thu 18/08/2022

Visual Arts Features

William Burroughs: All Out Of Time and Into Space, October Gallery

Tim Cumming

October Gallery first mounted a show of William Burroughs’ paintings in 1988, soon after the writer had published The Western Lands, the last novel in his final trilogy. More books would come – on lemurs, pirates, Madagascar, cats, dreams – but no further fiction.

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A Voyage Round my Father at the Freud Museum

Markie Robson-Scott

What would Sigmund Freud say to newcomers infiltrating his priceless collection of Greek, Chinese and Egyptian antiquities?

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Opinion: Turner Prize 2012 - the year of film art

Fisun Güner

Unusually for a Turner Prize, or for contemporary art generally for that matter, it was the year that film outshone other media. Paul Noble may have initially been the popular, and the bookies' favourite, but as technically impressive as his panoramic drawings are they are also quite lifeless, made inert by the process of their meticulous execution.

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William Turnbull, 1922-2012

Mark Hudson

William Turnbull was a Dundee shipyard engineer’s son who became a highly respected fixture on the London art scene for over six decades, principally as a sculptor, but also as painter and printmaker.

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theartsdesk in Florence: Hating the Sin, Loving the Sinner

william Ward

Perhaps the longest-lasting, the oddest – and almost certainly the most gratuitous – battle still busy raging with its roots in the ideological conflicts of the past century is the one regarding the artistic output of Italy’s engagement with Fascism.

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The Company of Strangers: How the Royal Academy Was Founded

Charles Saumare

Since becoming Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts almost exactly five years ago, I have become increasingly interested in why it was established. In particular, I almost inevitably got interested in the so-called Laws which govern its operation as a binding constitution.  

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Opinion: Who needs a top photography prize which champions non-photographers?

Fisun Güner

Last night, someone who’s never professionally held a camera won the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize at the Photographers’ Gallery. John Stezaker is a collagist. Since the Seventies he’s been slicing found photographic images, often of Hollywood stars, to make new composite images. His work, pleasingly old-fashioned both technically and aesthetically, harks back to the Dada/Surrealist collages and photomontages of figures such as Hannah Höch and Joseph Cornell.

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theartsdesk in Tripoli: Photographing a Revolution

Terry Friel

The most striking thing about the first photographic exhibition to specifically address post-revolution Libya is that there is no blood. Libya: A Nation Reborn is situated in the marbled ballroom of Tripoli’s five-star Corinthia Hotel – a long way from the dust, sweat and blood of the streets – and poignantly lays out the reality of the revolution. And its costs.

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theartsdesk in Philadelphia: In the house of an American Medici

Markie Robson-Scott

MoMa and the Met, the Whitney and the Guggenheim – all very fine, but if you crave something different when in NYC, it’s worth braving Penn Station’s circles of hell to get a train to Philadelphia (takes just over an hour) to visit the mind-boggling Barnes Foundation. This private art collection, worth around $30 billion, is in a league of its own.

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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.

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