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Past achievements, present challenges: women’s suffrage win marked by Tate
Feb05

Past achievements, present challenges: women’s suffrage win marked by Tate

Mancunian English artist Annie Swynnerton’s portrait of Millicent Fawcett has gone on display at Tate Britain, London, to coincide with the centenary 6 February of the Representation of the People Act which gave British women aged over 30 the right to vote. The centenary coincides with a period marked by striking contrasts and contradictions affecting women across continents. The singular honour accorded Annie Swynnerton’s work...

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Inside Out: Rachel Whiteread’s contemplations in concrete
Sep12

Inside Out: Rachel Whiteread’s contemplations in concrete

Imagine the uproar if Rachel Whiteread, the artist at the centre of Tate Modern’s major new exhibition, chose the inner offerings of a sex doll instead of the interior of a hot water bottle as the subject matter of her new art. Whatever the comparative comfort found in the two objects, Whiteread isn’t likely to execute such a piece any time soon. But every time Rachel Whiteread features in an exhibition somewhere,...

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Amidst a very British revolution, Tate stirs nostalgia (or not) for the USSR
May26

Amidst a very British revolution, Tate stirs nostalgia (or not) for the USSR

Britain is in the swing of a general election (8 June 2017) billed by some as a revolution, not only because of the contestants’ clashes over ideologically charged prescriptions to the country’s current ills but also due to a looming crisis with the European Union. In comes Tate with its timed intervention, albeit coincidental, with  the installation of Erik Bulatov’s monumental satirical steel sculpture Forward...

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Diversity is alive and well in London RAG artists’ show
Apr11

Diversity is alive and well in London RAG artists’ show

Refreshing departures are evident in the latest appearance on the London art scene of a selection of works by members of the British capital’s Riverside Artists Group. This west London clutch of artists exhibits once or twice a year in London and at least once a year in Spain, the latter feature a fruit of the artistic endeavours of a late member, José Suarez Varela, who passed in 2015. One of the early members of RAG, the much...

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Rauschenberg at Tate Modern:  A pointer to changing America
Nov26

Rauschenberg at Tate Modern: A pointer to changing America

Robert Rauschenberg at Tate Modern (1 December 2016-2 April 2017) is an acute and timely reminder of America as it was in the later half of the last century and how it is now witness to change without a precedent. Tate Modern’s major new exhibition is the first posthumous retrospective and the most comprehensive survey in 20 years of the work of Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), born Milton Ernest in Port Arthur, Texas. Organised...

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What’s there to celebrate: Caravaggio’s sumptuous legacy
Oct11

What’s there to celebrate: Caravaggio’s sumptuous legacy

The highs and lows of Caravaggio’s life are well known, notoriously so even, but his influence on the work of contemporary European artists, including those who emulated him without ever meeting him, has been less apparent. Beyond Caravaggio at the National Gallery, London, serves as a timely corrective and shines a welcome and indeed instructional light on the tremendous inspirational force that was Michelangelo Merisi da...

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Mayoral Barcelona springs a Dalí surprise
Aug16

Mayoral Barcelona springs a Dalí surprise

  A 1937 work by Salvador Dalí not seen in public for more than 25 years will be the star display at Barcelona’s Mayoral gallery from October 2015 to January next year. Anatomies is a painting Dalí (1904-1989) did in oil on cardboard stuck to a plank, 50 centimetres high and 64 centimetres across (pictured above). The gallery’s forthcoming exhibition, SALVADOR DALÍ: Master at metamorphosis, includes about 30 other...

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Book Review: Under the Guise of Spring: The Message Hidden in Botticelli’s Primavera
Jun10

Book Review: Under the Guise of Spring: The Message Hidden in Botticelli’s Primavera

Gabrielle Langdon reviews Gene Lane-Spollen’s Under the Guise of Spring: The Message Hidden in Botticelli’s Primavera. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 2014 | ISBN 9780856832963 | 207pp This careful, handsome study of Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera (c1480-85) will appeal to Renaissance scholars and especially to admirers of the artist’s exquisite masterwork, writes Gabrielle Langdon. Firstly, the humanistic culture that flourished...

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London Riverside Artists Group featured in two shows
Jun08

London Riverside Artists Group featured in two shows

London’s Riverside Artists Group features in two exhibitions, one in London and another in Madrid, in a juxtaposition that, somewhat coincidentally, raises important and pressing questions as to what it will be like for living contemporary artists exhibiting in mainland Europe when Britain leaves the European Union. If London does finally exit the EU community, including its single market, the impact of that departure is set to...

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AICA UK homage to Khaled al-Saad, killed defending Palmyra
Aug21

AICA UK homage to Khaled al-Saad, killed defending Palmyra

The British section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) paid homage to the late Khaled al-Asaad, the former head of antiquities in Palmyra, killed by the Daesh aka ISIL/ISIS terrorist franchise which is holding the territory in and around the ancient archaeological site. An AICA statement published 21 August 2015 said, “AICA UK joins with archaeologists, art historians and art specialists internationally in...

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Rough Music at Cass Sculpture
Aug11

Rough Music at Cass Sculpture

New sculptural works fired in a wood-burning outdoor kiln are the highlight of Rough Music (27 August – 8 November 2015) at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, Chichester, England. The exhibition title is a nod to an English folk practice in the 18th and 19th centuries. Individuals seen to have offended the community through some misdemeanour or other got subjected to public ridicule in rowdy and cacophonous performances outside...

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