26 Dec 2010

Drawing exhibition 'On Line' at MOMA, NY

Julie Mehretu. Rising Down. 2008. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 x 144" (243.8 x 365.8 cm). Collection Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer. © 2010 Julie Mehretu
This is an interesting exhibition exploring the development of drawing in the Twentieth Century. Though this exhibition shows a diverse approach it also seems quite conceptual in nature..

Press Release: On Line explores the radical transformation of the medium of drawing throughout the twentieth century, a period when numerous artists subjected the traditional concepts of drawing to a critical examination and expanded the medium's definition in relation to gesture and form. In a revolutionary departure from the institutional definition of drawing, and from the reliance on paper as the fundamental support material, artists instead pushed line across the plane into real space, thus questioning the relation between the object of art and the world. 

On Line includes approximately three hundred works that connect drawing with selections of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and dance (represented by film and documentation). In this way, the exhibition makes the case for a discursive history of mark making, while mapping an alternative project of drawing in the twentieth century. The exhibition includes works by a wide range of artists, both familiar and relatively unknown, from different eras of the past century and from many nations, including Aleksandr Rodchenko, Alexander Calder, Karel Malich, Eva Hesse, Anna Maria Maiolino, Richard Tuttle, Mona Hatoum, and Monika Grzymala.

This is a great gallery for an archive of a variety of 20th Century (and earlier) drawings, etchings and other works on paper. Spaightwood Galleries, USA.

21 Dec 2010

Miro at Tate Modern, London, April 2011

Joan Miro, Head of a Catalan Peasant, 1925 

Press Release: Tate Modern
Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Thursday 14 April – Sunday 11 September 2011
Sunday to Thursday, 10.00–18.00. 
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00. 
Last admission into exhibitions 17.15 (Friday and Saturday 21.15)

Tate Modern will present the first major retrospective of Joan Miró (1893–1983) to be held in London for almost 50 years. Opening on 14 April 2011, Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will bring together over 150 paintings, works on paper and sculptures by one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. The exhibition will draw on collections from around the world to represent the astonishing breadth of Miró’s output. It will also explore the wider context of his work, bringing to light the artist’s political engagement and examining the influence of his Catalan identity, the Spanish Civil War and the rise and fall of Franco’s regime. 

Miró was among the most iconic of modern artists, evolving a Surrealist language of symbols that evokes a sense of freedom and energy in its fantastic imagery and direct colour. Often regarded as a forefather of Abstract Expressionism, his work is celebrated for its serene, colourful allure. However, from his earliest paintings onwards, there is also a more anxious and engaged side to Miró’s practice, reflecting the turbulent political times in which he lived. This exhibition will explore these responsive, passionate characteristics across six decades of his extraordinary career. 

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will examine the artist’s varying degrees of engagement over his lifetime. These are rooted in the complex identity politics associated with Catalonia, as revealed through Miró’s representation of its landscape and traditions. These depictions range across images of rural life, such as The Farm 1921-2 which Ernest Hemmingway bought from the artist in Paris, to the masterly sequence of the Head of a Catalan PeasantAidez l’Espagne and Le Faucheur 1937, as well as more private and troubled responses disguised in the renowned Constellation paintings of 1940, made in the Second World War. The tensions that erupted with the Spanish Civil War in 1935-9 elicited Miró’s explicit protests in 1924-5.

This is in the Tate Collection and is likely to be in the show...
Joan Miro, Women and Bird in the Moonlight 1949
Under Franco’s regime, Miró worked in a kind of internal exile in Spain while cultivating a reputation abroad as a hero of post-war abstraction. Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will showcase masterpieces from this era, including the sublime The Hope of a Condemned ManMay 1968 and Burnt Canvas II 1973, or creating euphoric explosions of paint in Fireworks 1974, Miró continued to reflect the political mood in his radical and pioneering practice.  triptych 1973. The exhibition will also reveal how he captured the atmosphere of protest in the late 1960s. Whether blackening or setting fire to his works, such as

Joan Miró i Ferrà was born in Barcelona on 20 April 1893 and trained as an artist at the Galí Academy from 1912-15. From 1923, he spent part of each year in Paris and became a key figure in the Surrealist movement. With his young family he remained in France during the Spanish Civil War, but returned to Spain when the Germans invaded in 1940. Miró settled in Majorca and remained based there for much of the rest of his life, travelling for major commissions and exhibitions around the world. He died at home on 25 December 1983. 

