fri 29/04/2016

Photography

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

“Look at the pictures”, yells apoplectic Senator Jesse Helms as he brandishes a clutch of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, “a known homosexual who died of AIDS”. It's 1989 and Senator Helms is doing his level best to close down an exhibition of...

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Strange and Familiar, Barbican

The Barbican has built a steady reputation for almost unclassifiable large-scale art exhibitions, particularly in architecture, design and photography: they have been underestimated pioneers, often working in areas themselves under-scrutinised. Thus...

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Des canyons aux étoiles, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican

Art can inspire music, and vice versa. When concert (as opposed to theatre or film) scores are accompanied by images, however, the effect dilutes the impact of both; above all, the imagination stops working on the visual dimension created in the...

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Paul Strand, Victoria & Albert Museum

Once you’ve seen him, you can’t forget him. Taken in 1951, Paul Strand’s black and white portrait of a French teenager sears itself onto your retina. He stares unflinchingly back, and looking into his eyes, you feel almost scalded by his exceptional...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Boris Giltburg

London has been missing out on Boris Giltburg for too long. He's been playing Shostakovich concertos back to back with Petrenko in Liverpool, and the big Rachmaninov works up in Scotland (see theartsdesk's review today of the latest Royal Scottish...

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Avedon Warhol, Gagosian Gallery

It is an inspired pairing: iconic images by the American photographer Richard Avedon (1923-2004) and the painter, printmaker and filmmaker Andy Warhol (1928-1987), almost all of whose mature work was based on the photographic image. They are...

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Performing for the Camera, Tate Modern

The earliest known selfie is as old as the medium itself – literally. Hippolyte Bayard, one of the inventors of photography, pictured himself as a drowned man. His technique of photographic printing on paper had been upstaged by the daguerrotype, a...

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Vogue 100, National Portrait Gallery

When it got too hard to ship the original American edition across the Atlantic during the Great War, British Vogue appeared as a sister publication in the Condé Nast empire. The first issue in September 1916 announced in its editorial: “The time has...

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Saul Leiter, Photographers' Gallery

One of the great joys of being a critic is discovering someone remarkable you’ve never heard of before. By the time he died in 2013 aged 90, the American photographer Saul Leiter had gained a degree of recognition, but it had been slow in coming and...

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Søren Dahlgaard’s Dough Portraits

Can a portrait really be a portrait if we can’t see a person’s face? And what if the reason we can’t see their face is that it is covered with a lump of dough? Is it a joke? And if it is a joke, is it on us or them? Or perhaps it is a joke about art...

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Best of 2015: Art

From weaselly shyster to spineless drip, the biographies of Goya’s subjects are often superfluous: exactly what he thought of each of his subjects is jaw-droppingly evident in each and every portrait he painted. Quite how Goya got away with it is a...

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Julia Margaret Cameron, Victoria & Albert Museum / Science Museum

Reputations and popularity rise and fall and rise again in cycles, and so with the redoubtable Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879). Now considered one of the finest photographers ever, she was an amateur gifted with incredible tenacity, intellectual...

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