbled their way out again.If I painted a self-portrait with wasps escaping from...

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Postwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-65, Barbican review - revelations galore

The Barbican’s Postwar Modern covers the period after World War Two when artists were struggling to respond to the horrors that had engulfed Europe and find ways of recovering from the collective trauma.Perhaps inevitably, a considerable amount of...

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A Century of the Artist's Studio, Whitechapel Gallery review - a voyeur's delight

The Whitechapel Gallery's exhibition opens with Cell IX, 1999 (pictured below) one of the wire cages that Louise Bourgeois filled with memories of her dysfunctional family. This one contains a block of marble carved into hands. A tender portrayal of...

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Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child, Hayward Gallery review - the wife, the mistress, the daughter and the art that came out of it

Louise Bourgeois didn’t throw anything away and, during the last 20 years of her life, she used her own and her mother’s old clothes to create theatrical tableaux which revisit painful childhood memories. “These garments have a history,” she...

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America in Crisis, Saatchi Gallery review - a country in jeopardy

America in Crisis revisits an exhibition staged in 1969 soon after Richard Nixon was elected President. Pictures taken by 18 Magnum photographers including Elliott Erwitt and Mary Ellen Mark cast a critical eye over American society and capture many...

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Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, Royal Academy review – a life lived in extremis

Francis Bacon Man and Beast fills most of the main galleries at the Royal Academy. Thankfully, five of the rooms are empty. The exhibition is such a dispiriting experience, I’d have been hollering like a howler monkey if there’d been any more. And...

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Paula Rego: The Forgotten, Victoria Miro review - relentless focus

It might be said that Paula Rego’s subject is light: but rather than painting it, she gives it. She paints deep into social corners, affording generous and often unnerving representation to worlds forgotten or forced out of sight.  This isn’t...

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Best of 2021: Visual Arts

Despite its much delayed start, 2021 was a great year for the visual arts, and institutions and artists alike showed their resilience in agile and sensitive responses to unprecedented conditions. The plastic arts took on a new significance as people...

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Anselm Kiefer Pour Paul Celan, Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris review - an installation of rare profundity

The exhibitions of the German artist Anselm Kiefer have always been spectacular: large works with a numinous presence, often breath-taking and always mysterious. His new installation in Paris’s Grand Palais Ephémère, the temporary structure at the...

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