tue 26/01/2021

Visual Arts Features

theartsdesk in Calais: Simon Faithfull – To the Bottom of the World and Back

Sarah Kent

The sea is the theme uniting Simon Faithfull’s mid-career retrospective. It makes the port of Calais the perfect host for this splendid exhibition and, to put you in the mood, ideally you should make the crossing by boat. Faithfull spent six days going back and forth, back and forth on the P&O ferry between Dover and Calais.

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theartsdesk in Moscow: Remembering George Costakis

Tom Birchenough

Russia’s national gallery, the Tretyakov, bears the name of its founder Pavel Tretyakov, the 19th-century merchant who bequeathed his huge collection of Russian art to the city of Moscow in 1892. His bust stands proudly overseeing the entrance to the gallery’s old building, a fine, purpose-built example of early Russian 20th-century architecture.

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PJ Harvey: Recording in Progress, Artangel at Somerset House

mark Kidel

Artangel continues to instigate extraordinary events in extraordinary places. Over the past two decades and more, directors Michael Morris and James Lingwood have helped generate major and ground-breaking work by Rachel Whiteread, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Roni Horn, Jeremy Deller, Steve McQueen, Matthew Barney, Gregor Schneider, Francis Alÿs and many others. It's a long list.

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Quick! Win tickets for the London Art Fair

Fisun Güner

Whether you’re interested in buying, just looking or attending one of the many talks and events, the London Art Fair is the place to be over the next few days if you’re keen on modern and contemporary British art. 

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Best of 2014: Art

Fisun Güner

We commemorated the centenary of the start of the First World War and we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The year also marked a 70th anniversary for the D-Day landings. So it was oddly fitting that the London art calendar was most notable for the invasion of heavyweight Germans; namely, four postwar artists whose sense of the weight of German history is writ large in their work.

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Sci-Fi Week: Through the eyes of JG Ballard

Fisun Güner

A sci-fi special would be incomplete without the profoundly influential figure of JG Ballard, a writer who, when he began his career in the late Fifties, fully subscribed to the notion that  “sci-fi is the literature of the 20th century.” Unlike the “Hampstead novel,” he once said, “the sci-fi novel plays back the century to itself.”

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Gallery: Honoré Daumier and Paula Rego - a conversation across time

Fisun Güner

Baudelaire called him a “pictorial Balzac” and said he was the most important man “in the whole of modern art”, while Degas was only a little less effusive, claiming him as one of the three greatest draughtsman of the 19th century, alongside Ingres and Delacroix.

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theartsdesk in Bamberg: Top Town, Top Orchestra

David Nice

As a town of 70,000 or so people, Bamberg boxes dazzlingly above its weight in at least two spheres. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, risen to giddy heights under its chief conductor of the last 14 years Jonathan Nott, is decisively among Germany’s top five, and acknowledged as such in its substantial state funding (to the enviable tune of 80 percent, a figure known elsewhere, I believe, only in Norway). And a galaxy of great buildings has won the place UNESCO World Heritage status.

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theartsdesk in Cadaqués: Inside Dalí

Markie Robson-Scott

In 1959, the walk to Salvador Dalí’s house in Portlligat seemed very long. I was on holiday with my parents in Cadaqués, staying in our friends’ house high on a hillside with a view of the blue bay and the white houses surrounding it. Not that I cared about views. What I wanted to do was swim, poke sea urchins, watch the fishermen unload their nets, and have a Coke at the Meliton bar.

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Time, Weather, Place: Folkestone Triennial 2014

Fisun Güner

The crusty old Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay died in 2006, but there’s a new art work by him at this year’s Folkestone Triennial. You won’t be able to see it with the naked eye, but you can through a pair of binoculars. If you peer through a viewing tower from Folkestone’s disused Harbour Pier you’ll see one of Finlay’s enigmatic phrases come into focus: “WEATHER IS A THIRD TO PLACE AND TIME”.

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