sat 28/05/2016

Visual Arts reviews, news & interviews

10 Questions for Photographer Tanya Habjouqa

Thembi Mutch

Tanya Habjouqa, winner of the World Press Photo Award 2014, is a founding member of the all-female Middle Eastern photography collective Rawiya (meaning “she who tells a story”) which focuses on raising the visibility of female Arab photographers as well as presenting an insider’s view of the region, and defying Western stereotypes of the Middle East.Of Texan-Jordanian ancestry, Habjouqa’s work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the collections of MFA Boston, Institut du Monde Arab, and the...

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

Sarah Kent

The second exhibition staged by Damien Hirst in his stunning Newport Street Gallery is of work from his collection by the American artist, Jeff Koons. Hirst was still a student at Goldsmiths when, in 1987, Charles Saatchi showed Koons and other young Americans at his gallery in St John’s Wood. Hirst was blown away by the freshness and ambition of work that took Warhol’s love affair with consumer culture one stage further. This mini-retrospective can be seen, then, as a tribute both to ...

Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds...


In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the...

Grayson Perry: All Man, Channel 4

Jasper Rees

You are a massive cock. A gigantic tool. You are a monumental prick. Grayson Perry did not mince his message as he concluded his portrait of modern...

The Best of Photo London 2016

Bill Knight

Asking theartsdesk's theatre photographer to review Photo London is like asking a car mechanic to review the London Motor Show. "Remember the big...

Painting with Light, Tate Britain

Florence Hallett

How early photography revolutionised the way that painters saw the world

Six of the best: Art


Our pick of the best exhibitions to see now

Mona Hatoum, Tate Modern

Sarah Kent

The pain of life in exile provides powerful subject matter

Alberto Giacometti, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

Marina Vaizey

A one-of-a-kind artist gains context and depth surrounded by his contemporaries

John Piper, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

Florence Hallett

Intimately connected to his paintings, the artist's textiles remain mysterious

Sicily: Culture and Conquest, British Museum

Alison Cole

For centuries, invading armies, migrants and merchants have shaped the art of Italy's southern outpost: can an exhibition do it justice?

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures

Sarah Kent

A fame-obsessed manipulator or a self-effacing observer of the New York gay scene?

James McNeill Whistler: Prints, The Fine Art Society

Marina Vaizey

Master of rendering states and moods revealed in gem of a show

Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979, Tate Britain

Sarah Kent

A lacklustre evocation of an exciting, radical period

10 Questions for Artist Clare Woods

Florence Hallett

The sculptor turned painter talks about her monograph, working with her husband, and the artists who inspire her

Magical Surfaces: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography, Parasol Unit

Sarah Kent

Making it and faking it: two generations transcend the everyday

Dutch Flowers, National Gallery

Alison Cole

Paintings that capture the dramas and anxieties of an age

Franciszka & Stefan Themerson, Camden Arts Centre

Sarah Kent

The Polish couple whose brilliant books have had a lasting influence on British design

Zaha Hadid: 'The most extraordinarily gifted architect of her generation'

Hugh Pearman

The fierce, funny and brilliant Baghdad-born trailblazer remembered

Strange and Familiar, Barbican

Marina Vaizey

A fascinating view from without: world photographers on British identity

Highlights from the Portland Collection, Harley Gallery, Welbeck

Marina Vaizey

In the heart of Nottinghamshire, a new gallery showcases unimaginable treasures

DVD: Ken Russell - The Great Passions

Kieron Tyler

The cultural provocateur takes on Henri Rousseau, Isadora Duncan and Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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

David Nice

Nature in Deborah O'Grady's photography outshines Messiaen's homage

Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

Tom Birchenough

A 19th century cultural pantheon, legacy of a great patron-collector

Paul Strand, Victoria & Albert Museum

Sarah Kent

Searing portraits, immaculate compositions: the American who made photography art

Opinion: Paintings with nothing to lose but their frames

Marina Vaizey

Sometimes frilly, always unwanted: a new show highlights the curse of frame shadow

In the Age of Giorgione, Royal Academy

Florence Hallett

A tantalising evocation of 16th-century Venice, but the great painter remains elusive

Andsnes and Friends at the Astrup Exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery

David Nice

The Norwegian artist's singularity complemented by native chamber music

Botticelli Reimagined, Victoria & Albert Museum

Florence Hallett

Was the Renaissance master a pioneer of brand identity?

Footnote: A brief history of british art

The National Gallery, the British Museum, Tate Modern, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Collection - Britain's art galleries and museums are world-renowned, not only for the finest of British visual arts but core collections of antiquities and artworks from great world civilisations.

Holbein_Ambasssadors_1533The glory of British medieval art lay first in her magnificent cathedrals and manuscripts, but kings, aristocrats, scientists and explorers became the vital forces in British art, commissioning Holbein or Gainsborough portraits, founding museums of science or photography, or building palatial country mansions where architecture, craft and art united in a luxuriously cultured way of life (pictured, Holbein's The Ambassadors, 1533 © National Gallery). A rich physician Sir Hans Sloane launched the British Museum with his collection in 1753, and private collections were the basis in the 19th century for the National Gallery, the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery, the original Tate gallery and the Wallace Collections.

British art tendencies have long passionately divided between romantic abstraction and a deep-rooted love of narrative and reality. While 19th-century movements such as the Pre-Raphaelite painters and Victorian Gothic architects paid homage to decorative medieval traditions, individualists such as George Stubbs, William Hogarth, John Constable, J M W Turner and William Blake were radicals in their time.

In the 20th century sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, painters Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, architects Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers embody the contrasts between fantasy and observation. More recently another key patron, Charles Saatchi, championed the sensational Britart conceptual art explosion, typified by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The Arts Desk reviews all the major exhibitions of art and photography as well as interviewing leading creative figures in depth about their careers and working practices. Our writers include Fisun Guner, Judith Flanders, Sarah Kent, Mark Hudson, Sue Steward and Josh Spero.

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Groundhog Day
The Old Vic
11 July – 17 September
Groundhog Day is the story of Phil Connors (Andy Karl), a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in the isolated small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, when he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. As each day plays out exactly the same as before Phil becomes increasingly despondent, but is there a lesson to be learnt through his experiences, will he ever unlock the secret and break the cycle?
Director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell, four of the creators of the international sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to collaborate on this new musical based on his 1993 hit film.
Andy Karl’s numerous Broadway credits include On the Twentieth Century, Rocky, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Jersey Boys, Wicked, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer and Saturday Night Fever.

Andy Karl is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.


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