fri 24/05/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

Sarah Kent

This must be the most depressing exhibition I have ever seen. Dedicated to the leaders of the Russian Revolution, the first room features official portraits by Isaak Brodsky of Lenin and Stalin plus drawings and models of Lenin’s vast mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square.

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Sunday Book: Philip Hook - Rogues' Gallery

Florence Hallett

The art dealers of today must be thanking their lucky stars that Philip Hook’s remarkable history of their trade stops where it does. For while it serves as an eminently useful if rather specialised reference book, it’s a history pushed along by a ferocious analysis of the art dealing fraternity, the general thrust of which is encapsulated in its no-nonsense title.

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David Hockney, Tate Britain

Alison Cole

As the UK prepares for a particularly severe cold snap, the opening of David Hockney’s major retrospective at Tate Britain brings a welcome burst of Los Angeles light and colour and Yorkshire wit and warmth. The exhibition, which opens in the lead-up to Hockney’s 80th birthday, will be deservedly popular...

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Michael Andrews, Gagosian Gallery

Marina Vaizey

Drifting, floating, running, crowding: all these feelings of movement and stasis apply in a mesmerising selection of scenes, imagined and observed over 40 years by a true original. Michael Andrews (1928-1995), born and brought up in Norwich, studied at the Slade School during a golden period.

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Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence, BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

Francis Bacon died in April 1992, aged 82, but heaven knows how he managed to live that long.

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Lubaina Himid, Modern Art Oxford and Spike Island, Bristol

Sarah Kent

Modern Art Oxford and Spike Island, Bristol have joined forces to create a retrospective of Lubaina Himid’s work that spans some 30 years, includes paintings, drawings, collages, sculptures and assemblages and proves what a highly original and complex artist she is.  

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Terrains of the Body, Whitechapel Gallery

Sarah Kent

An exhibition of this calibre deserves to be in the main gallery rather than tucked away in a side room; but these photographs and videos are by women artists, and with Donald Trump entering the White House, it looks as if treating women as second class citizens may become the norm once more. 

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Lockwood Kipling, Victoria & Albert Museum

Marina Vaizey

From India, here is a hoard of what really looks like treasure, much of it emerging into the light of day after decades, if not a century.

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War in the Sunshine, Estorick Collection

Clem Hitchcock

North London’s much loved Estorick Collection is reopening its doors after a five-month spruce up. The Georgian listed building that houses a 120-piece collection of modern Italian art now boasts a new glass conservatory, opened out entrance hall and "daylight-enhanced" gallery spaces. It all bodes well, even if the reliance on a period of prolonged British sunshine to complete the effect feels a touch optimistic right now. Here’s hoping.

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Gavin Turk, Newport Street Gallery

Sarah Kent

The timing of Gavin Turk’s retrospective couldn’t be better.

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