tue 07/02/2023

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

Linck & Mülhahn, Hampstead Theatre review - problems as...

With the total loss of its Arts Council funding,...

Eliza Carthy and The Restitution, Barbican review - folk at...

Eliza Carthy has been busy, as she always has. Recording various albums with various artists during the pandemic, her show with her band, The...

Fabienne Verdier, The Song of the Stars (Le chant des étoile...

I have wanted to visit the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar for many years: the home of Matthias Grünewald’s masterpiece, the Isenheim Altarpiece (1512...

DVD: Babylon Berlin, Season Four

It’s coming up for two years since some of us watched the first three seasons of what’s increasingly coming to seem like television’s greatest...

The Damnation of Faust, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the devil...

No work gives its listeners such pleasure on the way to hell (and back) as...

Saint Omer review - exile and erasure

Saint Omer is a psychological and sociological mystery, unpicking the enigma of Laurence (Guslagie Malanda), a French...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera North review - magic of a cl...

It’s good to think that there are some opera productions – not just compositions – that in themselves can have the status of classics. David...

Smoke, Southwark Playhouse review - dazzling Strindberg upda...

A play’s title can be an almost arbitrary matter – there’s no streetcar but plenty of desire in that one for example...

Album: Yo La Tengo - This Stupid World

Yo La Tengo’s new disc would appear to be an homage to the indie ...

Music Reissues Weekly: The Senders - All Killer No Filler

The New York Dolls, The Ramones, Suicide, Television, Blondie, The Dictators, The Heartbreakers, The Shirts, Richard Hell and the Voidoids. From...