wed 19/06/2019

abstract art

Frank Bowling, Tate Britain review - a marvel

In a photograph taken in 1962, Frank Bowling leans against a fireplace in his studio. His right hand rests on the mantlepiece which bears books, fixative and spirit bottles, his left rests out of sight on the small of his back. His attire is...

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Sea Star: Sean Scully, National Gallery review - analysing past masters

Either side of a doorway, framing a view of Turner’s The Evening Star, c. 1830 (Main picture), Sean Scully’s Landline Star, 2017, and Landline Pool, 2018,  frankly acknowledge their roots. Abstract as they are, Scully’s horizontal bands of...

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Phyllida Barlow: Cul-de-sac, Royal Academy review - unadulterated delight

It doesn’t get better than this! Phyllida Barlow has transformed the Royal Academy’s Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries into a euphoric delight. Entering the space, you have to turn right and process through the three galleries; but by closing the...

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Velvet Buzzsaw review - an acerbic takedown of the LA art scene

Sitting somewhere between Ruben Östlund’s The Square and Final Destination, Dan Gilroy’s Velvet Buzzsaw is a satirical supernatural thriller that goes for the jugular of the LA art scene.We open at the Art Basel Miami Beach, where art snobs with fat...

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Fausto Melotti: Counterpoint, Estorick Collection review - harmonious things

For an artist whose cerebral and frequently playful works reference physics, myth and music, Fausto Melotti’s artistic education was appropriately heterogeneous.The foundations were laid early on at the Elisabettina School in his hometown of...

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The New Royal Academy and Tacita Dean, Landscape review - a brave beginning to a new era

This weekend the Royal Academy (R.A) celebrates its 250th anniversary with the opening of 6 Burlington Gardens (main picture), duly refurbished for the occasion. When it was dirty the Palladian facade felt coldly overbearing, but cleaning it has...

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Red, Wyndham's Theatre - Mark Rothko drama paints a vivid picture

The band’s back together. Alfred Molina plays Rothko for the third time in Michael Grandage’s revisiting of John Logan’s richly textured two-hander, first seen at the Donmar in 2009 and then bypassing the West End for Broadway. Another excellent...

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David Shrigley/Brett Goodroad, Brighton Festival review - showcases puncturing the medium's pretence

In his 1991 novel Mao II, Don DeLillo called the literary medium “a democratic shout”. His oft-quoted claim is that any man or woman on the street could strike it lucky, find their voice, and write a great book. Not only does everyone carry round a...

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Martin Gayford: Modernists & Mavericks review - people, places and paint

Back in the early Sixties Lucian Freud was living in Clarendon Crescent, a condemned row of houses in Paddington which were gradually being demolished around him. The neighbourhood was uncompromisingly working class and to his glee his neighbours...

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10 Questions for Artist Brett Goodroad

Brett Goodroad (b. 1979) is an artist and painter based in San Francisco. Born and raised in rural Montana, in 2012 he received the Tournesol Award, overseen by Sausalito’s Headland Center for the Arts. The Award recognises one Bay Area painter each...

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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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