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape is co-organised by Tate Modern and the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, where it will be seen in October 2011, before travelling to the National Gallery of Art, Washington in May 2012. The exhibition is conceived by Tate curators Matthew Gale, Marko Daniel and Kerryn Greenberg in collaboration with Teresa Montaner, curator at Fundació Joan Miró. Rosa Maria Malet, Director, Fundació Joan Miró, and Vicente Todolí, former Director, Tate Modern, are consultants.

Photographic essay: Wall Surfaces

Mondrian in Paris at the Centre Pompidou

Piet Mondrian, "composition en rouge, bleu et blanc II", 1937
© Mondrian / Holtzman trust, coll. Centre Pompidou, RMN
A new retrospective exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris, re-assesses the legacy of Mondrian and De Stijl. Amazingly this is the first exhibition of Mondrian to truly assess his influence on twentieth century art, especially with his ideas regarding Neo-Plasticism to be held in France. The exhibition explores his commitment to painting from the early years of the twentieth century, through his ground breaking developments with De Stijl combining his ideas on Theosophy with other artists, Theo Van Doesburg and Gerrit Rietveld. They created such a strong social understanding of the role art can play, especially abstraction, in society. His legacy remains not only in abstract paintings of a geometric and reductive style, but also in 'concret' sculpture, city planning, architecture, furniture design and graphic design.  You may be interested in an article by Simon Schama, where he has written a review entitled 'Driven to Distraction' in the Financial Times on 17th December 2010. In this he explores the photographs of his studio taken by Andre Kertesz (see below), but also Schama states: 

'But don’t go looking for it in this otherwise exhaustive and glorious show which is, after all, a heartfelt celebration of the modernist furnace that once was Paris – even if it took someone as resolutely Dutch as Piet Mondrian to distil abstraction from its fizzing alembic.'

Andre Kertesz, 'Chez Mondrian' 1926

The photo above is a well known photo, but the photo below shows his studio interior and his bed, it defines clearly the simplicity in which his life was lived, also expressed so clearly through his work.
Andre Kertesz, 'Mondrian's Studio' 1926
 The exhibition runs through until 21st March 2011 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

9 Dec 2010

Modigliani exhibition in Prague

All films on artists never work because they cannot catch the visceral nature of the artwork, especially painting, but Andy Garcia gives it a go, great atmosphere and contemporary music.

Modigliani in  Prague is organised by the Gallery Vernon.

There is a new exhibition of Modigliani in Prague from December 2010. This which will be the first solo exhibition of his works in the Czech Republic, will be officially opened in Prague's Municipal House Wednesday. The event, which opens to the public on Thursday and it will run through February 28, 2011, is one of the most expensive exhibitions in Prague. The exhibition will present over 60 exhibits, including Modigliani's drawings and oil paintings along with photographs and other documents from his life. Among the most valuable oil paintings are 'Student', 'A Portrait of Marevna' (Russian cubist artist) from 1919 as well as the portraits of artist 'Celso Lagar' (1915) and 'Dr Francois Brabander' (1918).

Left, Modigliani, middle, Picasso and on the right Andre Salmon
 Only a couple of Modigliani's paintings were displayed in the National Gallery in Prague in the past. Curator Serena Baccaglini said her aim was to present Modigliani in connection with the work of Czech-born artist Frantisek Kupka (1871-1957), a pioneer of abstract art. She was inspired by a photograph from a joint exhibition of both artists in Paris in 1912. The exhibition in the Municipal House will therefore also offer some paintings by Kupka from private collectors.

