thu 21/11/2019

Visual Arts Buzz

Three anniversaries, three portrait exhibitions

Marina Vaizey Peter Mandelson's grandfather Herbert Morrison at the London County Council (1930) by Bassano

Anniversaries at the National Portrait Gallery are handy hooks for small specialist displays, and a trio has just opened.

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Art for the Nation: Sir Charles Eastlake, National Gallery

Marina Vaizey

We are still acknowledging our 21st-century debts to the energy, curiosity, determination and passion for discovery of a host of Victorian polymaths, and here is another. Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865) was a painter, scholar, author, collector and translator – fluent in German, French, Italian – and the first director of the National Gallery, rising above disputes with trustees and the government to set the scene for the role it plays today.

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Lucian Freud, 1922-2011

theartsdesk

Lucian Freud, who died aged 88 at his west London home on Wednesday, was often described as Britain's greatest living artist. In the six decades he was active, figurative painting went in and out of fashion - though mostly it was out - but Freud remained resolutely outside and beyond fashion. As both an art world grandee and something of a celebrity, he really had no rival, though perhaps...

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Birmingham - Home of Metal

Russ Coffey

This site has never acknowledged a distinction between high and popular culture. Nor, it seems, does the city of Birmingham. Currently bidding for UK City of Culture 2013, it is also promoting itself as the "Home of (Heavy) Metal". This summer, at various locations across the Black Country, a four-month festival looks at the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and celebrates the people who inspired him to “bark at the moon”.

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Mike Nelson to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Judith Flanders Mike Nelson: 'The Memory of HP Lovecraft'

Mostly the Venice Biennale passes me by entirely: ho-hum, another tired bit of Brit Art, I think, and turn the page. But Mike Nelson, twice nominated for the Turner Prize, is a terrific artist, too little seen, too odd, too unsettling to have been shown much in the mainstream. His selection is a boost – for him, I very much hope, but even more for the profile of British art. No more cringing when old-hat, old-school...

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Summary of main Arts Council winners and losers

ismene Brown

A sliderule of 11-15 per cent reductions in annual grants by 2015, compared with this year, has been applied to Britain's major orchestras, opera, dance, theatre and music organisations. One major gainer is London's Barbican Centre - one major loser is the now world-famous Almeida Theatre, which loses almost 40 per cent of its current annual subsidy despite its reputation for innovation and discovery. However, the Arcola Theatre, another small innovative theatre, gets a big boost.

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DIY taxidermist is live and armed

Alice Vincent Keep Away from Idiots: DIY taxidermy from Charlie Tuesday Gates

Taxidermy – the rather morbid art of stuffing and mounting dead animals – has witnessed a rise in popularity not seen since its Victorian heyday in the last few years. Vintage dead artefacts are being given an afterlife in trendy lounge bars all over east London, while taxidermist Polly Morgan has enjoyed further fame after her first major exhibition last summer. However, few have attempted to bring the scalpel to the stage as well as Charlie Tuesday Gates.

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Cob Studios & Gallery: Is north the new east?

Hilary Whitney 'Les Amants (Cascade )', 2009,  Noemie Goudal: The Cob Gallery opens with an exhibition that contemplates our modern relationship with nature

A burgeoning North London art scene, which includes the Zabludowicz Collection in Chalk Farm and one of the London outposts of the Gagosian Gallery, suggests that the art world has the North firmly in its sights and tomorrow sees the opening of its latest addition, Cob Studios & Gallery, based in the heart of Camden Town. Cob is jointly run by playwright Polly Stenham and Victoria Williams and aims to be a truly collaborative venue exhibiting work by emerging and established artists and...

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Preserve Paolozzi!

Josh Spero One small section of Paolozzi's mosaic

Some of London's most public, but probably least noticed, art is under threat: part of Eduardo Paolozzi's technicolour mosaics throughout Tottenham Court Road Tube station may have to be removed because of the station's massive Crossrail-led expansion.

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Boxing Day Bloat: theartsdesk recommends

theartsdesk

Yesterday was yesterday. Today there's the rest of the week. What are the options? You could go to the shops and exchange all your presents, or you could pursue something more in the cultural line. To which end, theartsdesk is delighted to propose some suggestions. Our writers strongly recommend that you do one or more of the following while opportunity knocks.

 

ENGLAND

 

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