4 x 4 at Stephen Friedman Gallery

The Stephen Friedman Gallery is for this exhibition, a gallery of four rooms. Each one of these rooms is home to a movement in Modernism – the first is a haven for Minimalism, the second for Geometric Abstraction, the third a den for female Pop Art and the last a refuge for Neo-conceptualism. 4 x … Continue reading

New Art for a New Age

Now, can I first say, it’s not that I desire to play off two [wonderful] Midlands exhibitions against each other to the detriment of one. But, when two exhibitions crop in just six months, exploring a similar area of art history, comparison seems only natural. I thoroughly enjoyed Tate-touring exhibition ‘The Indiscipline of Painting’ (at … Continue reading

The Indiscipline of Painting at The Mead Gallery

The Indiscipline of Painting is a telling title. It tells how this period of art, the abstraction of the 1960s onwards, proposes a playful alternative to the discipline, or tradition, of painting for hundreds of years before. And like any young teen acting up, it’s wonderfully, but harmlessly cheeky. You can feel the adolescence of … Continue reading

George Shaw and Graham Sutherland – in light of An Unfinished World

I am like a whimpering lovesick puppy at the moment – I follow 45 year-old George Shaw everywhere he goes. First it was a short journey to Coventry, to see his painting. Next it was to Oxford because he had curated an exhibition held at Modern Art Gallery. With each step, the direct imprint of … Continue reading

2012

What I’m eagerly anticipating in 2012: David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture Royal Academy, 21 January-9 April If we want to honour the English, we must honour Hockney, and rightly at the Royal Academy. The title refers to the expanses of land the artist had dealt with in his paintings from over 50 years. The … Continue reading

Gerhard Richter: Panorama

There is but one thing for which German Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) is known – the daze of his sentimental portraits, the shaking up of a photographic image – the blur given to formal representation, as can be seen in ‘Ema’, ‘Betty’ and the ‘Reader’. The blurring of representation would be an ideal title for … Continue reading

Rothko In Britain

Period after period of art history are being exalted again in the contemporary exhibition scene. In an orderly fashion they line up, the first decided by where intrigue is currently seen to fester. The recent wave of fascination appears to be in Abstract Expressionism, and has been determined almost undoubtedly by this generation of artists departing. … Continue reading

Degas: Mainstream Mover

There is still a large part of this population, who look to art to be lovely, pleasant and (worse of all) nice. Thus to so many Degas is an easy favourite. I thought (until today) I was one of the masses (the masses queuing eager-eyed in the first week of the Degas and the Ballet … Continue reading

An Arcadian Modernist

              This is no radical statement: on surface appearances there is no correlation between Nicholas Poussin – the 17th century classicist, and Cy Twombly – the 20th century abstract expressionist. Poussin created the rules, which to him were righteous, rigid and robust, while Twombly consistently broke them, favouring a … Continue reading

Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape, at the Tate

I gulped entering the exhibition – Miro was described as “the most surreal of us all” by the very founder of Surrealism, Andre Breton – and I thought, oh dear, I don’t like surrealism all that much and nervously turned to the back of my booklet to discover there was thirteen rooms filled with the … Continue reading