'Red Nude' Modigliani, 1917. This is a classic, bit it's not in the show
 What can you say about Modigliani? He is one of those artists that has become a myth, you either came out of Paris in the early Twentieth Century a star or in a coffin, and Paris was littered with those. Unfortunately, his success came after his death. There is a charged eroticism to his nude figures that still retains much of the Bohemian Paris that he was a part of in the Batou Lavoir studios in Monmartre. Along with Egon Scheile they somehow express an emotional representation of the artist's desire...? Modigliani died of Tubercular Meningitis in 1920

3 Dec 2010

Modernist home for rent, anyone? High Cross House, Dartington, Devon, UK

High Cross House, Dartington Estate, 1932
This modernist building called High Cross House, built in 1932 by the Swiss architect William Lescase for Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst (members of the Bloomsbury Group), the patrons who established Dartington Hall and the College of Art. This is one of the best examples of modernist architecture in the UK. Built in the grounds of the Dartington estate, in prime Devon countryside. Inspired by the De Stijl movement and Le Corbusier with Bauhaus furniture: 

"Probably the most extreme instance in England of the functional type of house associated with the name of Le Corbusier." Christopher Hussey, Country Life, 1933

Dartington Hall was, for some time,  a significant meeting point for the international avant-garde. Artists such as John Cage taught there and the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Tobey came from the West Coast of the United States to Dartington Hall and along with the St.Ives ceramicist, Bernard Leach travelled to Japan, where Tobey spent a year in a Zen Monastary in Kyoto. A rich history....                                                                                                   
                                                                                                    .....and Now                   

It is currently for rent for £2,500 or £600 a week, but you will have to be a fan of such modernist buildings, there is plenty of space and glass in this 4 bedrooms, roof terraced  and flat roofed home, originally built for the head masters. It has an Art Deco interior  and a great study with a curved glass wall. Look for more information on themodernhouse.net

High Cross House by Michael Young

The building is for rent because Dartington College of Art has now merged with University College Falmouth.

27 Nov 2010

James Turrell at Gagosian Gallery, London, UK

Abstraction's evolution in the of James Turrell at Gagosian, London until 10th December 2010. 

James Turrell, Sustaining Light, 2007
Wood, computerized neon setting, glass piece
Aperture: 62 1/4 x 46 1/2 inches (158.1 x 118.1 cm)

 (C) James Turrell/Gagosian Gallery

'Through light, space can be formed without physical material like concrete or steel. We can actually stop the penetration of vision with where light is and where it isn't. Like the atmosphere, we can't see through it to the stars that are there during the day. But as soon as that light is dimmed around the self, then this penetration of vision goes out. So I'm very interested in this feeling, using the eyes to penetrate the space.' James Turrell

6-24 Britannia Street
Hours: Tue-Sat 10-6

If you haven't seen Turrell's work here is a video:


21 Nov 2010

Kurt Schwitter's: Still crazy after all these years...

It is remarkable to see how influential Kurt Schwitters remains in the 21st Century. There are a number of contemporary exhibitions on the work of one of the 20th Century's most remarkable artists. He has influenced British art, and especially abstraction, a great deal.

Kurt Schwitters, Untitled, (c) The Menil Collection, Houston, USA
Schwitters, who helped to define avant-garde art through his work with German Dada in Hanover, (after a falling out with the Berlin Dadaists), brought Dada practices to a wider audience through his 'merz' constructions of collage, photo-montage and found objects, such as tram tickets, newspaper adverts and fashion illustrations. Also he created three domensional constructions, his most famous being known as the 'Merzbau' or 'The Cathedral of Erotique Misery' (see below). He also developed innovative experimental typographic design through his 'Merz' publications with the Constructivist El Lizzitsky and Theo van Doesburg of De Stijl

Kurt Schwitters performing his 'Urlauten',/'Ursonate' c.1920's
The 'Ursonate', his phonetic sound poem from 1922–32 (a translation of the title is 'Primeval Sonata'), is still seen as an unusual and evocative performance piece, still performed around the world. Perhaps we have understood the influence of Schwitters more through the artists who have been influenced by him after WWII, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Damien Hirst, amongst many others.

