Art / Exhibitions

Edvard Munch

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Preview of Edvard Munch by Himself, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), the Norwegian artist, is regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest painters. Edvard Munch by Himself opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in October and runs until December. It focuses on the artist's lesser-known self-portraits and will be the first time that such a large cross-section, from all stages of his career, has been brought together. Starting with the first self-portrait painted as a 17 year old student at the Royal School of Drawing, 'Kristiania', the exhibition concludes with the last works produced in Ekely in the 1940s.

Flower Power

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Review of 'Summer of Love - Art of the Psychedelic Era', Liverpool Tate

Summer of Love is, to quote the press release, 'a ground-breaking exhibition to reveal the unprecedented exchanges between contemporary art, popular culture, civil unrest and moral upheaval during the 1960s and early 1970s.' The exhibition 'reconstructs the original creative and utopian potential of psychedelic art and locates it within the wider cultural and political context of the period'.

Frida Kahlo: a Life

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There is much power and beauty in the work of Frida Kahlo, says Mike Gonzalez, who examines the life of this remarkable artist.

There are two houses in almost neighbouring streets in the Mexico City district of Coyoacan. One is spare and dark and surrounded by high walls; there is very little colour to break the monotony and its gate is usually locked. This was the house where Leon Trotsky lived and was murdered in 1940.

Meet the Neighbours

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Review of 'Küba' by Kutlug Ataman, The Sorting Office, London

With Küba, Kutlug Ataman has filmed a misrepresented or unrepresented group of people, living on the edge of Istanbul in a place called Küba. He invited these people to tell their stories and he gave them plenty of time to do it. He spent more than two years collecting the stories of this marginalised and diverse 'community'.

The Pivot of New Traditions

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Review of 'Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600', Royal Academy of Arts, London, 22 January-12 April

Despite there being over a billion practising Muslims across the globe and despite the vast array of Islamic art and architecture (Abbasid, Moorish and Mughal, to name just a few), the Royal Academy of Arts has not produced a largely Islamic exhibition since 1931. With this subject matter now being so topical it was only a matter of time before it followed the likes of the Courtauld and V&A in staging its very own Muslim blockbuster.

An African Anthology

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Review of 'Africa Remix', Hayward Gallery, London until 17 April

While Tony Blair vies with Gordon Brown for the title of saviour of Africa, this exhibition shows us Africa as it really is. It is 'the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe', the guide informs us, and 'rather than a comprehensive survey, the exhibition is an anthology'.

Incandescent Rage

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Review of 'Freedom Fries' by Steve Brodner, Fantagraphics $29.95 (available on-line for around £16)

The cartoons in this book cover American politics and politicians from Ronald Reagan to George W Bush, and none of them gets off lightly.

The pictures are mostly ink all over the place spitting bloody attacks on whoever he's drawing. There are also over-the-top caricatures. In the introduction he explains that the mainstream press didn't want to know about a lot of his cartoons - not much of a surprise.

Art Escapes the Gallery Walls

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Review of The 2004 Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London

The Turner Prize is a competition. It has a TV event to announce the result on 6 December, long before which bookmakers quote odds and the press declares its favourites with argument and passion.

But it is more than a media circus. It has a good history with quality past winners including Gillian Wearing, Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley. The Turner Prize has made the 'installation' commonplace, has led film into the art gallery, and has turned the art world sharply towards social themes.

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