fri 12/04/2024

painting

Modest, Kiln Theatre review - tale of Victorian would-be trailblazer fails and succeeds

Whether you believe that Ellen Brammar’s play, Modest, newly arrived in London from Hull Truck Theatre, succeeds or not, rather depends on your criteria for evaluating theatre. On storytelling, character development and nuance, it is two and a half...

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Donna Fleming: Apocalypse, The Pie Factory, Margate review - personal passions and intense feelings

Donna Fleming’s exhibition at the Pie Factory Gallery in Margate is called Apocalypse, which is confusing because it has nothing to do with the end of the world. Fleming does not even watch the news because she “does not want to think about...

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Hopper: An American Love Story review - a dry view of a much richer subject

This rather disappointing documentary about the great American painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) has such a dry parade of experts and such a slow linear narrative that it leaves plenty of time to be frustrated by all that’s been left out.Made by the...

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Lucian Freud: New Perspectives, National Gallery review - a powerful punch in the gut

There stands Lucian Freud in Reflection with Two Children (Self-portrait), 1965 (main picture) towering over you, peering mercilessly down. Is that a look of scorn on his face or merely one of detachment? His two kids seem to be squirming and...

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Winslow Homer: Force of Nature, National Gallery review - dump the symbolism and enjoy the drama

Across the pond Winslow Homer is a household name; in his day, he was regarded as the greatest living American painter. He was renowned especially for his seascapes and his most famous painting, The Gulf Stream, 1899/1906 (main picture) features in...

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10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

“Is she at a pivotal point in her life but unable to pivot…?” Eve, the young heroine of Chloë Ashby’s dazzling debut novel, Wet Paint, asks this question standing in front of Édouard Manet’s painting "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" (1882). Yet she...

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Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, Royal Academy review – a life lived in extremis

Francis Bacon Man and Beast fills most of the main galleries at the Royal Academy. Thankfully, five of the rooms are empty. The exhibition is such a dispiriting experience, I’d have been hollering like a howler monkey if there’d been any more. And...

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The Lost Leonardo review - an incredible tale as gripping as any thriller

It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals every twist and turn of this extraordinary tale. In New Orleans in 2005, a badly-damaged painting (pictured below left)...

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Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze, conceived for a particular point of view, and defined by the effect it is supposed to produce”. In layman’s terms, it is the art...

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The Artist's Wife review - uninspired portrait of dementia in the Hamptons

“The only child I’ve ever had is you,” the artist’s wife (Lena Olin), spits at the artist, her considerably older husband (Bruce Dern), who retorts, “That was your goddamn choice so don’t blame it on me.”Although the setting – a wintery East Hampton...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Amina Cain on her first novel and her eternal fascination with suggestion

Amina Cain is a writer of near-naked spaces and roomy characters. Her debut collection of short fiction, I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues, 2009), located itself in the potential strangeness of everyday thoughts and experience. Her second, Creature (...

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Book extract: Nativity by Jean Frémon, with drawings by Louise Bourgeois

How should one paint the baby Jesus? This deceptively innocent question runs the length of Jean Frémon's Nativity, a fictional work that takes as its subject the first painter to represent the saviour of humankind without his swaddling clothes. The...

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