fri 05/03/2021

Visual Arts Galleries

The Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

theartsdesk

Yesterday the record for the most expensive painting ever sold was broken. At Christie's in New York Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi the hammer was knocked down on a price of $450 million. It's a lot of money, period, and even more for a painting which some doubt is by Leonardo at all. One doubter insists that Leonardo the great scientist would have refracted the light through the orb in Christ's hands. That won't bother the buyer, whose identity is unknown.

Salvator...

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Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave, British Museum

Florence Hallett

With its striking design, characteristically restricted palette and fluent use of line, Hokusai’s The Great Wave, 1831, is one of the world’s most recognisable images, encapsulating western ideas about Japanese art.

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Highlights from Photo London 2017 - virtual reality meets vintage treasure

Bill Knight

At heart, Photo London is a selling fair for expensive photographic prints. You wander through the steamy labyrinth of Somerset House from gallery show to gallery show surrounded by black-clad snapperati, assaulted on all sides by images until lost in photography.

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Fourth Plinth: How London Created the Smallest Sculpture Park in the World

Grayson Perry

I have always felt very lucky to have been working as an artist in London during the period when it transformed into the capital of the art world. It has been a beautiful, fascinating and profitable ride.

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Photo Gallery: Aberdeenshire Sand Dunes

theartsdesk

These photographs of sand dunes were taken by Brian David Stevens in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, along a stretch of pristine Scottish coastline. The pictures themselves, while captivating and beautiful in their own right, also have political freight. For it is dunes such as these over which a long and ugly battle raged for several years.

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The Best of Frieze Masters 2016

Alison Cole

The fifth edition of the highly popular Frieze Masters – the quieter sibling of the boisterous contemporary Frieze Art Fair London – is underway in Regent's Park, London. This year, the fair features 133 leading galleries from around the world.

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Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016

Bill Knight

Nous avons Brexité but we are still welcome at the 47th Rencontres d'Arles. Each summer this beautiful French town gives itself over to an international photography festival which this year features around 40 exhibitions of varying sizes with countless lectures, parties, book signings and fringe events.

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Venice Architecture Biennale 2016

Hugh Pearman

Arts festivals the size of the Venice Biennale are inevitably patchy. The appointed directors are hardly ever given enough time to curate and fill absolutely vast volumes of space. They can exhort the many national and individual participants to follow their lead, and yet they have no editorial control over them.

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Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

theartsdesk

In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile flood, greets visitors just as it met sailors entering the busy trading port of Thonis-Heracleion some 2,000 years ago.

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The Best of Photo London 2016

Bill Knight

Asking theartsdesk's theatre photographer to review Photo London is like asking a car mechanic to review the London Motor Show. "Remember the big picture!" I kept telling myself as I tried to deconstruct the lighting of a particular shot or measure the depth of field.

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