Their are two shows/explorations currently exhibiting his work:

Exhibitioin in USA:
The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, (the great American collection of modern art), this exhibition explores Schwitters use of colour and light in his work on both paintings and collage. Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage, is until 30th January 2011 and its emphasis is on the Merz works from the 1920s and 1940s. 
Kurt Schwitters, 'For Kate',1947
This is the first show of Schwitter's works since the 1985 exhibition at MOMA. The exhibition will travel the US to Princeton University Art Museum March 26–June 26, 2011, followed by Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive from August 3–November 27, 2011. 

Exhibition in the United Kingdom:
The other exhibition or perhaps exploration and celebration of his work is the British organisation that has been set up to archive and preserve his little known works in Britain, where he was eventually interned and died in Ambleside, Cumbria. One of his last Merzbau's is celebrated on the website: http://www.merzbarn.net. This construction made in a remote barn in the Langdale Valley and was created during his stay in the Lake District, yet financed by MOMA in New York, is now preserved at the Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle by the artist Richard Hamilton in 1965. You can see the documented reconstructions in 2007, of his Hanover Merzbau here from the Tate archive. This is a great organisation celebrating his art, preserving his legacy and raising funds for the upkeep of his last remaining Merbau. Schwitters died in 1948. Kurt Schwitters still crazy after all these years....

Kurt Schwitters,'The Cathedral of Erotique Misery', Hanover, Germany

Kurt Schwitters, 'Merzbarn', Cumbria UK

5 Nov 2010

Patrick Heron by Janet Street-Porter on The Genius of British Art: Modern Times, C4

It was great to see the broadcaster, Janet Street-Porter on The Genius of British Art on Channel 4, discuss how she came to understand modern art, meeting Heron's daughter Katherine Heron when studying architecture. There is a great moment on the programme where they cut between him in his studio at Porthmeor Studios, he died in 1999, probably in the early 1980's and her stitting there now some 30 years later remembering when she would sit and talk with him about art and watch him painting, it was really quite touching..

Yellow Painting: October 1958 May/June 1959  Oil on canvas, 1524 x 2138 x 30 mm
 Purchased with asistance from Tate Friends St Ives 1999 (c) Estate Patrick Heron

Janet Street-Porter and Katherine Heron discuss this painting which has to be one of his most significant works, I believe this is in Tate Modern or Tate St.Ives... 

In the programme she went on to argue how Heron's work of that time was such an antidote to the the dull post war paintings of Lowry and Bratby. My frustration is that we have not understood that British abstraction and especially the 'St.Ives School' have never had the recognition for its significance, when considering how little was taking place in London at the time, which was 'kitchen sink' and a dull form of British (English?) expressionism. Street -Porter goes on to say how Heron's abstractions said 'bollocks to complancy'. It was a great little bit of British televison...

29 Oct 2010

Painting against Mussolini: Art and the Fall of a Dictator, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, from 22nd September - 19th December 2010

these dark painting from Mafai and Garelli are worth seeing. we are often more aware of the painting from this period of Max Beckmann and other New Objectivity paintings that stood against Fascism than Italian painting from that time. They should be appreciated more and still retain much of the original power all these years later worth a trip to North London...

Mario Mafai, Fantasia - Interrogation, 1941-43

                                                           Franco Garelli, Shooting, c. 1944

27 Oct 2010

Floris Neususs 'Nudo-grams' @ Shadow Catchers exhibition, V&A Museum, London

This is a fascinating exhibition exploring the concept of shadows through a varirty of approaches. well worth looking at, it is a cross between 19th Century ideas in science and technology with a radical 20th Century experimental idea of art-making. this would be a good companion exhibition to the Eadweard Muybridge at the Tate in London.

Floris Neusüss

Born Lennep (Germany), 1937. Floris Neusüss has dedicated his whole career to extending the practice, study and teaching of the photogram. Alongside his work as an artist, he is known as an influential writer and teacher on camera-less photography.

