wed 24/07/2024

Visual Arts Features

Opinion: Oligarchs and oiligarchs have made art a luxury

Sarah Kent

For me, 2011 will go down as the year in which the fact that artworks have become luxury goods – playthings for the rich – could no longer be ignored. In response Damien Hirst, one of the first artists to turn himself into a brand, is sprinkling the globe with spot paintings (pictured below left).

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz

Ismene Brown

You're going to test your stomach and sweet temper to the maximum today - test your brain and memory too with our monster quiz about the arts covered by theartsdesk in 2011. Every artform is represented here in 12 dozen questions. Settle down between courses, films and presents and see how many you and your near and dear can do.

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz - Answers

theartsdesk

Here are the answers to our monster Christmas arts quiz of 12 dozen questions on the year past, as seen by theartsdesk writers. There are clues in all the questions in the main quiz page. If you don't want to know the answers just yet till you've grappled with them, close this page now.

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Christmas on theartsdesk: Brainteasers, Bran Tub, and the Best of 2011

theartsdesk

Any day now most of us will be hunkering down and for the most part drawing a curtain about the world outside. Before that happens, we’d like to tell you about theartsdesk’s plans for Christmas and the New Year.

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The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Fisun Güner

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery has been transformed with a £7.6 million facelift. As a first-timer I confess I don’t have a clue what it looked like before, but I am assured it was dark and gloomy and had the air of a building cast aside in favour of Edinburgh’s better attractions.

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theartsdesk in Florence: The British Are Going

Jasper Rees

In the 1450s in Florence, Alberti was working on the facade of Santa Maria Novella, Donatello and Fra Filippo Lippi were active, while Leonardo was born in nearby village of Vinci. And the English established a diplomatic presence. It has continued almost uninterrupted, pausing only in times of direct conflict. This month, it ends as the British consulate closes its doors for the last time.

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The Underbelly Project: New York

Jasper Rees

New York, late August 2010

I am at the opening of a swanky new gallery. Around me, the latest daubs by the hottest names adorn the walls of room after room. It’s worth mentioning a couple of discrepancies from your regular opening. This is a canapé-free environment, for one. There is no chilled white wine, no pretentious appraisal of carefully lit works. Nobody has come dressed to thrill. In fact, nobody has come at all. Apart from me.

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Nikolai Ge at the Tretyakov Gallery

Tom Birchenough

The Nikolai Ge retrospective at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery marks the 180th anniversary of the artist’s birth – not the kind of round centenary or bicentenary landmark that often brings such projects to fruition. But the show is literally a revelation – at its centre are the religious works from the last years of his life, many of which returned only this year to Russia from abroad.

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Colouring Light: Brian Clarke - An Artist Apart

mark Kidel

My relationship with the artist Brian Clarke, the subject of my forthcoming film, goes back a long way: when I first filmed him for a documentary I made for BBC Two in 1993 - a film about windows as symbols and metaphors in the series The Architecture of the Imagination - I was not only struck by the outstanding quality of his work as a painter and stained-glass artist, but by the exceptionally articulate and perceptive way in which he talked about art.

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How Manga Comics Became A Dance

Ismene Brown

A new production opens tonight at Sadler's Wells based on the graphic novels of Osamu Tezuka, Japan's master of manga art. Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and composer Nitin Sawhney shared a love of comics as a boy that turned into the more sophisticated admiration for the narrative subtlety and precise visions that the best of comics led to. And to Cherkaoui it seemed a compelling world for theatrical treatment.

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