mon 23/09/2019

Visual Arts Reviews

Angela de la Cruz/ Anna Maria Maiolino, Camden Arts Centre

Fisun Güner Angela de la Cruz: destruction is an artform

Acts of wanton destruction appear to have taken place at Camden Arts Centre, as canvases lie crushed, ripped, crumpled and broken. Monochrome and minimalist works have had their stretchers, their very backbones, ripped and cracked in two, and their once taut, painted surfaces hang, in some instances, like flayed skin. Their broken carcasses are arranged in a seemingly haphazard fashion, hanging precariously from walls or stuffed into corners. They lie forlornly on the floor, or are pushed with...

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Nightwatching

Fisun Güner

How might a portraitist, working in oils, describe Martin Freeman's face? If one were a novelist, heavy with description, perhaps the following: fleshy, boneless features; pasty Northern European pallor; flesh the texture of sweaty suet pudding. Not, then, conventionally handsome, but still, we have those plaintive, expressive eyes and that rumpled yet quietly dignified presence.

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Quilts 1700-2010, Victoria & Albert Museum

Fisun Güner This 18th-century bedcover was probably a professional commission, yet amateur examples are just as impressive

The notion of women’s work has undergone a revolution, and yet that revolution has, in many ways, come comfortably full circle. We may now celebrate the work of generations of women who, limited to the domestic realm, were perhaps also liberated by the creative potential of the domestic crafts, and specifically, needlecraft. Which is a fairly radical notion in itself.

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Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters, Serpentine Gallery

Fisun Güner

Richard Hamilton, the true father of Pop art and spiritual descendant of Duchamp, is not a particularly prolific artist. Rather, he sticks to an idea and works on it over several editions and in different media, so that we get a large body of work repeating the same image in paint, in collage, in photography and in mixed media.

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The Culture Show: Henry Moore, BBC Two

Josh Spero Henry Moore, Reclining Figure (1951)

What emerges from tonight’s Culture Show on Henry Moore, which examines how the sculptor exploited the media (and vice versa), is not the difference between the media of sculpture and television but the similarity.

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From Floor to Sky: British Sculpture and the Studio Experience, Ambika P3

Doro Globus Foreground: Clone Installation (1980-1982) by Keith Brown. Background film: Communion (2010) by Nina Danino

From Floor to Sky looks at a relatively little known, but pivotal, moment in the development of British sculpture: the period in the late 1960s and early 1970s when tutors and students at St Martin's School of Art and the Royal College worked together in challenging traditional attitudes to the medium. New ways of teaching and thinking about sculpture were evolved, and new materials such as fibreglass and plastic introduced. This exhibition focuses on the students of one particular...

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Hana Vojackova, Chernobyl: Red Balloon 86, 11 Mansfield St

sue Steward An abandoned classroom in a school in Chernobyl

A 1986 documentary about the USSR’s new modernist city, Chernobyl, featured a five-year-old boy kicking a football through landscaped gardens, past blocks of clean, elegant flats and inside the soon-to-be opened funfair in the workers' town of Pripyat. A brilliant propaganda tool for the new status symbol Nuclear Power Plant, the film was intended to convey the message around the Soviet empire that the nuclear age implied a safe, happy future. The film was never shown; three weeks later, the...

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English Journey Revisited, AV Festival, Newcastle

Alice Vincent Alan Moore performing at the Southbank Centre, London 2007

The description of the AV Festival’s closing event was vague in the promotional material. Going only by the promise of “music/performance,” and the undeniably odd combination of Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair with performance musicians including the guitarist from drone doom band Sunn O))), expectations were hard to form. The organisers must have realised the mystery - four sheets of A4 were thrust into our hands last night by ushers upon entry as a means of explanation, although the...

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Billy Childish: Unknowable but Certain, ICA

Fisun Güner Billy Childish: honouring the tradition of the outsider artist

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Irving Penn: Small Trades, Hamiltons Gallery/ Portraits, NPG

sue Steward Irving Penn's Le Chevrier 'holds his box as proudly as an artist with his paints'

This week I discovered Irving Penn’s little-known portraits of anonymous street traders, taken in Paris, London and New York between 1950 and 1951. Previously unseen in the UK, they are now appearing at Hamiltons’ Mayfair gallery: 33 examples from a series of almost 252 full-length portraits collectively titled Small Trades. While they lack the instant glamour of the celebrity Portraits currently showing at the National Portrait Gallery, these sensitive depictions of skilled...

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