tue 25/10/2016

Visual Arts reviews, news & interviews

Opinion: ArtReview Power 100

Marina Vaizey

Compiled by an anonymous panel, the 15th edition of ArtReview magazine’s annual list of the most powerful and influential people in the art world was published on Thursday. And who doesn’t like lists, to poke fun at, to argue with – or perhaps even agree with?

Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement, Courtauld Gallery

Alison Cole

This is an inspired and beautifully curated exhibition. It is subtitled The Essence of Movement, but it could equally be called The Essence of Art. What marks it out is not only the sensitively selected and tightly focused content, but also its close exploration of Rodin’s artistic process.

The Vulgar, Barbican Art Gallery

Sarah Kent

In this autumn’s Vagabonds Collection, Viktor and Rolf showed a pink top covered in hundreds of buttons and framed with elaborate furls of pale pink...

Beyond Caravaggio, National Gallery

Florence Hallett

Cheekily bottom-like, their downy skin blushing enticingly, these must be the sexiest apricots ever painted. If you held out your hand, you might...

The Best of Frieze Masters 2016

Alison Cole

The fifth edition of the highly popular Frieze Masters – the quieter sibling of the boisterous contemporary Frieze Art Fair London – is underway in...

Six of the best: Art


Portraits, abstract expressionism and a celebration of neon: the best of autumn so far

Picasso Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Florence Hallett

Experimental and incisive, portraits that reveal a man as vicious as he was affectionate

David Shrigley: Really Good, Fourth Plinth

Alison Cole

Thumbs up for Trafalgar Square's latest sculpture

Turner Prize 2016, Tate Britain

Florence Hallett

Poetic and utterly baffling, this year's shortlist is as eccentric as it is divergent

Helaine Blumenfeld: 'Beauty has become synonymous with something banal'

Rachel Halliburton

To coincide with her retrospective 'Hard Beauty', the sculptor talks about philosophy, language and the conflicting roles of artist, mother and wife

Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Marina Vaizey

Energy, alcohol and bucketloads of paint: a triumphant reunion for New York's most exciting artists

William Kentridge: Thick Time, Whitechapel Gallery

Alison Cole

A parallel universe revealed in immersive installations and monumental tapestries

Gaga for Dada: The Original Art Rebels, BBC Four

Florence Hallett

Inspiring student pranks and political satire, Dada is the lifeblood of 20th century culture

Bricks!, BBC Four

Marina Vaizey

Forty years on: the accidental furore around Carl Andre's work remembered

Giuseppe Penone, Marian Goodman Gallery

Alison Cole

Arte Povera works are rich in meditation on the relationship between man and nature

NEON: The Charged Line, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool

Clem Hitchcock

A very 20th-century medium gets a retrospective in the city of electric sunshine

First Person: Portrait of Britain

Bill Knight

Bill Knight on his prizewinning photograph and the competition that turns advertising screens into art galleries

Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison

Sarah Kent

A spell in gaol has never been so rewarding

London's Burning

Katie Colombus

A cultural revelation that speaks as much of the present as it does of the past

Björk Digital, Somerset House

Tina Edwards

Virtual-reality show confirms Björk's place in the avant-garde

Colour, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Florence Hallett

Treasures jostle with texts to explore the art and science of manuscript illumination

Stubbs and the Wild, Holburne Museum, Bath

Marina Vaizey

Known as a painter of horses, the 18th-century artist captured an entire menagerie

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery

Sarah Kent

The American who made colour photography an art form

Winifred Knights, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Marina Vaizey

A forgotten Slade alumnus restored to prominence

Ragnar Kjartansson, Barbican Art Gallery

Sarah Kent

Fact and fiction coalesce in work by an artist born into an acting dynasty

The Banker's Guide to the Art Market, BBC Four

Florence Hallett

Not comedy, not documentary and offering some very poor advice

Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016

Bill Knight

Our man in France guides us through the highlights of the world-famous photo festival

Georgia O’Keeffe, Tate Modern

Sarah Kent

Defined by sexual readings of her flowers and other paintings, the American modernist gets a much-needed retrospective

Art Night London

Florence Hallett

The first edition of the capital's annual all-night art festival brought light in dark times

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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