Neusüss brought renewed ambition to the photogram process, in both scale and visual treatment, with the Körperfotogramms (or whole-body photograms) that he first exhibited in the 1960s. Since that time, he has consistently explored the photogram's numerous technical, conceptual and visual possibilities.

His works often deal in opposites: black and white, shadow and light, movement and stillness, presence and absence, and in the translation of three dimensions into two. By removing objects from their physical context, Neusüss encourages the viewer to contemplate the essence of form. He creates a feeling of surreal detachment, a sense of disengagement from time and the physical world. Collectively, his images explore themes of mythology, history, nature and the subconscious.

7 Oct 2010

'Throwing Shapes' @ Coleman Project Space and Cafe Gallery, London

7 October - 7 November 2010

This is an interesting exhibition of a group of diverse artists working with abstraction in London. Defining 'hard-edge' abstraction in its diverse forms from installation to raw canvas. Here's the blurb, not sure how much I believe... Coleman Project Space presents a two-venue initiative curated by Rebecca Geldard with Vanessa Jackson, Clare Goodwin, Alasdair Duncan and Kilian Rüthemann.

'Jan & Dan', Claire Goodwin, 68 cm x 50 cm, Medium: Mixed media, Catalogue No: CGP1259

'Throwing Shapes' is a group exhibition on the itinerant nature of abstract painting’s core motifs. The conversational starting point for this colourful dialogue between venues, and works in various media, is a large-scale wall-painting commission by Vanessa Jackson at CGP London’s Cafe Gallery.
While the title elicits the notion of sharply defined forms flung, or Modernist-indebted visual strategies, it also references dance and music. ‘Throwing shapes’, like the term ‘abstract’ for an art context, has become a generic expression. It is now synonymous with human movement to music/sounds of all kinds but was initially used to describe the repetitive physical actions associated with electronic dance music: a simple sign language for those under its influence.

  • Vanessa Jackson, Dimensions not supplied, Medium: Installation, Catalogue No: CGP1248
This sense of reduction and recycling of forms and trends - given the recent nu-rave revival traceable through music, art and fashion, for example - is key to the exhibition remit. 'Throwing Shapes' does not attempt to survey the new, however, or plot fixable paths between the past and present, rather identify some curious conceptual territories emerging from artists’ re-negotiation of these basic forms; locate points at which specific aesthetic languages shift, mutate or break down.

Alasdair Duncan’s “signs for the future” pitch the viewer between the language of propaganda, painting and the perfunctory signage of everyday life. The London-based artist’s colour-rich, optimistic motifs, borrowed equally from the Bauhaus as the Highway Code, will appear here in two site-specific vinyl and sculptural works at Coleman Project Space.

Zürich-based Clare Goodwin also mines the past in a strangely positive way, her human-titled paintings conveying both the gritty reality of an era and sense of nostalgia one can have for a time that is not their own. Seventies design graphics and Op-art strategies appear rudely cropped into seductively hard-edged, conceptually adulterous compositional unions.

It makes perfect sense that Vanessa Jackson’s ritual play on canvas with geometric systems should find its way onto public surfaces given her interest in the democracy of mathematical approaches to art. Where Jackson’s ambitious three-floor mural for Sadler’s Wells in 2008 provided a lyrical framework for the performative dimension of the site, here the big white box of CGP London will become test-cell for the optical and kinetic possibilities of forms placed “arm-in-arm, hip-to-hip” in space. 

Swiss artist Kilian Rüthemann is known for his minimal, mostly temporary sculptural alterations to architectural spaces. For this, Rüthemann’s first London exhibition, the Basel-based artist will show a film in Coleman Project Space’s acclaimed Shed Space. Here, the virtual realm of the computer program provides the contextual fabric for his study of line and form as dictated by the flight paths of birds at sunset.

Times: Thursday - Sunday from 12 - 5pm.

