thu 22/08/2019

Visual arts

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet, Royal Academy review – strange and intriguing

Félix Vallotton is best known for his satirical woodcuts, printed in the radical newspapers and journals of turn-of-the-century Paris. He earned a steady income, for instance, as chief illustrator for La Revue blanche, which carried articles 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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Francis Bacon: Couplings, Gagosian Gallery review - sex and power in double figures

Forthright and often disturbing, Francis Bacon’s “male couplings” are also ambiguous, and it is this disjunction that gives them their power. Erotic, violent and yet so often tender, these 14 works from the 1950s to the 1970s restate Bacon's pre-...

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Kiss My Genders, Hayward Gallery review – a shambles

Kiss My Genders may not claim to be a survey, yet it seems perverse to mount an exhibition of work by LGBTQ artists who address issues of gender identity without including some of the best known names. Particular emphasis is placed, says the press...

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Edouard Vuillard: The Poetry of the Everyday, Holburne Museum, Bath review - dizzying pattern and colour

A beguiling collection of small paintings by Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) forms an exhibition from his early career. It is a vanished world of domesticity in a Parisian flat, where Vuillard lived with his mother, a seamstress, for almost all his...

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Frank Bowling, Tate Britain review - a marvel

In a photograph taken in 1962, Frank Bowling leans against a fireplace in his studio. His right hand rests on the mantlepiece which bears books, fixative and spirit bottles, his left rests out of sight on the small of his back. His attire is...

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Natalia Goncharova, Tate Modern review - a prodigious talent

The times they are a-changin’. On show at the Barbican is a retrospective of Lee Krasner’s stunning paintings and, for the first time ever, Tate Modern is hosting two major shows of women artists. At last, the achievements of great women are...

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Lee Krasner: Living Colour, Barbican review - jaw-droppingly good

If you know of any chauvinists who dare to maintain that women can’t paint, take them to this astounding retrospective. Lee Krasner faced patronising dismissal at practically every turn in her career yet she persisted and went on to produce some of...

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Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, The Queen's Gallery review - peerless drawings, rarely seen

It is a commonplace to describe Leonardo as an enigma whose genius, and perhaps even something of his character, is revealed through his works. But as his works survive only in incomplete and fragmented form, it is drawing, the practice common to...

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Manga, British Museum review - stories for outsiders

Manga, the Japanese art of the graphic novel, took its modern form in the 1800s. Illustrated stories already had a long heritage in Japan — encompassing woodblock prints and illustrated scrolls and novels — but the introduction of the printing press...

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Anish Kapoor, Lisson Gallery review - naïve vulgarity and otherworldly onyx

There are children screaming in a nearby playground. Their voices rise and fall, swell and drop. Interspersed silences fill with the sound of running, the movement and cacophony orchestrated by a boy who leads on the catch tone. It's simultaneously...

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58th Venice Biennale review - confrontational, controversial, principled

There’s a barely disguised sense of threat running through the 2019 Venice Biennale. Of the 79 participating artists and groups, all are living and there’s a sharp sense that the purpose of the exhibition is to diagnose the ills afflicting the...

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