thu 25/04/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

theartsdesk at Les Rencontres d'Arles: breadth and depth at the veteran photo festival

Bill Knight

Now in its 48th year the veteran photography festival is in better shape than ever. You can walk through the French sunshine to more than 20 exhibitions, hear a talk, meet the snappers and shop on the fringe.

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The Exhibition Road Quarter review, V&A - an intelligent and much needed expansion

Marina Vaizey

Oh those Victorians!  Hail Prince Albert whose far-sighted ambition led to Albertopolis, embracing museums, galleries, universities and the Royal Albert Hall.

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Sargent, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - wonders in watercolour

Marina Vaizey

This sparkling display of some four score watercolours from the first decade of the last century throw an unfamiliar light on the artistry of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), the last great swagger portrait painter in the western tradition.

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Portraying a Nation, Tate Liverpool review – an inspired juxtaposition

Sarah Kent

Portraying a Nation juxtaposes photographs by August Sander with paintings by Otto Dix. It's an inspired idea as both artists wanted to hold up a mirror to German society during a time of extreme change.

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National Gallery of Ireland review - bigger and better

Marina Vaizey

The marvellous National Gallery of Ireland, founded in the 1860s, has opened its doors to its brilliantly revamped, updated and expanded galleries. As a spectacular bonus in its opening summer, Vermeer and Masters of Genre Painting reposes in the enfilade of the newly re-done permanent galleries for temporary exhibitions.

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Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Modern review - rediscovering a forgotten genius

Sarah Kent

I can’t pretend to like the work of Fahrelnissa Zeid, but she was clearly an exceptional woman and deserves to be honoured with a retrospective. She led a privileged life that spanned most of the 20th century; born in Istanbul in 1901 into a prominent Ottoman family, many of whom were involved in the arts, she died in 1991.

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A Handful of Dust, Whitechapel Gallery review - grime does pay

Sarah Kent

Why is dust so fascinating yet, at the same time, so repellent? Maybe the fear of choking to death in a dust storm or being buried alive in fine sand provokes a visceral response to it. My current obsession with dust comes from having builders in my home over the last seven months.

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Michelangelo: Love and Death review - how to diminish a colossus

Alison Cole

As perhaps the greatest artist there has ever been – and as one of the most fascinating and complex personalities of his era – Michelangelo should be a thrilling subject for serious as well as dramatic cinematic documentary treatment.

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Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! Serpentine Gallery

Sarah Kent

The most popular exhibition of a living artist ever held at the Tate was David Hockney’s recent retrospective, which attracted 478,082 visitors.

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The Discovery of Mondrian review - the most comprehensive survey ever

Florence Hallett

Standing inside the Gemeentemuseum’s life-size reconstruction of Mondrian’s Paris studio, the painter’s reputation as an austere recluse seems well-deserved.

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