sun 14/07/2024

Visual Arts Reviews

Frank Bowling, Tate Britain review - a marvel

Katherine Waters

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 somewhat formal but decidedly casual — trousers loose enough to bend in, a striped jumper with the sleeves rolled up, workman-like, and a shirt which looks like it has several top buttons undone.

Read more...

Natalia Goncharova, Tate Modern review - a prodigious talent

Sarah Kent

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 being acknowledged and celebrated.

Read more...

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

Sarah Kent

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 the most magnificent paintings of the late 20th century.

Read more...

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

Florence Hallett

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 all his various endeavours, that brings coherence and perhaps even a comprehensive view of a lifetime’s labours.

Read more...

Manga, British Museum review - stories for outsiders

Katherine Waters

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 by foreign visitors changed the rate at which works could be made and the extent of their distribution.

Read more...

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

Katherine Waters

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 otherworldly and juvenile, adept and improvised  a fitting soundtrack to Anish Kapoor's latest exhibition at Lisson Gallery. 

Read more...

58th Venice Biennale review - confrontational, controversial, principled

Katherine Waters

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 contemporary world.

Read more...

Cathy Wilkes, British Pavilion, Venice Biennale review - poetic and personal

Katherine Waters

Dried flowers like offerings lie atop a gauze-covered rectangular frame. Pebbles surround its base alongside plaster casts, a desiccated dragonfly and an animal foot charm. Their placement is purposeful; their exact significance unclear. Four rib-high figures with moon faces, sausage string necks and wafer-thin bodies face the frame. Three wear golden gowns like devotees or disciples; all bear pendulous, darkly bellying stomachs before them over their clothes.

Read more...

Fetes and Kermesses in the Time of the Brueghels, Musée de Flandre review - all the fun of the fair

Mark Sheerin

Cassel in Flanders is surrounded by the gentle and verdant landscapes that inspired Pieter Bruegel the Elder to create the populous and festive scenes for which he is still known and loved, 450 years after his death. Now the small town is celebrating his celebrations with a show at the new Musée de Flandre dedicated to his country fairs and weddings.

Read more...

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

Florence Hallett

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.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Music Reissues Weekly: Atlanta - Hotbed of 70s Soul

Michael Thevis made his money from pornography. In the Seventies, his Atlanta warehouses were stuffed with most of America’s porn. Nationally,...

Visit from an Unknown Woman, Hampstead Theatre review - slim...

Who was Stefan Zweig? It's likely that it's mostly older folk who studied German literature at A-level who have encountered this superb...

Longlegs review - like its titular killer, this summer'...

Apparently when actress Maika Monroe first saw Nicolas Cage in his full Longlegs get-up, her heart-rate skyrocketed to...

Album: Chris Cohen - Paint a Room

Paint a Room is idiosyncratic, but it is an absolute joy. Accessible too. Permeated with a summery vibe, its 10 songs glisten like the...

theartsdesk at the Buxton International Festival - power and...

Buxton International Festival offers one thundering success, one uneasy compromise and one surprisingly enjoyable experience, in its three...

Sleep review - things that go bump in the night

The question Korean director Jason Yu is asking...

Album: Catherine Russell and Sean Mason - My Ideal

Voice and piano.The combination can have a simplicity, a conversational freedom, a rightness...

Fly Me to the Moon review - NASA gets a Madison Avenue makeo...

It’s over 50 years since men last landed on our orbiting space-neighbour, but...

Album: AJ Lee & Blue Summit - City of Glass

In the world of popular music, tangential connections to success are profile-raising. They offer an immediate connection to an artist. It is...