5 Oct 2010

Gerhard Richter at New Walk Art Gallery, Leicester

Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting, 1994, 225 cm x 200 cm,
Oil on canvas, Catalogue Raisonné: 809-3 © Gerhard Richter 2010.

Any excuse to see a Richter show in the UK. Here is an interesting exhibition in Leicester. Have a read of the press release below:

Epoch - 
Gerhard Richter
2nd October 2010 - 27th February 2011
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
(In partnership with The City Gallery)

'The German artist Gerhard Richter is considered to be one of the most important living painters in the world. Over a career spanning more than half a century, Richter has exhibited work in every major gallery in the world from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to Tate Modern in London. His influence on the next generation of artists such as Damien Hirst has been enormous.

Much of his work has been an exploration of the ways in which photography has changed the nature of painting over the twentieth century. In some of his first paintings to become famous he created ‘photo-realistic’ images that reproduced the blurring of photographs.

This exhibition, entitled Epoch, is taken from ARTIST ROOMS, a new national collection established by the dealer and collector Anthony d’Offay, jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. The exhibition also includes a selection of the artist’s multiples, lent by Anthony d’Offay especially for this presentation.

The largest work (48 Portraits) captures many of the themes of interest to Richter including history, painting and portraiture. This key piece is shown alongside several other significant works that show Richter’s diverse practice, from further portrait painting to more abstract images, photographs and prints. 

Through this range of works, Epoch gives an insight into one of the most important artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Anthony d’Offay was brought up in Leicester with New Walk Museum & Art Gallery providing a place of inspiration during his childhood.'

The British painter Dexter Dalwood is nominated for Turner Prize 2010

The fascinating painter Dexter Dalwood, who has always shown an original approach to painting, often using unusual political icons and their houses/rooms as a reference point in his work, has been nominated for the Turner Prize along with the painter Angela De La Cruz.

Dexter Dalwood, Greenham Common 2008,
(c) Dexter Dalwood, Gagosian Gallery Associates. Photo: Prudence Cumming Associates
Dexter Dalwood was born in Bristol, England in 1960. He studied at Central St.Martins, London and at the Royal College of Art, London. Dalwood has been nominated for his solo exhibition at Tate St Ives which revealed the rich depth and range of his approach to making painting that draws upon historical tradition as well as contemporary cultural and political events.

29 Sep 2010

Pretty in Pink-The paintings of Rick Butler of The Psychedelic Furs


'Nature is Boring', A joint show by Richard Butler and the New York based sculptor Emil Alzamora is from Thursday 7th October to 1st November 2010 at Mauger Modern

Richard Butler before forming the new wave band, The Psychedelic Furs in 1977, had originally studies fine art at Epsom School of Art and Design. You can't take art school out of a an aging rock star, and over the past ten years he has returned to it with a passion. His works explores a subtle understanding of figurative painting, seemingly light in atmosphere, almost Japanese in temperament, his paintings show an aware of  developments in painting in contemporary art in the 21st Century. His cult celebrity status has ensured Butler has received some acclaim for his paintings, and has had gallery exhibitions in New York, Miami, Florida and Florence, Italy.

Maugar Modern, 81 Rochester Row, London SW1P 1LJ

21 Sep 2010

Egon Schiele's troublesome paintings at 'Treasures of Budapest' Royal Academy, London

 Egon Schiele, 'Two Women Embracing', 1915, Pencil, watercolour, gouache. 48.5 x 32.7 cm. 
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

In his article on Schiele's paintings of nudes at the Royal Academy exhibition 'Treasures from Budapest'; Jonathan Jones explores some interesting ideas regarding modern art and sexuality. Click here.

'His work has a specific presence, aggressive, unignorable, practical. They are pornographic. They insist that the erotic is as great and heroic a subject as wars or religion. And they question whether art has to confine itself to representing life second-hand. That's what is extraordinary about Schiele's art: it does not comment on life, it takes part in life. It is not like pornography. It is pornography. It is also high and serious art, a doubleness that may only have been possible in Vienna on the eve of the first world war.' 

