wed 12/08/2020

Visual Arts Reviews

Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska, Gill, Royal Academy

Fisun Güner

By all accounts Eric Gill had a shocking private life.

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Drawing Attention, Dulwich Picture Gallery

howard Male Schiele's Portrait of a Girl: stretching to the very limit the pared-down language of decisive line and white space.

The first thing to say about Drawing Attention is that its title decidedly undersells the scope of this compelling and unpredictable exhibition, which spans five centuries and includes 100 works from the Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection. Most of us might define a drawing as some kind of monochromatic sketch, either produced by the artist as preparatory work for a finished painting, or to capture some ephemeral moment. The drawing represents artists, paradoxically, at their most...

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Damien Hirst: No Love Lost - Blue Paintings, Wallace Collection

mark Irving

Damien Hirst's new exhibition at the Wallace Collection is evidence of a deal between nervous guardians of the past and a contemporary artist seeking to burnish his future historical credentials. It stinks. Entitled No Love Lost, Blue Paintings by Damien Hirst ­ - the clunking allusion to Picasso's Blue Period marks out the scale of Hirst's ambition -­ it presents 25 paintings that we are assured are actually by Hirst rather than a cohort of assistants.

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Turner Prize 2009, Tate Britain

Mark Hudson

Anyone who has had their sensibilities battered by Tate Modern’s Pop Life show is likely to be equally taken aback if they wander along the Thames to this year’s Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain – but for completely different reasons. If Pop Life leaves you feeling that art can only progress through ever greater acts of outrage – that if you’re not actually having sex on camera you hardly count as creative – the tone over at Tate Britain is measured, cool, even academic...

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Conrad Shawcross: Chord

Josh Spero

Is site-specific the new collaboration? What I mean by this is that where it was once the fashion for artists and dancers (think Robert Rauschenberg and Merce Cunningham) or film directors and opera houses (Anthony Minghella and the ENO) to mix art forms, now...

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Pop Life: Art in a Material World, Tate Modern

Mark Hudson

That artists didn't just respond to the rapacious commercialism of the late 20th century, but actively contributed to it is hardly news. That the marketing of art can be part of the art itself  is something everyone now implicitly understands, even if it’s only through hearing Tracey Emin wittering about herself on television.

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Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler, British Museum

admin

History is written in blood, however elegant the cover. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the collapse in 1521 of the Aztec Empire, a culture that presented Europe with a vision of such otherness that it could only be destroyed. In 2002, the Royal Academy of Arts tried to persuade us to look beyond the grisly tales of human sacrifice to a more nuanced portrait of a people steeped in gory rituals that we, soaked in the serial-killer television porn of the 21st century, might strangely...

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Cindy Sherman, Sprüth Magers

Josh Spero

I don't think I've ever seen quite so high a patron:picture ratio as at the Cindy Sherman opening at Sprüth Magers on Grafton Street last night. The gallery verily overflowed with an unaccustomed mixture of Mayfair and Shoreditch, spilling out onto the street where neon t-shirts rubbed shoulders with tailored suits, all to see three pictures.

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