tue 17/07/2018

Abstract Expressionism

Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA, BBC Four review - unexpected facts aplenty

“Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light” was a vision of the American flag, that star-spangled banner, riding proud from Francis Scott Key’s patriotic poem of 1814 based on an episode in the War of 1812. His sentiments were decades later...

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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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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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First Person: The Juilliard Experiment

When the French painter Fabienne Verdier told me she’d been invited to explore the relationship between painting and music at the world-famous Juilliard School in New York, I knew straight away that this unusual residency should be documented....

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Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Gorgeous, sumptuous, thrilling: here comes Abstract Expressionism riding into town, the first major overview in London since its own contemporary heyday in the 1950s. A clunky, unappealing label for such fabulously appealing stuff, it's best just to...

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The World Goes Pop, Tate Modern

There’s no sign of Oldenburg, Warhol or Lichtenstein and British pioneers Eduardo Paolozzi and Peter Blake are notably absent from this gritty vision of Pop art. Only in the final room do we come face-to-face with a Campbell’s Tomato Soup tin, the...

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Soup Cans and Superstars, BBC Four

Pop went the easel, and more, as we were offered a worldwide tour – New York, LA, London, Paris, Shanghai – of the art phenomenon of the past 50 years (still going strong worldwide). We were led by a wide-eyed interlocutor, the bright-eyed and bushy...

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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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Alan Davie, 1920-2014

Alan Davie, who died on Saturday aged 93, was one of the great 20th-century British artists, a life-long maverick whose explosive canvases cut a swathe through the provincial aridity of the postwar art scene. The first British – probably the first...

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Making Painting: Helen Frankenthaler and JMW Turner, Turner Contemporary

Helen Frankenthaler is often presented as being both a stepping stone between art movements and as an artist who fell –  because such things matter in the tidy narratives of art history –  between the cracks of various American isms....

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George Condo: Mental States, Hayward Gallery/ Drawings, Sprüth Magers London

The easiest mistake to make in appreciating George Condo would be to assume that his manic style reflects a manic creation or a manic practice. Some of Condo's paintings and drawings, with their childlike loops and gurning, disfigured faces, look...

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Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Barbican Theatre

Any newcomers to Merce Cunningham who visit the last performances ever in Britain of his modern dance company - renowned, even notorious, for its abstruse abstractness - will surely go away with an impression of laughter, playfulness, the lightness...

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