tue 07/07/2020

Visual Arts Reviews

Visual Arts Lockdown Special 4: half-way houses

Katherine Waters

With the first round of galleries opening their doors in June and a new round getting ready to open in July, we’ve a half-way home of a roundup this week. This month’s re-openings include the National Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Barbican, the Whitechapel, the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, the Mosaic Rooms, the Estorick Collection, the Garden Museum and the Tates – Modern, Britain, Liverpool and St Ives.

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Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro review - sublime isolation

Florence Hallett

From her fourth floor flat, which is also her studio, the painter Celia Paul looks out over the British Museum, the figures of the Muses carved into its pediment huge and present compared to the antlike, and usually teeming, human life below (main picture: British Museum and Plane Tree...

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Shirley Baker: A Different Age, James Hyman Gallery review - the old at leisure

Florence Hallett

The note of longing scored into this exhibition’s title is well-judged: as things are now, it is the sight of the elderly in the company of friends, watching the world go by from a doorstep or park bench, that provokes a pang of nostalgia, far more than the surface details of the mid-20th century, when these...

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Explore Soane review - the museum restored and in 3D

Florence Hallett

The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane has long been celebrated as one of London’s hidden marvels, an astonishing treasure trove of architectural models, paintings, sculptures and historical artefacts concealed behind...

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Dalí Theatre-Museum, Figueres, virtual tour review - tantalising but unsatisfactory

Florence Hallett

Salvador Dalí’s house at Portlligat on the Costa Brava is straight out of the pages of a lifestyle magazine, its sunbaked white walls dazzling in the sunshine, and light pouring in from every angle.

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Visual Arts Lockdown Special 3: gigapixel Rembrandt, magic mushrooms, and more

Florence Hallett

The limitations of life on screen are all too apparent at the moment, and yet still there are instances where online can offer something beyond the reach of an old-fashioned trip to an art gallery.

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Unto the Last: Two Hundred Years of John Ruskin, Watts Gallery–Artists' Village, review - a breath of fresh air

Florence Hallett

Museums and galleries have found innovative and varied ways to keep their collections within reach, and to bring us the many temporary exhibitions forced to close by the virus. But even the most dedicated gallery-goer may by now be tiring of online talks and tours, which so often make unreasonable demands on both guide and viewer and increasingly feel like a very poor substitute for the real thing.

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XXI presented by ARTCELS, HOFA Gallery review - art as investment

Florence Hallett

When New York artist Adam Parker-Smith said “I feel like so many of my ideas start out as jokes, for better or worse”, he may not have anticipated featuring in an exhibition that looks like the mother of all art-world pranks.

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Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, Royal Academy, Exhibition on Screen/Facebook Premiere - a hardy perennial returns

Florence Hallett

Anyone lucky enough to have a garden will be newly appreciative of the oasis that even the humblest of outdoor spaces can provide. Based on the Royal Academy’s hugely successful 2016 exhibition of the same name, and broadcast on Monday evening by Exhibition on Screen via Facebook, Painting the Modern Garden opened the door to a different world.

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Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution, Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent online review - capturing the unrepeatable

Florence Hallett

Newly conserved and restored, the eight exterior panels of Jan Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, 1432, are the focus of an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, cut short by Covid-19, but now available to view via an online tour.

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