mon 15/04/2024

Tate Britain

Sargent and Fashion, Tate Britain review - portraiture as a performance

At the turn of the 20th century, London’s smart set queued up to get their portraits painted by American-born artist John Singer Sargent. Sitting for him was a performance, a way to show the world just how rich, glamorous, clever or important you...

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Tish review - haunting portrait of a driven working-class photographer

Paul Sng’s documentary Tish is one of the best British films of 2023 – both a heartfelt tribute to the life and work of the late photographer Tish (born Patricia) Murtha and a timely reminder of the war waged on the nation’s industrial working-class...

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Women in Revolt!, Tate Britain review - a super important if overwhelming show

The soundtrack to Tate Britain’s seminal exhibition Women in Revolt! is a prolonged scream. On film, Gina Birch of the punk band The Raincoats gives vent to her pent-up anger and frustration by yelling at the top of her lungs for 3 minutes (...

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Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas, Tate Britain review - overcrowding muffles the voice of the wildest of the YBAs

I think of Sarah Lucas as the bad girl of British art, the one who uses her wicked sense of humour to point to rampant misogyny and call out the perpetrators. Of her generation of YBAs (Young British Artists), she has produced the edgiest, funniest...

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Isaac Julien: What Freedom is to Me, Tate Britain review - a journey from making documentaries to making art

Isaac Julien was a student at St Martin’s School of Art when the Brixton riots broke out. Black youths took to the streets, frustrated by high rates of unemployment, police harassment, far-right intimidation and media hostility, and all hell was let...

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Cornelia Parker, Tate Britain review – divine intelligence

Cornelia Parker’s early installations are as fresh and as thought provoking as when they were made. Her Tate Britain retrospective opens with Thirty Pieces of Silver (pictured below left: Detail). It’s more than 30 years since she ran over a...

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Walter Sickert, Tate Britain review - all the world's a stage

Who was Walter Sickert and what made him tick? The best way to address the question is to make a beeline for the final room of his Tate Britain retrospective. It’s hung with an impressive array of his last and most colourful paintings. Based on...

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Best of 2020: Visual Arts

Unhappy as it is to be ending the year with museums and galleries closed, 2020 has had its triumphs, and there is plenty to look forward to in 2021. Two much anticipated exhibitions at the National Gallery were delayed and subject to closures and...

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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tate Britain review - enigmatic figures full of life

A person in a brown polo neck turns away, looking down (pictured below right). The encounter feels really intimate; we are almost breathing down this beautiful neck and exquisitely painted ear. Yet the subject retains their privacy; you can’t even...

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The Best Exhibitions in London

 Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy ★★★ A fascinating subject that proves too unwieldy for a single exhibition. Until 13 Apr Rembrandt's Light, Dulwich Picture Gallery ★★★★ A novel collaboration between curators and cinematographer Peter...

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Best of 2019: Visual Arts

Notable anniversaries provided the ballast for this year’s raft of exhibitions; none was dead weight, though, with shows dedicated to Rembrandt, Leonardo and Ruskin among the most original and exhilarating of 2019’s offerings. Happily, a number of...

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William Blake, Tate Britain - sympathy for the rebel

Poor Satan. Adam and Eve are loved-up, snogging on a flowery hillock and all he’s got for company is a snake — an extension of himself no less, and where’s the fun in monologues? Poor, poor Satan. He’s a hunk too, if you don’t mind blue. Coiffed...

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