fri 21/09/2018

modernism

Prom 65, London Voices, BBCSO, Bychkov review - 20th century masterpieces hit home

This Prom had three pieces from times of social crisis, although only one faces its crisis head on. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring hides its pre-war angst behind a story of pagan Russia while Ravel’s post-war desolation is danced in decadent Viennese...

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Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns, National Gallery of Ireland review - experiments in Pont-Aven

In the autumn of 1892 Émile Bernard wrote home to his mother that, following the summer decampment to Pont-Aven of artists visiting from Paris and further afield, there remained "some artists here, two of them talented and copying each other. One...

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'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

The well-known portrait of New Zealand’s greatest writer, Katherine Mansfield, is exactly 100 years old on 17 June 2018 (main picture). It was painted by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice. At that time, Mansfield and Rice were both staying in...

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BBC NOW, Alexandre Bloch, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - tonal music in an avant-garde sense

This is the 50th Vale of Glamorgan Festival, and as its founder and director, John Metcalf, reminded us in a brief post-interval speech, he has been at all of them. Indeed the festival has increasingly mapped itself on to his personal view of what a...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Brighton Festival review - a dynamic dedication to an artist's muse

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is as much – if not more so – the championing of the unsung hero in this story of the famous early modernist artist, Marc Chagall. His wife, Bella – early muse...

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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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America's Cool Modernism, Ashmolean Museum review - faces of the new city

Hie thee to Oxford, for it is doubtful that we will see the like of this exhibition again this side of the Atlantic. American art of the 1920s and 1930s was once disregarded in its homeland in favour of Francophile superiority, and once it fell into...

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Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Ruthless Jabiru is an all-Australian chamber orchestra based in London. It is the brainchild of conductor Kelly Lovelady, who in recent years has geared the ensemble towards political and environmental concerns. Previous projects have highlighted...

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Monochrome, National Gallery review - colourless but not dreary

Might a painting ever achieve the veracity of a sculpture, a "real" object in space that we can walk around and view from every angle? Could the documentary quality of an engraving ever be equalled by a painting? And how could painting respond to...

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David Bomberg, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester review - a reputation restored

During his time at the Slade David Bomberg — the subject of a major new retrospective at Pallant House Gallery — was described as a "disturbing influence". The fifth son of Polish-Jewish parents who fled the pogroms, he grew up at the turn of the...

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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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Jean Arp: Poetry of Forms review - subversive pioneer honoured in Holland

This summer the wonderful Kröller-Möller museum in Otterlo hosts the first major Dutch retrospective of the works of Hans (Jean) Arp since 1960 – an exhibition that will travel in a marginally smaller version to Margate’s Turner Contemporary later...

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