It's a pretty tall ask to fit a few thousand years of use and relevance, plus all the geographic and social connections of an ancient monument into one exhibition, even if the exhibition is at the British Museum's newest, largest, and fairly flexible exhibition space. So, how did they do? In a pleasing act of … Continue reading Ancient History Repeating: The World of Stonehenge
When visiting a retrospective of "Britain's" best-selling painter (as ever, the British are very good at claiming for their own successful Irishmen), it's best to take someone who is if not an expert on the man himself then at least interested enough to have read multiple biographies. Fortunately, I am in possession of just such … Continue reading Beastly, violent, but restrained: Francis Bacon at the RA
Auguste Rodin, in the Tate Modern's The Making of Rodin exhibition, is presented as a barrier-breaker himself, which I'm not wholly convinced by.
With the order to close museums and galleries as well as other public spaces, a little like a 16th-century closing of the playhouses against the plague which saw theatrical companies tour the provinces to maintain their revenue streams, what is there for an arts fan to do? Well... You could watch some design and architecture … Continue reading Art in the time of plague
The day before I went to the Barbican Gallery's "Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography" exhibition, I underwent the strenuous business of finding Westminster City Hall--not easy, when Google Maps insists this is either on South Bank by Westminster Bridge, where the ignoble "Shrek Adventure" is, or in Marylebone, rather than where it actually is, at 64 … Continue reading Delicate, emotional, and complex: Masculinity for the 21st Century?
Or rather, how not to make an exhibition of one painting, particularly an exhibition with a £20 entry fee, of a painting which is usually available to view for free in the gallery, and is not a loan or recent acquisition. The Virgin on the Rocks: And Nothing But The exhibition space is arranged around a … Continue reading The Virgin on the Rocks: How To Make An Exhibition Of One Painting
There is a well-known Soviet-era joke about newspapers. In Moscow, there were two papers. Pravda (Truth), and Izvestia (News). And as the saying goes: if it's in Izvestia it's not Truth, and if it's in Pravda, it's not News. Like most jokes, it reveals something about the culture it comes from, in this case a … Continue reading Opinion: Cui Bono? What can we infer from press ownership, and who owns Britain’s news?
Featured strings: Just Go Nuts, Overlooked Treasures This is my last blog entry for Artstring; I've had the most tremendous time exploring the collections at the National Gallery, Science Museum and British Museum in greater depth than I had previously, and I sincerely hope, as I mentioned in my introductory post that other museums, London and worldwide, follow suit … Continue reading Finishing on a high: personal faves and highlights
Featured string: Standing on the shoulders of giants: science in art We don't tend to memorialise scientists in art any more despite still producing great thinkers, any more than we really publicly memorialise military leaders in quite the same way; new statues rising in cities or atriums of public buildings tend to be either corporate … Continue reading Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Science in Art
Featured string: The Splendour of the Ordinary Spending a lot of time with museum collections and history, as I'm lucky enough to be allowed to, means grappling with the surprising timeline of inventions and "normalisations" (when using stuff that's been invented becomes normal--this can sometimes be a large gap. For example, the first video call was … Continue reading The Splendour of the Ordinary