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

Barbara Rae RA: Recent Paintings at Adam Gallery

There couldn’t have been a greyer day in May to be greeted with Barbara Rae’s paintings, which continue to serve as an antidote to grotty British weather. Despite picturing (sometimes in a very loose sense) France, Spain and Ireland with a vivacious palette of pure colours, these are not as we might expect, simply feel-good … Continue reading

Pollock and Klein: A Bigger Splash at Tate

What makes Pollock and Klein the heroes of painting after performance? Contemporary art came to do many things differently. Just one, was the manner in which painting re-aligned maker with product. Avant-garde art challenged capitalists’ claims to art as a commodity; and one way this was seen in the fifties, was Jackson Pollock’s refashioning of … Continue reading

Dan Witz: Prisoners 2012-13 at Lazarides Gallery

Dan Witz has been in the street art ‘business’ since street art began in the seventies – he’s a master of his genre. But, from that introduction, what you find at Lazarides (Rathbone Place) is more Old Master than you might expect. That is: finely layered oil paints that build up soft-to-the-touch illusionistic paintings. Subtle … Continue reading

The Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition 2012

It seems a daring thing to suggest an outcome to an open art exhibition before knowing what has been entered. I was unsure how the brief that curator-in-chief Tess Jaray RA had set for this year’s Summer Exhibition was going to implicate the success of this, the 244th’s show. Her request was that the art … 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

Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

Our eyes can get bored and our sense of the unusual can become lame when we look to a tradition so established within art: the portrait. Even with the less habitual nude (we see people more often clothed, than not) – our sensitivities can become tamed. What I believe Freud introduces is quite rare to … 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 ‘I Woz Ere’

George Shaw’s paintings of his childhood council-house-haunt are the talk of the art scene. This week it was announced Martin Boyce pipped him to the post, claiming the 2011 Turner Prize. When people hear of George Shaw’s paintings, many assume that his remarkably neat-around-the edges approach to the fraying and untidy suburbs will result in … 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