Art and Culture

Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art

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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

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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

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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.

Mondrian and Colour

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Turner Contemporary, Margate. Until 21 September

Piet Mondrian declared that he was not interested in painting pictures, but that his art was about "seeking truth".

For him, this search came to mean reducing images of the things he saw around him to their most objective essence - to remove the subjective and thereby achieve clarity.

Mondrian's most famous works, the grids, use simple horizontal and vertical lines to separate the bright primary colours of red, yellow and blue to create a "universal harmony". It is easy to see the effect Mondrian's abstraction has had on areas of graphic design and architecture.

Matisse: The Cut-Outs

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Tate Modern, London, until 7 September

Shortly after Henri Matisse's death the writer and artist John Berger wrote a short illuminating essay on Matisse's work in which he remarked, "I can think of no modern artist with less interest in history or psychology." He was born in the year that the Cutty Sark was launched and died the year in which the first hydrogen bomb was tested.

Leon Kuhn (1954-2013)

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A life long revolutionary socialist Leon devoted his outstanding artistic skills to furthering the cause of the working class and oppressed people around the world. He he not only drew on the revolutionary photomontage of artists like of George Grozs, Hannah Hoch and John Heartfield, but he also advanced it as printing and copying techniques evolved.

The high price of oils

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The art market is awash with cash, and Qatar is now hoovering up classical and modern collections thanks to its oil and gas dollars. This puffed up market of speculators has distorted creativity, argues Ben Windsor.

Each year Art Review magazine compiles a list of the 100 most powerful people in the art world. This year, the highest ranked artist, Ai Weiwei, languishes at No 9. All places above him are taken by directors of public museums and private galleries (the trend setters of the art world) with one exception.

Art and the market: creativity for sale

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Modern art has always had a troubled relationship under capitalism, writes Noel Halifax. Art movements that express the urges of rebellion, find themselves consumed by capital.

Throughout his life the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky had an interest in art. He took part in heated debates after the 1917 Revolution in Russia over the nature of art, poetry, cinema and literature. Trotsky debated with the "Prolecult" movement about the meaning and use of art in the revolution.

Standing on the shoulders of jazz giants

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New Orleans is often regarded as the birthplace of jazz. Martin Smith spoke to jazz musician Christian Scott about growing up in the city, the devastation after Katrina and making music to move the listener.


A young 27 year old black man found himself driving alone through New Orleans on his way back from the Mardi Gras at around 2am one night. As he looked in his rear view mirror, he saw a car tailing him with its lights off. For eight blocks the blacked out car followed him. His life flashed before him: was it a gang out to rob him, or, even worse, a lynch mob?

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