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
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: Teeny Weeny Peeny: the phallus We're all adults here. Or at least I hope we are. So we should be able to face the following with some semblance of maturity: there a lot of dicks in art. Especially old art. So many gentlemen's members (very rarely are the members in question attached to ladies, … Continue reading Let’s Talk About Dicks, Baby
Featured Strings: If You Liked London Zoo, Animal Charm: Lovely Livestock From the earliest years of our lives and some of our earliest art as human beings (even perhaps before we were human beings), animals are everywhere in art. Before photography, art was the only way of providing any kind of accurate image of unknown … Continue reading The Animal Parade
Featured String: In the Beginning was The Word In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John:1-1. Writing has been with the human race since at least 5400 years ago, and it's cropped up independently in more than one culture. Apparently one thing our ancestors shared … Continue reading In the Beginning was the Word: The Written Word As Art