tue 25/06/2019

Visual Arts Features

theartsdesk in Johannesburg: Black Diamonds at the Wits Museum

Thembi Mutch

The new Wits Museum in Johannesburg is located in an old Shell petrol station and stands on the corner behind a vast glass frontage. The winner of the 2012 VISI architecture award, it is big, akin to the Guggenheim in its sense of architectural swagger, and aglow with beckoning wonders. And, at noon on a Saturday, it is empty.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Kiev: The International Biennale for Contemporary Art

Fisun Güner

Giving his press conference speech at the opening of Kiev’s first international art biennale, David Elliott, the seasoned British curator charged with its organisation, looked exhausted, though far from triumphant and more than a little irate. “It’s not the way I usually handle things,” he said. He had opened his speech with an apology – some of the exhibits were still not ready.

Read more...

Intimate Exposure: Marilyn Monroe 50 Years On

Sarah Kent

It’s 50 years since Marilyn Monroe died alone on the night of August 4, 1962, from swallowing too many sleeping pills. The sad story soon became the stuff of legend. When they found her, she was still slumped over the telephone receiver; she had been ringing around, desperately trying to get help. Rumours soon spread about her relationship with Senator Robert Kennedy and possible access to state secrets, which gave rise to far-fetched conspiracy theories implicating the CIA in her death.

Read more...

Bruce Lacey: Art's Great Adventurer

Kieron Tyler

“Bruce Lacey has had this unbelievable career,” says the Turner prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller. “His is an alternative version of British art history - people didn't seem to know that Bruce has intersected with British history. I felt he deserves to be looked at again." Deller has put his energies into a documentary, exhibition and film season, all celebrating this influential, but largely unsung and unique British artist.

Read more...

theartsdesk at Land's End: The Penzance Convention

Mark Hudson

Standing in Tate St Ives with the sun gleaming on the Atlantic, you wonder who they are, all these chilled, nonchalantly now people. Through the great curved window, the sun is setting over the barren headland of the Land’s End peninsular, the landscape that inspired Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson et al.

Read more...

Extract: What's That Thing?

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

In the former mining town of St Helens, a £2 million 66-foot baby’s head bulges out of the ground. On the approach to the new town of Cumbernauld, a 33-foot busty silver mermaid gestures at passers-by like a Vegas barmaid. Half a million pounds’ worth of hand-crocheted lions (pictured below left) will soon grace the streets of Nottingham. Another half a million will go into felling a stretch of Highland forest for a football pitch installation.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Leeds: OverWorlds & UnderWorlds

graham Rickson

It’s cold, grey and damp. Welcome to Leeds. The city centre has grown more homogenous, less distinctive since I arrived here in the 1980s, but there are still delights to be found.

Read more...

Collect 2012

theartsdesk

Collect is the international art fair for exquisitely crafted contemporary objects. Launched in 2004 by the Crafts Council, the fair represents galleries from around the world and showcases the best ceramic, glass, jewellery, textiles, wood, furniture and fine metalwork by new and established artists.

Read more...

Turner Prize 2012 shortlist

Fisun Güner

Where’s Marcus Coates? The gangly shaman-artist was last seen communing with the dark spirit of the soon-to-be demolished Heygate Estate in the Elephant and Castle, but, hell, he’s nowhere on the Turner Prize 2012 shortlist.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Liverpool: The Sea Odyssey

Glyn Môn Hughes

There is something surreal about emerging from an underground station in Liverpool and being confronted by an enormous giant lumbering its way up the street. Even coming up the escalator it is possible to hear the band accompanying this gigantic being merging with the roar of delight from the crowd. And crowds there have been. Over the three days of the Sea Odyssey it is estimated that 600,000 people have seen the latest street theatre creation from Nantes-based Royal De Luxe.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Drag SOS, Channel 4 review - absolutely fabulous

According to the Manchester drag collective the Family Gorgeous, “drag should be for everyone.” And on the evidence of this first programme,...

The Planets, Series Finale, BBC Two review - ice cold on Nep...

As an aid to meditation, Professor Brian Cox’s latest series could hardly be faulted. A majestic tour of the Solar System awash with computerised...

Cash Cow, Hampstead Theatre review - timely look at pushy te...

“How much does she owe us?” So ponder the now estranged parents of a former tennis pro, as they calculate the very literal investment they’ve put...

Mari review - bittersweet drama with flair

Mari is one part kitchen sink drama, one part...

Blu-ray: For All Mankind

Al Reinert's For All Mankind isn't quite what it seems. In a famous 1962 speech, President Kennedy spoke of the knowledge to be gained...

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019 Final, BBC Four review...

If ever there was an instance of the great being the enemy of the good, it happened after all the live...

Brundibár, Welsh National Opera review - bittersweet childre...

Politics, in case you may not have noticed, has been in the air of late: questions of escape, release, borders, refugees, things like that. So...

Belshazzar, The Grange Festival review – songs of freedom

Cut almost anywhere into the lesser-known seams of Handel’s oratorios and you may strike plentiful nuggets of the purest gold. It may not be quite...

Beecham House, ITV review - a cartoon version of 18th centur...

It has become routine to accuse Brexiteers of wanting to bring...

Anna Bolena, Longborough Festival Opera review - Henry VIII...

Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. Anne Boleyn is number two on the list, so anyone who can remember even that much Tudor...