sun 23/09/2018

Visual Arts reviews, news & interviews

I object, British Museum review - censorship, accidental?

Katherine Waters

It’s the nature of satire to reflect what it mocks, so as you’d expect from a British Museum exhibition curated by Ian Hislop, I object is a curiously establishment take on material anti-establishmentarianism from BC something-or-other right up to the present day.

Renzo Piano, Royal Academy review - worth the effort

Sarah Kent

Architecture is notoriously difficult to present in an accessible way and this survey of Italian architect Renzo Piano, who gave London the Shard, does not solve the problem.

h 100 Awards: Art, Design and Craft - making art...

Florence Hallett

This year’s nominees represent the wealth of innovative activity that makes British art, craft and design fresh and exciting. Artists and makers...

The Best Exhibitions in London

Theartsdesk

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain ★★★★ Otto Dix’s prints at the heart of ambitious survey of British, French and German...

h 100 Young Influencers of the Year: Marina...

Marina Gerner

On a recent visit to the Royal Academy, I noticed a tall, elegantly dressed man who spent quite some time admiring a square object attached to the...

Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns, National Gallery of Ireland review - experiments in Pont-Aven

Katherine Waters

Friendship and rivalry among the Post-Impressionists

theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

David Nice

Individual souls conjoined with a passionate belief in peace and music achieve miracles

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A review - appearances aren't everything

Katherine Waters

Sumptuous exhibition prioritises image over artist

diep~haven 2018 review - a missed connection?

Mark Sheerin

Curiously apolitical festival of contemporary art at a ferry crossing

The London Mastaba, Serpentine Galleries review - good news for ducks?

Katherine Waters

Rockstar artist’s floating oil drums provoke questions around the purpose of public art

Enter theartsdesk / h Club Young Influencer of the Year award

Theartsdesk

In association with The Hospital Club's h.Club100 Awards, we're looking for the best cultural writers, bloggers and vloggers

'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

Roger Neill

Anne Estelle Rice painted the New Zealand writer 100 years ago, spinning a tale of love, friendship and artistic kinship

Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh - transforming spaces

Miranda Heggie

Now in its fifth year, this celebration of vibrant art in disused buildings is better than ever

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Katherine Waters

Otto Dix’s prints at the heart of ambitious survey of British, French and German artists’ inter-war work

David Shrigley talk, Brighton Festival review - comedic stroll through a career in art

Thomas H Green

High speed PowerPoint entertainment from the kingpin of oddball cartoons

Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA, BBC Four review - unexpected facts aplenty

Marina Vaizey

From the Wild West to Abstract Expressionism, Waldemar Januszczak on an enthusiastic journey

Highlights from Photo London 2018 - something old, something new

Bill Knight

Apps, augmented reality and Henry Fox Talbot rub shoulders at London's annual photo festival

The New Royal Academy and Tacita Dean, Landscape review - a brave beginning to a new era

Sarah Kent

From an institution known for excellent exhibitions to a hub of learning and debate

David Shrigley/Brett Goodroad, Brighton Festival review - showcases puncturing the medium's pretence

Mark Sheerin

An exhibition and an event that both seem keen to democratise the artistic process

Win a Luxury Weekend for Two to celebrate Brighton Festival!

Theartsdesk

Enter our competition to win a spectacular weekend at England's finest arts festival

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece, British Museum review - magnificence of form across the millennia

Marina Vaizey

A game-changing exhibition illuminates the great sculptor and his links to antiquity

Shape of Light, Tate Modern review - a wasted opportunity

Sarah Kent

The relationship between art and photography reduced to commonplaces

10 Questions for Artist David Shrigley

Thomas H Green

The provocative artist talks festivals, moshpits, Google and much more

Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank review - the artist puts himself in the frame

Sarah Kent

The reluctant subject who reveals his soul

Taryn Simon: An Occupation of Loss, Islington Green review - divine lamentation

Sarah Kent

A journey to the underworld in song

Monet and Architecture, National Gallery review - a revelation in paint

Marina Vaizey

The king of the blockbuster seen in a new light

Helaine Blumenfeld: Britain’s most successful sculptor you’ve never heard of

Rupert Edwards

The director of a new Sky Arts documentary profile of the sculptor explores her work

10 Questions for Artist Brett Goodroad

Thomas H Green

The rising Califiornian painter discusses art, literature and truckin'

Michael Rakowitz: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, Fourth Plinth review - London's new guardian

Katherine Waters

Mythical Assyrian guardian deity occupies square commemorating battle

Footnote: A brief history of british art

The National Gallery, the British Museum, Tate Modern, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Collection - Britain's art galleries and museums are world-renowned, not only for the finest of British visual arts but core collections of antiquities and artworks from great world civilisations.

Holbein_Ambasssadors_1533The glory of British medieval art lay first in her magnificent cathedrals and manuscripts, but kings, aristocrats, scientists and explorers became the vital forces in British art, commissioning Holbein or Gainsborough portraits, founding museums of science or photography, or building palatial country mansions where architecture, craft and art united in a luxuriously cultured way of life (pictured, Holbein's The Ambassadors, 1533 © National Gallery). A rich physician Sir Hans Sloane launched the British Museum with his collection in 1753, and private collections were the basis in the 19th century for the National Gallery, the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery, the original Tate gallery and the Wallace Collections.

British art tendencies have long passionately divided between romantic abstraction and a deep-rooted love of narrative and reality. While 19th-century movements such as the Pre-Raphaelite painters and Victorian Gothic architects paid homage to decorative medieval traditions, individualists such as George Stubbs, William Hogarth, John Constable, J M W Turner and William Blake were radicals in their time.

In the 20th century sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, painters Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, architects Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers embody the contrasts between fantasy and observation. More recently another key patron, Charles Saatchi, championed the sensational Britart conceptual art explosion, typified by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The Arts Desk reviews all the major exhibitions of art and photography as well as interviewing leading creative figures in depth about their careers and working practices. Our writers include Fisun Guner, Judith Flanders, Sarah Kent, Mark Hudson, Sue Steward and Josh Spero.

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