Art / Exhibitions

Who invented impressionism?

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Mass-produced prints of works by impressionist artists are so readily available that some people now see the art as bland with little to say about modern life. But when it was created it was seen as shocking and dangerously avant garde. The artists used experimental techniques and new media — such as ready mixed paint in tubes — bright colours, quick, obvious brush strokes and layers of texture.

Cornelia Parker

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

This exhibition is also the occasion of the reopening of Manchester’s Whitworth gallery following a major expansion and refurbishment. he gallery’s director Maria Balshaw is a fervent advocate of the public space, saying, “This is everybody’s art,” and referring in particular to the large local Muslim community.

Alasdair Gray: From the Personal to the Universal

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray is under-appreciated outside Scotland, although his novels, especially Lanark and Poor Things, have been deservedly and broadly praised. Even in Scotland no one loves Alasdair Gray like Glaswegians. After visiting this retrospective of his art it is easy to imagine that no one loves Glasgow like Alasdair Gray.

William Blake: Apprentice and Master

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 
William Blake

The poet and engraver William Blake was one of the great revolutionary artists. Some of his best works were inspired by the French Revolution. He courageously donned the famous symbol of liberty and equality — the “bonnet rougein”. In 1780 he took part in a riot in which the notorious Newgate Gaol was burnt to the ground and its prisoners freed. In 1803 he stood trial for sedition.

Throughout his working life he used all his talents to wage war on the institutions of the state and the church, which he passionately believed were instruments of repression and corruption.

Conscience and Conflict

Issue section: 
Author: 

Many will be familiar with writers such as George Orwell, who wrote about the Spanish Civil War. Less well known is the response of British visual artists. They are splendidly surveyed in this ground-breaking exhibition which marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

This multimedia show includes many fascinating paintings, sculpture, photography, posters, banners of International Brigade battalions and even billboards that encouraged people to contribute food supplies to Spain.

Anarchy & Beauty

Issue section: 
Author: 

At the centre of his understanding of art, William Morris saw an inseparable connection between the imagination of the worker and his or her labour.

His concept of art was not simply making art objects to place in galleries or hang on rich people’s walls, but the human labour involved in making all the objects of our lives. He argued ideas of beauty were integral to us as human beings. Art was a result of the pleasure gained in the process of making something beautiful.

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art

Issue section: 
Author: 
Woman with a Rake

Tate Modern, London, until 26 October
The curators at Tate Modern have assembled, quite simply, a magnificent exhibition. Kazimir Malevich was born near Kiev in 1879. He died in 1935 after being diagnosed with cancer while imprisoned in one of Stalin’s camps. Throughout his adult life he was a revolutionary artist, an innovator and teacher.

British Folk Art

Issue section: 
Author: 
British Folk Art

Tate Britain, London, until 31 August

Policing the borders of art is a tricky business. They’re porous, and they’re constantly shifting. What passes as “art” today may no longer pass tomorrow. It’s like nailing jelly to a tree.

This is not a question that torments most of us. But the movers and shakers in the art world are obsessed with it. Either they’ve got millions riding on their favourites or else they’ve erected palaces of high culture around them.

Digital Revolution

Issue section: 
Author: 
Digital Revolution

Barbican, London, until 14 September

Digital Revolution opens onto a darkened room lit by code that drops Matrix-style towards the floor, the flashing of video games and the blinking of computer screens. Clips of music repeat over and over, competing with the 8-bit bleeps and bursts from early video games. It’s immediately loud, exciting, daunting and disorientating.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Art / Exhibitions