mon 19/08/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

Film: Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow

Igor Toronyi-Lalic Anselm Kiefer's sculpture 'Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow': 'We see him swing huge giant concrete huts around by crane, flinging them on top of one another like they were toys'

Action-movie season ain't over quite yet, folks. Sure. OK. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow isn't exactly your conventional salute to Armageddon. No guns, no baddies, no hot babes, no long-haired hunks. The pace is slow. The dialogue's pretty non-existent - and mostly European. The setting is pastoral. The soundtrack is...

Read more...

Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum

Fisun Güner Adam Fuss, with 'Invocation', above, is among the five photographers who have returned to the pioneering age of camera-less photography

Camera-less photography isn’t, as some might think, a 20th-century invention, discovered by experimental Modernists such as Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray. Thomas Wedgwood, before the invention of the camera and at the very beginning of the 19th century, made paintings on glass and placed these in contact with pieces of paper and leather which had been rendered light sensitive with chemical treatments. Where the painted areas blocked the light, the image left its trace. Unfortunately, since...

Read more...

Frieze Art Fair, Regent's Park

Josh Spero Damián Ortega's globe constructed from rocks of different sizes and colours at Kurimanzutto Gallery

Contemporary art can, unsurprisingly, become dated pretty quickly – the clue is in the name. Another of Damien Hirst’s mirrored cabinets of pills or of Gavin Turk’s piss-takes of Andy Warhol at the Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park is hardly the sort of sight which will enthuse hardened art-gallery goers.

Read more...

Alexander Ponomarev: Sea Stories, Calvert 22

Sarah Kent Moored in Venice: One of Alexander Ponomarev's brightly festooned submarines

As well as being a great artist, Leonardo da Vinci designed machine guns, tanks and cluster bombs and worked out how to build a submarine; but so appalled was he by the potential of this last invention that he coded his notes to prevent anyone using them to instigate what he called "murder at the bottom of the seas".

Read more...

Turner Prize 2010, Tate Britain

Fisun Güner

There may be some who feel this year’s shortlist for the Turner Prize has done little to forge ahead with anything new, innovative and different. And then there may be others who will welcome the rather more established artists on this year’s list, that is those who have continued to steadily develop their practice for well over a decade, with no great surprises, such as Angela de La Cruz and Dexter Dalwood.

Read more...

The Genius of British Art, David Starkey, Channel 4

Fisun Güner Forgetting the rest of art history, David Starkey cunningly tries to convince us that the Tudors invented the portrait

“Henry VIII is the only king whose shape we remember,” David Starkey tells us in the first of a new series of “polemical essays” on British art. To demonstrate, he reduces the king’s form to its bare Cubist geometry. He sketches a trapezoid for the chest – an impressive 54 inches in life, as attested by his made-to-measure suit of armour; two “chicken-wing” triangles for the puffed sleeves; two simple parallel lines for the wide-apart legs. Oh, and a small, inverted triangle for the codpiece...

Read more...

Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness and Magic, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Sarah Kent Salvator Rosa's self-portrait 'Philosophy' provides 'a glimpse of the self-promotional flair that would spark a personality cult'

Mount Vesuvius blew its top in 1631, spewing molten lava into the sea and filling the air with ash clouds that reached as far as Constantinople. The eruption and accompanying earthquakes killed 3,000 people and caused widespread devastation, all of which made a lasting impression on the 16–year-old Salvator Rosa. As an artist he was to specialise in darkly tempestuous landscapes filled with menace in which small figures are dwarfed by towering cliffs, or beset by bandits, while storm clouds...

Read more...

Gauguin: Maker of Myth, Tate Modern

Judith Flanders 'Self-portrait with Manao tu papau' by Paul Gauguin

Gauguin has always been the poor relation in the art-legend sweepstakes. Unlike Van Gogh, there is no heartwarming story of overcoming lack of technical facility; no ghoulishly enjoyable story of genius crushed by madness. Instead, there is a story that veers from irritating to deeply unattractive: a businessman and Sunday painter, Gauguin acquired his technical skills across a range of art forms with almost insolent ease, before abandoning his wife and children in poverty to flee to...

Read more...

Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele, Royal Academy

Fisun Güner 'Sleeping Girl': 'A smile plays on her lips as if she is dreaming of a lover, whose scent, perhaps, she can still smell'

Treasures from Budapest – phew! It’s overwhelming. One staggers out quite cross-eyed and wobbly-kneed. There are over 200 works, for heaven’s sake. And so many Virgins: sweet-faced Italian Madonnas, austere Eastern European Madonnas, pallid German ones. There’s a tiny, exquisite yet unfinished Raphael Madonna, known as The Esterházy Madonna, since much of the collection of Old Masters shown here was amassed by Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy. Oh, and there’s the stubby-nosed,...

Read more...

Sellars and Viola's Tristan und Isolde, Royal Festival Hall

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

People always overlook how much of a hippie Richard Wagner was intellectually. His philosophical stance differs little from that of Neil from The Young Ones. It's a side of Wagner you can't get away from in Tristan und Isolde, with its endless railing against temporal realities and its search for universal oneness - yeah man, oneness.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Prom 41: Ghindin, LPO, Jurowski review - perfect sound in a...

It was a Disney theme-park of Russian music, and in an entirely good way: none of the usual rides, but plenty of heroes and villains, sad spirits...

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: MacMillan birthday co...

To celebrate the 60th birthday of Sir James MacMillan, the...

CD: New Model Army - From Here

Justin Sullivan, the last remaining original member of Bradford post-...

Niall Griffiths: Broken Ghost review - Welsh visions of hope...

The trend-hopping taste-makers who run British literary publishing have lately decided that “working-class” writing merits a small dole of their...

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Eugene Onegin, Komisc...

Returning to Edinburgh International Festival, Berlin's Komische Oper brought Barrie Kosky’s sumptuous production of Eugene Onegin to the...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head

Diamond Head was Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera’s first solo album. Released in May...

theartsdesk at Bard Summerscape Festival 2019: unknown treas...

There could be no greater gift to any festival director...

Foo Fighters, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow - communal singalon...

Foo Fighters are an unlikely candidate for one of the biggest bands in the world. There’s nothing workmanlike about...

Prom 40: Hough, OAE, Fischer review - pretty royal things

There it gleamed, the pearl in the massive oyster of...

Pram, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review - a fine hometown...

While Pram could hardly be described as representative of the UK...