sat 18/08/2018

Visual Arts Reviews

David Shrigley/Brett Goodroad, Brighton Festival review - showcases puncturing the medium's pretence

Mark Sheerin

In his 1991 novel Mao II, Don DeLillo called the literary medium “a democratic shout”. His oft-quoted claim is that any man or woman on the street could strike it lucky, find their voice, and write a great book. Not only does everyone carry round a novel, but those novels are potentially brilliant.

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece, British Museum review - magnificence of form across the millennia

marina Vaizey

In bronze, marble, stone and plaster, as far as the eye can see, powerful figures and fragments – divine and human, mythological and real; athletes, soldiers and horses alongside otherworldly creatures like Centaurs – stride out.

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Shape of Light, Tate Modern review - a wasted opportunity

Sarah Kent

"From today painting is dead" was the pessimistic outcry of Paul Delaroche on first seeing a photograph. Ever since its inception, photography has had a vexed but fruitful relationship with painting.

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Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank review - the artist puts himself in the frame

Sarah Kent

Shot in 2004 when photographer Robert Frank was 80 (main picture), this award-winning film was aired on The South Bank Show the following year, but is only now on release.

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Taryn Simon: An Occupation of Loss, Islington Green review - divine lamentation

Sarah Kent

What a superb location for a performance! The flats on the north-east corner of Islington Green back onto a crummy atrium from which a staircase leads down to a vaulted, concrete pit (pictured below).

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Monet and Architecture, National Gallery review - a revelation in paint

marina Vaizey

Art historians can so easily get carried away looking for a thesis, a scaffolding on which to hang theories which can sometimes obscure as much as reveal. Not so here: as near perfect as might be imagined, this is a beautifully laid out, fresh look at a master painter, that lights up the National Gallery's basement exhibition space.

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Michael Rakowitz: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, Fourth Plinth review - London's new guardian

Katherine Waters

Fifteen years ago on a cold grey Saturday in mid-February, Trafalgar Square was filled with people marching to Hyde Park in opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq. A million people gathered in London. Three times that number turned out in Rome.

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

marina Vaizey

Hie thee to Oxford, for it is doubtful that we will see the like of this exhibition again this side of the Atlantic.

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Picasso 1932: Love Fame Tragedy, Tate Modern review - a diary in paint?

Florence Hallett

Painted in ice-cream shades punctuated with vivid red, the series of portraits made by Picasso in the early weeks of 1932 are as dreamy as love letters. His mistress Marie-Thérèse Walther – we assume it is she – lies adrift in post-coital languor, her body spread before us as a delicious and endlessly fascinating confection.

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Joan Jonas, Tate Modern review - work as elusive as it is beautiful

Sarah Kent

The American artist, Joan Jonas is one of the pioneers of performance art. Now 82, she is being honoured with a Tate Modern retrospective and Ten Days Six Nights, a festival of live art in which many of her performances are being recreated.

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