Saturday, 12 May 2018

London Photography Round-Up, May 2018

London Photography Round-Up
May 2018

Published in the May 2018 issue of The Burlington Magazine

Monday, 7 May 2018

Review of three exhibitions of work by Cedric Morris

Cedric Morris at Gainsborough’s House
Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury
10 February – 17 June 2018

Cedric Morris: Artist Plantsman
The Garden Museum, London
18 April – 22 July 2018

Cedric Morris: Beyond the Garden Wall
Philip Mould & Company, London
18 April – 22 July 2018

I have to confess that, until recently, I had not heard the name Cedric Morris. I even missed the hype surrounding Philip Mould’s Fake or Fortune television programme about the artist and Lucian Freud in 2016 and the ensuing leap in prices being fetched at auction from c£3,500 in 2014 to almost £57,000 in 2017 – an increase of almost 1,500%. But now, all of a sudden, there are three exhibitions celebrating the work – portraits, landscapes and flower paintings – of this 20th-century British painter, founder (together with his partner and fellow painter Arthur Lett-Haines) of the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, tutor of (among many other big names) Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling, and prize-winning iris-breeder, who described himself as an “artist-plantsman” and is accordingly thus remembered on his humble tombstone in the village churchyard at Hadleigh in Suffolk. It is not an anniversary year, and, seemingly, the exhibition at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury (near to Benton End in Hadleigh, where Morris and Lett-Haines lived out their final four decades) has no connection to the two others (both in London, one at Philip Mould & Company, the other at the Garden Museum, but also sponsored by Mould). Nevertheless, taken as a trio, these individually small showcases offer a wonderful insight into Morris’s life and work and, hopefully, will go some way towards restoring his somewhat waned reputation.

Read the full review here

Monday, 23 April 2018

Review of Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
14 February – 10 June 2018

If one had to pull out the key themes or threads running through the work of the German expressionist painter and printmaker Emil Nolde (1867-1956), they would certainly include flowers and gardens, dancers and cabaret singers, races and types, religious imagery, and then, and perhaps overarchingly, colour and light. “Colour is strength, strength is life,” he is known to have said, and he certainly used colour as the primary vehicle for expressing himself and bringing his canvases and pages vibrantly to life. So much so, in fact, that entering the first room of the National Gallery of Ireland’s retrospective, which draws its title from this quote, the paintings, set against dark blue (and later red) walls, seem positively to glow, as if lit from within. “Every colour harbours its own soul, delighting or disgusting or stimulating me,” Nolde further wrote. “Yellow can depict happiness and also pain. Red can mean fire, blood or roses; blue can mean silver, the sky or a storm.”

Read the full review here

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Meet the Collectors: Jim Ede (Kettle's Yard, Cambridge)

Meet the Collectors: Jim Ede (Kettle's Yard, Cambridge)

Published in the spring issue of Art Quarterly

Interview: Chiharu Shiota

Interview with Chiharu Shiota

Published in the spring issue of Art Quarterly

Review of Designing English: Graphics on the Medieval Page at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

Review of Designing English: Graphics on the Medieval Page at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

Published in the spring 2018 issue of Art Quarterly

Book Review: Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter

Book Review: Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter

Published in the spring 2018 issue of Art Quarterly

Preview: The Secret Life of Scissors at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London

Preview: The Secret Life of Scissors at the Fashion and Textile Museum

Published in the spring 2018 issue of Art Quarterly

Friday, 13 April 2018

Interview with Miguel Chevalier

Interview with Miguel Chevalier

Miguel Chevalier: Ubiquity 1
The Mayor Gallery, London 
12 April – 1 June 2018

Miguel Chevalier: Ubiquity 2
Wilmotte Gallery at Lichfield Studios, London
13 April – 15 June 2018

Miguel Chevalier (b1959, Mexico City) is a true pioneer of computer art. He has been using computer science as a means of expression in the field of visual arts since 1978, when, as a student, he managed to negotiate out-of-hours access to use the rather sizeable machines at the Optics Centre at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. In 1983, he spent some time in the new digital department at the Pratt Institute in New York, before returning to Paris to continue his experimentation and, ultimately, win the support of some key curators and critics, who enabled him to show and develop his work.

Chevalier sees his digital and virtual compositions as very much a continuation of art history, throughout which new young generations of artists have sought to experiment and push the boundaries of the possible. More recently, he has begun to create real, physical objects, using techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing to work backwards from his virtual imaginings. Simultaneously, using touchpads and VR, he creates interactive works that invite viewers to traverse the boundaries of reality, entering a virtual world.

A longstanding interest of Chevalier’s is the development of cities and urban planning. For a double exhibition across London’s Mayor Gallery and Wilmotte Gallery, he is expanding his Méta-cities project to create an immense interactive installation in the latter architectural space and a more domestic representation of the same ideas in the Mayfair space, exploring the many potential scales and instantiations of a digital work. 

Studio International visited Chevalier in his Paris studio to discuss his career, his commitment to the digital as a “very open tool”, and his interest in making the real virtual and the virtual real.

Watch this film interview here

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Review of Marino Marini: Visual Passions at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Marino Marini: Visual Passions
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
27 January – 1 May 2018

Marino Marini (1901-80) is largely synonymous with equestrian sculpture, his depictions of horse and rider having developed, from their first appearance in 1936, to reflect the artist’s changing sociopolitical and philosophical views, as well as his existential anxieties, and epitomised by The Angel of the City (1948), standing proud, horse’s neck and rider’s limbs (all five of them) erect, outside the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on Venice’s Grand Canal. However, as shown by this touring retrospective, which opened last autumn at the Palazzo Fabroni in Pistoia (the Tuscan city where Marini was born) before moving, appropriately to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni), his legacy is far greater than just this. With more than 50 of his works on display, the exhibition has been cleverly and informatively curated so as to place Marini’s work within the wider art-historical context, ranging from early Etruscan sculpture, through 15th-century Florentine works, to Auguste Rodin and even Henry Moore. Each room juxtaposes works by Marini with works by his contemporaries, or those who influenced him, highlighting the development of his thought and practice.

Read the full review here