Schiele's window on his erotic private desires was short lived. By 1907, while Schiele was still a student, Pablo Picasso, around 19 years of age in Paris, painted 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon', a full-frontal, jagged, spatially modern painting, exploring his own desires and also using prostitutes as modeIs. Within a few years abstraction was to establish itself as one of the major discoveries of the Twentieth Century. Marcel Duchamp's readymades, Kasimir Malevich's 'Black Square', the Dadaists and their use of politics and collage were to change how we use and think of the figure. In this context Schiele's paintings of sexuality look almost innocent.

An exhibition of paintings by Mali Morris, Royal Academy of Arts, London

This is a great little exhibition of recent works of Mali Morris, one of Britain's leading yet not fully appreciated abstract painters, is in the Sir Hugh Casson Friends Room at the Royal Academy, pop in and see this show if you visit the exhibition of Hungarian art works in 'Tresures from Budapest' (see blog entry), the Friends Room is open to the public 4-6pm until 10pm on Fridays.

These are small scale works that explore the quality and subtly of the visceral lightness of touch of the pigment on the surface of the painting. Beautiful. Read more about her on Royal Academy website.

                          Mali Morris, 'Escape', 2009. Acrylic on canvas. Photo: David Webb. Courtesy of the Artist. 

A Matter of Life and Death: The Paintings of Salvator Rosa at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Salvator Rosa, (1615 - 1673), Jason Charming the Dragon, (about 1665-1670), Oil on canvas, 78 x 66.5 cm, coll., The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness and Magic is at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 15th September to 28th November 2010. For details, go to dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

A fascinating exhibition of one of the key artists who helped to shape many other painters from Romanticism, is at Dulwich Picture Gallery until November. In these works there are references to witches, murder, fantastical journeys, landscapes and portraits. These works also reflect on the popularity of superstition and fascination with death. You can see the influence on artists who were to follow Rosa some one hundred and fifty years later in the works of Francisco Goya, John Martin and William Blake.
Click here for an article by James Hall for the Guardian newspaper, which is very interesting.

Salvator Rosa, detail from 'Witches at Their Incantations' by Salvator Rosa. Photograph: © National Gallery, London

12 Sep 2010

Post-War American Art comes to Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Arnold Newman, Brian O'Doherty and Barbara Novak with their dog Flann O'Brien, 1984, black and white photograph, 32 x 26 cm, The Novak/O'Doherty Collection at IMMA. © Arnold Newman.
An exhibition of 76 artworks by many one of America's leading post-war artists which have been gifted to the IMMA Collection at Dublin by art historian Barbara Novak and artist Brian O’Doherty / Patrick Ireland opened to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 8 September 2010. 

Post-War American Art: The Novak/O’Doherty Collection, donated in association with the American Ireland Fund, comprises paintings and sculpture and an extensive range of works on paper, including watercolours, drawings, photographs and limited edition prints, sculptures and multiples.

This collection includes works by Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper and George Segal, Joseph Cornell, Dan Graham, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Christo, Mel Bochner, William Scharf, Peter Hutchinson, Les Levine, Sonja Sekula, John Coplans, Arnold Newman, and Elise Asher.
The donation is particularly rich in works from New York of the 1960s and ‘70s; many the result of friendships and associations with the artists at this time. Through them we see that Barbara Novak and Brian O’Doherty were central figures in the art community of the 1960s and ‘70s and beyond.

Four important works, by Edward Hopper, Marcel Duchamp, George Segal and Jasper Johns, were gifted in 2009. The forthcoming exhibition celebrates the arrival of the balance of their collection to IMMA.

18 Aug 2010

From Sickert to Gertler: Modern British Art from Boxted House@Brighton Museum

Study from the Coutyard by Robert Bevan
This is an intriguing exhibition at Brighton Museum from the collection of Robert Alexander Bevan (known as Bobby to his friends) and his wife Natalie Bevan assembled at his Essex home. Bobby was the son of the artist Robert Polhill Bevan founder of the Camden Town Group in London (a British group of painters influenced by Impressionsim and Post-Impressiont painters such as Van Gogh and Gauguin, founded by Walter Sickert in 1911 and named after the seedy district of north London where Sickert had lived in the 1890s and again from 1907.) Bevan senior was also known as the painter of mauve horses. This exhibition shows a little of the type of styles that influenced these modern British artists in the early years of the Twentieth Century.

