fri 23/10/2020

modernism

Naomi Booth: Exit Management review - unwrapping life's unpleasantness

When you try to get rid of something, it comes back to bite you – so says Naomi Booth in her new novel Exit Management. It’s one of those books that you want to read very quickly, its writing slickly modern and its characters compellingly flawed....

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Caroline Maclean: Circles and Squares review - adventurous art, progressive living and a good gossip

There was a moment in the 1930s when it seemed that contemporary art, as practised in Britain, might join the mainstream of the Western avant-garde. Caroline Maclean makes a lively examination of this uneasy decade, centring mostly on the circle of...

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Endgame/Rough for Theatre II, Old Vic review - Beckett played for laughs

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Director Richard Jones has certainly taken Beckett’s words to heart in this vividly comic, star-cast Old Vic double bill, pairing Endgame with a lesser-known short play – which acts as a sort of stylistic and...

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Charlotte Salomon: Life? or Theatre?, Jewish Museum London review - rallying against death

For a loved one to die by suicide provokes both pain and hurt. Pain, because they are gone. Hurt, because it can feel like an indictment or a betrayal. For Charlotte Salomon, the suicides that ripped holes in her family were also foreshadowings...

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Wegener, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – on the revolutionary road to Mahler

For better or worse, because of Visconti’s classic film the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony now inevitably means Venice in its gloomiest moods. So there turned out to be a grim timeliness in a performance on an evening that coincided with the...

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Martin Gayford: The Pursuit of Art review - devotion, distilled

This is a book about experiences that go beyond reading about art. Martin Gayford’s 20 short essays about press trips and self-motivated travel concern meetings – in the flesh, in real time and space – with art that includes murals, sculptures and...

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Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - a cut above

Under a turbulent sky racked with jagged clouds suggesting bolts of lightning, pale figures hurl themselves into a spitting expanse of water. Swathed in white towels, other figures mingle with the pink bodies, seeming to process along the pier as if...

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Henry Moore at Houghton Hall: Nature and Inspiration review - big views bring new light

Placed in a long and artfully Arcadian vista, earthy bronze subdued against verdant grass and trees, the restless form of Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure: Cut, 1979-81 (Main picture), both disrupts and is absorbed by its surroundings. A...

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Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain review - tenuous but still persuasive

Soon after his death, Van Gogh’s reputation as a tragic genius was secured. Little has changed in the meantime, and he has continued to be understood as fatally unbalanced, ruled by instinct not intellect. Van Gogh’s characterisation of himself as a...

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Fiona MacCarthy: Walter Gropius review - a master of modernism

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (literally, “Building House”) art school is on us, prompting publications and exhibitions worldwide. Subtitled “Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus”, Fiona MacCarthy’s revelatory biography of the figure...

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – three iconic works

At first sight, performing Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring – premiered in 1913 and sometimes seen as presaging the whole world of modernism – in the centenary year of the 1918 Armistice might seem to be lagging behind in timing (if centenaries float...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Columbus

The director of this deeply charming debut feature is the Korean-American film critic who writes under the pseudonym Kogonada; one of his principle interests over the years has been the great Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, and there’s something of...

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