Art / Exhibitions

Partisan Poet

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Review of 'The Invasion Handbook', Tom Paulin, Faber and Faber £12.99

What caused the Second World War? What personal, political or intellectual flaws led Western leaders to create the conditions for the rise of fascism? Tom Paulin's new poem, 'The Invasion Handbook', explores these questions.

Anyone who has enjoyed Tom Paulin's appearances on 'Newsnight Review', his defence of the Bloody Sunday dramas and recent attacks on Israel, will not be surprised to learn that he is a partisan poet. He is on the side of the poor, the republicans, the socialists and the Jews.

A Mix of Old and New

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Review of Manchester Art Gallery, Mosely Street, Manchester

The Manchester Art Gallery has recently re-opened after a £35 million refit. The neo-classical section has now been expanded to almost twice its original size. The gallery has a number of permanent exhibitions with themed 'stories' and displays which highlight how historic and contemporary art and design has been woven into the fabric of the city. Works by LS Lowry and Adolphe Valette are complemented alongside works by artists and designers working in the city today.

Much to Console

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Review of exhibition 'Game On' at the Barbican, until 15 September and transfers to the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, in October

The 'Game On' exhibition, an exploration of the culture and history of videogames, is very timely. It comes at the start of a new wave of consolidation in the games console industry. Microsoft's X-Box and Nintendo's Game Cube have just been launched in Britain, where they will be pitched against Sony's PlayStation 2.

The Best Brand Around

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Review of Artists Against the War

Artists Against The War (AATW), is a loose collective of artists, producers, theatre, film and video makers who first met in October 2001 as a direct response to the bombing of Afghanistan. Our aim was to create artful protest against the inhumanity of war and international acts of state-controlled terror.

Top of the Pops?

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John Molyneux reviews the new Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern.

In 1963 the Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein painted 'Whaam!' It was a huge blow-up of a comic book image depicting a US fighter jet destroying an enemy plane at the press of a button. Nearly 30 years later, in the run-up to the Gulf War, 'Socialist Review' put this picture on the front cover with the caption 'Stop Bush's Mad War'. Similarly, in 1962 Andy Warhol produced his 'Marilyn Diptych', with its rows of yellow-haired Marilyns, and 36 years later the 'International Socialism Journal' referenced Warhol on its cover with rows of yellow-haired Karl Marxes.

When the Rhythm is Right

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Review of exhibition 'Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation' at the Hayward Gallery, London

It is a joy to step in from a grey London to the warm North African colours and playful lines of Swiss artist Paul Klee. Klee (1879-1940) spent most of his adult life in Germany, where his career culminated in 1921 when he became master of arts at the famous Bauhaus school. From the beginning, the Bauhaus was an institution based on radical views of art and its role in society. Klee left shortly before the Nazis closed it down.

All Power to the Imagination

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Review of exhibition 'Paris, Capital of the Arts 1900-1968' at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

Art in the 20th century is too often made to seem obscure and difficult, but this exhibition is about as accessible and exciting as it gets. Partly that's because it is linked to the development of a great city, so there's an inbuilt stress on history in the exhibition. But it also seems that the art industry has sensed growing interest in radical, even anti-capitalist, ideas. Paris is presented as a centre of subversion as well as culture.

Whiteread's Engaging Spaces

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Review of Rachel Whiteread Exhibition

I met a friend outside the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Edinburgh's Gallery of Modern Art who said he had come out with a feeling of disappointment. In a strange way, it struck me that perhaps that was quite an appropriate response. After all, Whiteread's extraordinary sculptures are all about absence and departure. So it's logical to feel a sort of nostalgia when you look at her work

The Transformation Problem

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Review of Tracy Emin's exhibition 'Telling Tales' at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool

If you like to laugh with your art rather than at it, take a trip to the newly opened Telling Tales exhibition at Liverpool's Tate Gallery. It's worth it for the two Tracey Emin exhibits alone. Until this, I'd heard of her brilliance, her anger and her controversy. But I had no idea just how truly funny she is.

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