wed 21/08/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

Edinburgh Festival 2019 reviews: Below the Blanket / Samson Young: Real Music

David Kettle

Below the Blanket ★★★★  

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Black Sabbath: 50 years, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery review – not heavy going

Guy Oddy

The well-spring of certain musical genres and hometowns of certain influential musicians have long been a source of civic pride – and a boost to the tourist industry – in many clued-in parts of the world. One only has to think of the co-opting of Bob Marley’s life and influence in attracting tourist dollars to Jamaica or the raising of the Beatles to mythic status – bus tours and all – in Liverpool.

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Helen Schjerfbeck, Royal Academy review - watchful absences and disappearing people

Katherine Waters

Light creeps under the church door. Entering as a slice of burning white, it softens and blues into the stone interior, seeming to make the walls glow from the inside. Beneath the lintel, a milder slot of sun pours upwards. To the right, a plain column, only half in the composition, supports an arch which merges with the back wall, disappearing against its horizontal plane. The chapel is empty but its stillness feels peopled. Here, absence is watchful.

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Beuys' Acorns, Bloomberg Arcade London review – not much to look at, but important all the same

Sarah Kent

The City of London is an ecological disaster. Around Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street there’s scarcely a green leaf to be seen. Glass, steel, concrete and tarmac create an environment that excludes plant life, birds and insects and is detrimental to human health.

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Yorkshire Sculpture International review - Hepworth and Moore loom large

Florence Hallett

Sculpture is as much a part of Yorkshire as cricket and a decent cup of tea, with the “sculpture triangle”, comprising four prestigious museums and galleries, feeling almost as well-established as the county’s famed rhubarb triangle.

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Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life, Tate Modern review – beautiful ideas badly installed

Sarah Kent

At their best, Olafur Eliasson’s installations change the way you see, think and feel. Who would have guessed, for instance, that Londoners would take off their togs to bask in the glow of an artificial sun at Tate Modern. That was in 2003, when The weather project transformed the Turbine Hall into an indoor park suffused with yellow light.

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Takis, Tate Modern review - science and art collide

Florence Hallett

Half organic, half high-tech, a bank of magnet-flowers sways not in response to a breeze, but to a magnetic field. Their uncannily naturalistic movements are coupled with a form that is blatantly functional: an unseen, elemental force masquerades as nature at its most benignly pastoral (Pictured below right: Magnetic Fields, l969).

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Les Rencontres d’Arles 2019 review - strength in tradition

Bill Knight

With 50 curated exhibitions spread across the town, there is much to see at Arles. In an effort to whittle it down I asked the man in the press office what was hot. "The weather," he replied deadpan.

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BP Portrait Award 2019, National Portrait Gallery review - a story for everyone

Marina Vaizey

Once a year, the National Portrait Gallery gives us a slice of immediate social history presented in an array of contemporary painted portraits of the young, the old, and the inbetween.

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Never Look Away review - the healing potential of art

mark Kidel

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who made his reputation as a leading German film-maker with The Lives of Others (2006), told the New Yorker that his latest film sprang out of a desire to explore the relationship between making art and healing.

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