mon 11/12/2017

abstract art

Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Modern review - rediscovering a forgotten genius

I can’t pretend to like the work of Fahrelnissa Zeid, but she was clearly an exceptional woman and deserves to be honoured with a retrospective. She led a privileged life that spanned most of the 20th century; born in Istanbul in 1901 into a...

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The Discovery of Mondrian review - the most comprehensive survey ever

Standing inside the Gemeentemuseum’s life-size reconstruction of Mondrian’s Paris studio, the painter’s reputation as an austere recluse seems well-deserved. Returning from Holland to France after the First World War, he lived and worked in what...

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theartsdesk in Bilbao: The School of Paris at the Guggenheim Museum

Painted during his first trip to Paris in 1900, Picasso’s Le Moulin de la Galette is an outsider’s view of an exotic and intimidating new world. Men and women are seen as if through some strange distorting lens, their blurred, mask-like faces...

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Hilma Af Klint, Serpentine Gallery

Celebrating the four ages of man, eight huge, semi-abstract paintings create a carnival atmosphere in the Serpentine’s central gallery. The freshness of Childhood is characterised by flowers, petals and stamens floating on a blue ground. The...

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The Gap: Selected Abstract Art from Belgium, Parasol Unit

From its title, you could be misled into dismissing this show as narrow and self-referential: a small exhibition in a small gallery curated by a Belgian artist concerned only with his own countrymen. In fact, it is something of a survey, featuring...

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Barbara Hepworth, Tate Britain

One of the earliest surviving sculptures by Barbara Hepworth is a toad made from a khaki-coloured, translucent stone; you can imagine it cool and heavy in your hand, not so very different from the animal itself, in fact. Made nearly 30 years later,...

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Philip Guston, Timothy Taylor Gallery

Light. Light banishes the shadows where monsters lurk and where ghosts rattle their chains. “Give me some light, away!” cries the usurping king in Hamlet as his murderous deed is exposed by the trickery of art. What guilt plagues and seizes his...

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Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern

In 1967 when she produced Syncopated Rhythm (main picture), Sonia Delaunay was 82; far from any decline in energy or ambition, the abstract painting shows her in a relaxed and playful mood. Known as The Black Snake for the sinuous black and white...

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YZ Kami, Gagosian Gallery

The Iranian-born New York resident painter YZ Kami, now in his mid-fifties, continually plays with our hunger to look at “reality” while being seduced by abstraction and repetition. In 17 canvases, painted over the past two years, Kami explores two...

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Sotto Voce, Dominique Lévy

Sotto Voce is a collection of white paintings, sculptures and reliefs made by European, British and North and South American artists from the 1930s to 1970s. An accompanying book explains why this non-colour has appealed to so many artists in so...

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Kraftwerk: Pop Art, BBC Four

Some documentaries can feel like trying to view a desert landscape through a telescope. The need for tight focus on too large a subject can leave you constantly aware that there’s important stuff going on out of eyeshot. The stuff you can’t see...

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Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, Whitechapel Gallery

From an apparently simple idea stems a very confusing exhibition. Here’s the idea: taking the seminal black square painted by Russian artist Kazimir Malevich as its starting point – in fact, a rectangle, with the small and undated Black...

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