Art / Exhibitions

Picasso and Modern British Art

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Tate Britain, London

This new exhibition at Tate Britain aims to consider the relationship between Picasso and British art. Picasso is displayed alongside prominent British artists spanning three generations who either worked with Picasso or were influenced by his later work.

Guernica, Picasso's famous painting created in response to the bombing of Guernica in the Basque Country by German and Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil War, memorably shows the pain and suffering that modern war creates, especially that of civilians.

Migrations

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Tate Britain

Migrations is an exhibition that demonstrates the profound effect migration has had in shaping the course of British art history, showing the changing styles, trends and mediums. Paintings, video and sculpture are placed side by side to give a broad vision of this history. One of the first images in the exhibition is An English Family at Tea (Joseph van Aken, circa 1720). The faces of the subjects stare vacantly - sitters in an age when art was commissioned by the rich, to be enjoyed by them alone.

Social Fabric

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Iniva, Rivington Place

It is somehow fitting, given the subject matter of this very good exhibition, that it is housed in Rivington Place which is located in the heart of the now fashionable and expensive lanes of Shoreditch in East London, once home to numerous factories, workshops, breweries and working class houses that supplied much of the capital's furniture and building trades.

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

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Royal Academy of Arts

This is an exhibition full of surprises. Before arriving at the exhibition I was full of questions. Hockney's latest paintings are of landscapes. Could I be excited by pictures of trees? Could Hockney, now 75 years old, still paint with the energy and humour he did in his younger days? Could Yorkshire really provide the painter with the inspiration that the US had?

Magnetised Space

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Serpentine Gallery

Lygia Pape's (1927–2004) work developed in the vortex of change and confrontation that Brazil has witnessed since 1945. The country has seen economic expansion on a massive scale; millions of people have been sucked into rapidly expanding urban centres. Immense wells of poverty and destitution exist next to the obscene caprice and rapacious greed of the ruling elites.

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

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The British Museum until 19 February

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, Grayson Perry's new exhibition, is a combination of new works alongside selected pieces from all parts of the British Museum's collection. It is a celebration of decorative art and of all those makers, builders and unnamed individuals who have made beautiful objects throughout history.

All Work and Low Pay

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Using collections from the Women's Library and strengthened by material from the TUC, this exhibition attempts to cover 150 years of work performed by women and, in part, their resistance.

Its message - that women's work is consistently undervalued and underpaid - is well communicated throughout but it plays it safe in too many places to be particularly challenging.

The first few cases address the variety of work that women do or have done in recent history, and run from teaching and nursing to laundry and admin. A glass case covering the whole of one wall displays objects representing this whole range of work, although with so little space for the exhibition and so much to cover, having the objects on their own with such little information seems a waste.

Magnum Contact Sheets Thames and Hudson

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One of the starting points for this publication of the Magnum photo-collective's impressive collection of contact sheets and the accompanying exhibition is that this once intrinsic part of photographic work has now been "rendered obsolete by digital photography". However, the book shows examples of contact sheets produced as recently as 2010.

Gerhard Richter: Panorama

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There is a major retrospective exhibition of Gerhard Richter's work now showing at the Tate Modern gallery in London. Richter's artworks pose difficult questions and are stimulating, disturbing and beautiful. They also, I think, help us frame our modern experience in surprising ways.

There is a lot of hype about Richter and his art. Some critics regard him as the greatest living painter and his artworks sell for millions at auction. There is scant regard for historical context in the Tate's presentation. Richter himself says of his paintings, "I don't even like showing them any more. The press love them. Dreadful!" However, don't let this put you off.

Private Eye: the First 50 Years

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An exhibition celebrating 50 years of Private Eye has just opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Te original artwork for over 120 of their funniest cartoons - by artists such as Gerald Scarfe, Ralph Steadman, Wille Rushton, Barry Fantoni, and Michael Heath - is on show alongside a life-sized cutout of Tony Blair, a stuffed dog, a flying Robert Maxwell and a scattering of inflatable bananas once sold to fundraise for one of the many libel lawsuits issued against the Eye.

Since its first publication in 1961, the Eye has lambasted and lampooned a variety of public figures, most notably billionaire businessman James Goldsmith and the newspaper magnate and non-swimmer Robert Maxwell. Goldsmith issued more than 100 writs against the Eye in 1976 alone.

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