It is a very personal exhibition showing how the works were shown in Boxted House, which is interesting up to a point. There is an overdone quality to much of Bevan's work, still think Tate Britain has his best drawings.

Paintings by Walter Sickert, Mark Gertler and their associates may prove to be the biggest draw, but visitors should not neglect the collection’s fine works on paper, including powerful drawings by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and a Goya etching. Although Maggi Hambling remembered ‘the people and the gin more than the pictures’, this exhibition reinstates the art of Boxted House and the art of this time, to its rightful place.

This exhibition was originally shown at Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, via Gainsborough House in Sudbury. There are a number of exhibits here including postcards and letters from the trenches of 1915. The exhibition continues until 12th September 2010.

You may also wish to see the exhibition of Matthew Smith paintings at Victoria Gallery in Bath.

11 Aug 2010

Anish Kapoor returns to India with first major exhibition

London based artist Anish Kapoor, poses near one of his works as part of the exhibition 'My red homeland' at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Malaga. EPA/JESUS DOMINGUEZ.
Anish Kapoor is keen to claim following the announcement by the DCMS, that a new cultural agreement between Britain and India was signed during Prime Minister David Cameron's recent visit:

"While I am delighted the first major show of my work in India is going ahead, I feel I need to make it clear publicly that the planning of the show well pre-dates the election of the present Conservative government. We have in fact been working on this show for more than ten years."

Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Hunt in India last week to coincide with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 'Cultural Co-operation' between the UK Government and the Government of the Republic of India. The exhibition was announced by Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Hunt in India last week to coincide with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 'Cultural Co-operation' between the UK Government and the Government of the Republic of India.

The exhibition will be organised across two sites, the new galleries of the NGMA, New Delhi, and the Mehboob film studios, Bandra, Mumbai. This will be a major exhibition for Kapoor and nothing on this scale has been seen in India, it will feature a selection of sculptures and installations spanning the breadth of his career, from early pigment-based works of the 1980’s, to his most recent wax installations recently shown at the Royal Academy, which attracted over 275,000 visitors in less than three months, to become the most successful exhibition of a living artist ever held in London.

The exhibition in India is organised by the British Council, in association with the Lisson Gallery, see Kapoor's new works here Lisson Gallery London, the Indian Ministry of Culture and the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi. See review of Kapoor's Royal Academy Show at AbstractPaintingEngland

21 Mar 2010

Anni Albers
Anni Albers paintings and prints are at Alan Cristea Gallery in London, these are maze like patterns and eye popping geometric constallations that show she was a true original at the Bauhaus. There are a number of series on show across a long career in Europe and United States, helping to set up, with her husband the painter Josef Albers, after World War II, the Black Mountain College, that 'powerhaus' of avant-garde thought in art, music and performance that influenced the next generation of creatives emerging in the 1950's and 1960's.

'Orange Meander'
Paper 80.8 X 60.9 cm
Image 42.0 x 42.0 cm
Edition of 75

Josef Albers, Homage to the Square, Guarded, 1952
Oil on masonite. JAAF: 1976.1.1341. 60.96 x 60.96 cm (24 x 24 inches) ©2003 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

For Josef Albers also see the following exhibitions:

Utopia matters: from Brotherhoods to Bauhaus at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin. January 22, 2010 through April 11, 2010

Josef Albers: Innovation and Inspiration at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. February 11, 2010 through April 11, 2010

19 Mar 2010

I have just joined the Association of Art Historians

'The Association of Art Historians (AAH) represents the interests of those involved in all aspects of art history and visual culture, including art, design, architecture, film, photography, conservation and museum studies.'