sun 25/09/2022

Visual Arts Features

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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”.

Read more...

What Lies Beneath: The Secret Life of Paintings

Florence Hallett

The doctoring of political images became something of a tradition in the last century, with Stalin, Hitler and Mao all airbrushing their enemies from photographs. The latest infrared technology has revealed that something similar may have happened during the English Civil War, with a portrait of Oliver Cromwell apparently having been painted over with an image of the Parliamentarian Sir Arthur Hesilrige, who fell out with Cromwell when he became Lord Protector in 1653. 

Read more...

First Person: Curating Shelagh Wakely

Sarah Kent

I’ve curated nearly 70 exhibitions in my time. The most challenging was Elizabeth Frink’s retrospective at the Royal Academy. Weighing in at several tons, the large bronzes are virtually impossible to shift, so I had no room for manoeuvre. To get the installation right, I placed cardboard miniatures inside a model of the main galleries and prayed they would look good full scale. 

Read more...

Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

Ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a brisk new book that urges arts and politicians to reject the emotive clichés and lazy token battles and focus on what matters. In Pain in the Arts, Tusa urges that both sides take personal responsibility for an essential part of human life.

Read more...

Marina Abramović: 512 Hours, Serpentine Gallery

Fisun Güner

I’ll admit, there's a scene that made me well up during the excellent Marina Abramović biopic The Artist is Present. If you've seen it you’ll know the scene I mean – it’s where Ulay, Abramović’s former partner, in art and in life, takes the seat opposite her on the last day of her MoMA marathon performance. And the tears come, hers and his and then ours, and she takes his hands, and then more tears. Oh god.

Read more...

Maria Lassnig, 1919-2014

Fisun Güner

Maria Lassnig, the Austrian figurative painter best known for her emotionally complex self-portraits, died yesterday aged 94. She was virtually unknown in the UK until her solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 2008. In a compact survey which focused on recent work one self-portrait - You or Me, 2005 (main picture) - attracted the greatest attention.

Read more...

10 Questions for Artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

Mark Sheerin

Yinka Shonibare MBE makes work from a less entrenched position than his many decorations suggest. This Member of the British Empire (he adopted the initials as part of his name after receiving the honour in 2005) is naturally also a Royal Academician, an Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths, and has an honorary doctorate from the RCA.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Gurrelieder, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – everything in place,...

Schoenberg’s “Song of the Wood Dove” takes up a mere 11 of the 100 minutes of his epic Gurrelieder, though it’s a crucial narrative of...

Music Reissues Weekly: Bill Nelson's Red Noise - Art /...

The British music weeklies were clear about where the Sound-On-Sound LP and its singles fitted into the current musical topography when...

theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rain...

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has...

Am I Being Unreasonable?, BBC One review - comedy thriller d...

In case you're not au fait with Mumsnet, the title of Daisy May Cooper's follow-up...

The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Theatre Royal Stratford Eas...

Lisa has lost an hour in a (somewhat contrived) temporal glitch. As a consequence, her world is always sliding off-kilter, not quite...

Juniper review - a classic role for Charlotte Rampling

Juniper provides, above all, an absolutely unforgettable role for Charlotte Rampling....

Album: Gabriels - Angels & Queens, Part I

Lauded by Elton John (who called their 2020 debut EP Love and Hate in a Different Time “probably one of the most seminal records I've...

'The first thing I do when I wake up is write.' Hi...

Hilary Mantel, who has died at the age of 70, was a maker of literary history. Wolf Hall, an action-packed 650-page brick of a book...

theartsdesk Q&A: Abel Selaocoe

South-African cellist Abel Selaocoe is about to begin his third major concert in London in under a year. As the support artist for...