fri 18/06/2021

Visual Arts Reviews

Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, Ashmolean Museum review - a rich array

Dora Neill

Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting and sculpture. When we walk into an art gallery, we find ourselves gravitating towards the large, impressive oil paintings. They are considered the "main event", the best representation of art and its history – but is this really the case?

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Robert Beale

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films.

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The Making of Rodin, Tate Modern review - surrealist tendencies

Florence Hallett

Undoubtedly the strangest thing in this exhibition dedicated to Rodin’s works in plaster is a rendition of Balzac’s dressing gown, visibly hollow, but filled out nevertheless by the ghostly contours of an ample male form.

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Matthew Barney: Redoubt, Hayward Gallery review - the wild west revisited

Sarah Kent

The focal point of Matthew Barney’s Hayward exhibition is Redoubt, a two-and-a-quarter-hour film projected on a giant screen that invites you to immerse yourself in the rugged terrain of the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho...

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David Hockney / Michael Armitage, Royal Academy review - painting with an iPad vs brushes and paint

Sarah Kent

David Hockney has a new toy, an app designed specially for him that allows him to work on an iPad with fine brushes. He spent the first five months of lockdown In Normandy making daily records of the coming of spring; the results are displayed in a large show at the Royal Academy (★★).

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Eileen Agar, Whitechapel Gallery review - a free spirit to the end

Sarah Kent

Eileen Agar was the only woman included in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936, which introduced London to artists like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. The Surrealists were exploring the creative potential of chance, chaos and the irrational which they saw as the feminine principle, yet they didn’t welcome women artists into their group.

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Turner's Modern World, Tate Britain review - the universal artist

Florence Hallett

When Turner’s Modern World opened at Tate Britain last autumn only to close again days later, we might have felt then an echo of sensations and sentiments powerfully expressed in the exhibition itself.

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Points of Departure, Brighton Festival 2021 review - Ray Lee's harbour-based sound art impresses

Thomas H Green

They stand in a row, nine of them, in a long, strange corridor between rows of stacked, palleted, planked wood and the red brick wall of an endless warehouse. Nine tripods, each two humans high, with a spinning helicopter head, double-ended by conical horns that emanate a gentle angelic howling or lower end drone-hums.

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Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review - apocalyptic sheds

Markie Robson-Scott

Sheds have flourished in lockdown: they’ve always been places to escape to and in the past year, when spruced up as home offices, even more so. They’re also emblems of isolation.

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This is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist, Netflix - the last word (for now)

Florence Hallett

It’s no surprise that 30 years on, the individuals most closely connected to the world’s biggest art heist are showing their age.

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Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, Ashmolean Muse...

Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting and sculpture. When...