thu 05/12/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

Klimt/Schiele, Royal Academy review - the line of gauntness

Maev Kennedy

The most touching tribute to the relationship between two giants of early 20th century art, Gustav Klimt and the much younger Egon Schiele, hangs in the first room of this fascinating exhibition at the Royal Academy  – Schiele’s poster for the 49th Secessionist exhibition in 1918.

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The new V&A Photography Centre review - a new museum to make us proud

Marina Vaizey

Prints of all kinds; the first small wooden camera invented by Fox Talbot that made the negative positive process possible; Box Brownies and hundreds of other cameras from then until now. All that is just for starters in the V&A's new, fully-fledged, mini museum of photography.

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Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill review - a brave attempt to recreate an important collection

Sarah Kent

It took 24 days to sell off the 4,000 items which Horace Walpole had amassed during 50 years of avid collecting.

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Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

Sarah Kent

What an ambitious project! Modern CouplesArt, Intimacy and the Avant-garde looks at over 40 couples or, in some cases, trios whose love galvanised them into creative activity either individually or in collaboration.

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Mantegna and Bellini, National Gallery review - curated for curators

Florence Hallett

Pitched as “a tale of two artists”, the National Gallery’s big autumn show promises a history woven in shades of friendship and rivalry, marriage and family, privilege and hard graft.

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The Everyday and the Extraordinary, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne review - the ordinary made strange

Sarah Kent

There’s a building site outside the Towner Art Gallery and a cement mixer seems to have strayed over the threshold into the foyer. This specimen (pictured below right) no longer produces cement, though. David Batchelor has transformed it into an absurdist neon sign by outlining it with fluorescent tubes. 

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Oceania, Royal Academy review - magnificent encounters

Katherine Waters

In the video, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner smiles shyly before beginning. As she speaks, her voice gains conviction, momentum, power. Her poem tells of the Marshall Islands inhabitants, a “proud people toasted dark brown”, and a constellation of islands dropped from a giant’s basket to root in the ocean. She describes “papaya golden sunsets”, “skies uncluttered”, and the ocean itself, “terrifying and regal”.

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Space Shifters, Hayward Gallery review - seeing is not always believing

Sarah Kent

There are some wonderful things in Space Shifters, the Hayward Gallery’s autumn exhibition. The selection of work plays with one’s perceptions of space and everything in it.

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Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, V&A review - gaming for all

Alfred Quantrill

Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A covers a wide variety of games that are spearheading the gaming world at the moment. It takes a closer look at eight of the most innovative and different games that have changed the world of gaming in the last five years.

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Turner Prize 2018, Tate Britain review - a shortlist dominated by political issues

Sarah Kent

I’ve just spent four hours in the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain. The shortlisted artists all show films or videos, which means that you either stay for the duration or make the decision to walk away, which feels disrespectful.

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