Category: Exhibitions

Henry Moore goes to Russia

May 5 2011

Image of Henry Moore goes to Russia

Picture: Henry Moore Foundation

As part of the commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the Siege of Leningrad, the Hermitage Museum is putting on an exhibition of Henry Moore's 'shelter drawings', done in London during the Blitz. It will run from May 7th to August 28th. From the Henry Moore Foundation's press release:

The use of the Hermitage basements as shelters during the Siege adds an unusual poignancy to the display.  As well as five galleries of Moore drawings, one room will be dedicated to the drawings of Soviet architect Alexander Nikolsky. They record images of people sheltering in the basement during the bombardment.

During the Blitz, Henry Moore made numerous sketches and a series of worked-up drawings of people sheltering from the German bombing in the London Underground.  As evocations of suffering and endurance, these have atteined an almost mythic status in the artist's work, and were widely exhibited during and after World War Two.

Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists

May 4 2011

Image of Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists

Picture: Bowes Museum

Richard Dorment gives a thumbs up to the Bowes Museum's new exhibition. Closes 9th October.

Holburne to re-open soon

May 3 2011

Image of Holburne to re-open soon

Picture: The Guardian

The delightful Holburne Museum in Bath will re-open on May 14th after a £15m redevelopment. That's a great achievement in these austere times. More here.

Zoom in on Claude

May 3 2011

Image of Zoom in on Claude

The new Claude Lorrain exhibition at the Louvre (closes July 18th) has a very good website, where you can zoom in on some of Claude's best works in great detail. Well worth a click.

Where's Weiwei?

May 2 2011

Image of Where's Weiwei?

Picture: WNYC

With the artist absent having been detained by authorities in China, the unveiling of Ai Weiwei's first exhibition of public sculpture in New York, scheduled for Wednesday 3rd May, has been postponed. More here

Caravaggio in Kentucky

April 27 2011

Image of Caravaggio in Kentucky

Caravaggio's 1595 'The Fortune Teller' is to be loaned to the Speed Art Museum in Kentucky, from 18th May to 5th June. The painting is being lent by the Capitoline Museums in Rome. More here

The Leonardo loan...

April 21 2011

Image of The Leonardo loan...

...is definitely on. After months of indecision, Poland's ministry of culture has agreed that the picture can travel to London, Berlin and Madrid. Some conservationists had argued against the loan, but the picture's owner, Count Czartoryski, had appealed for it to go ahead. The picture has been in the possession of the Czartoryski family since the late 18th Century. 

Pastel exhibition at the Met

April 21 2011

Image of Pastel exhibition at the Met

Picture: Metropolitan Museum. Viscount Boyle by Rosalba

Here's a rarity - an exhibition of 18th Century pastels at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. The Met says:

Pastel Portraits: Images of 18th-Century Europe—on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning May 17, 2011—will feature about 40 pastels from the collections of the Metropolitan Museum and other museums, and from private collections in Boston and New York. At the core of the exhibition will be a group of French works, and the Italian, Swiss, German, and English schools will also represented.

Closes August 14th.

'Miro's Turds'

April 20 2011

Image of 'Miro's Turds'

Picture: Fundacio Joan Miro

If you thought my earlier post on Miro's Pubes was in bad taste, try Martin Gayford's entertaining review of Tate's new Miro exhibition, titled, 'Miro Tate Show Has Fanciful Blobs, Squiggles, Earthy Turds'. It begins:

There’s a certain amount of crap in the new exhibition, “Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape,” at Tate Modern in London.

That doesn’t prevent it from being a fine show, which not only contains many of the artist’s most celebrated works, but transforms your ideas about him.

Indeed, the crap is part of the point. It appears unforgettably in the title of the 1935 painting “Man and Woman in Front of a Pile of Excrement” [above]. As the critic Robert Hughes pointed out in his book “Barcelona,” that’s an extremely Catalan subject. Miro (1893-1983) was a most Catalan artist -- industrious and anarchic, mystical and earthy.

Does this painting 'accost' you?

April 20 2011

Image of Does this painting 'accost' you?

Picture: Robert Tong

Last week, Sylvia Goodman's nude painting, above, was removed from display in a civic centre in California, over fears that it 'created a hostile work environment'. One employee had complained 'about being accosted by the painting every day in the work environment'. 

After the predictable row, the picture is now back on display

Finding Van Dyck

April 20 2011

Image of Finding Van Dyck

Picture: Philip Mould Ltd

I try to avoid plugs on this website, but here's a shameless one; at Philip Mould Ltd this summer we'll be having a loan exhibition called 'Finding Van Dyck: newly discovered and rarely seen works by Van Dyck and his followers.' It runs from 15th June - 13th July.

In a nutshell, the exhibition will look at why paintings lose their attributions and identities, becoming in the process art history's orphans. We'll explain the steps involved in finding these lost pictures, and demonstrate how, for example, you can tell the difference between a Van Dyck and a copy. Above are four portraits of Van Dyck. Pat yourself on the back if you can guess which one is by him.

I'll post more details nearer the time. A catalogue will be available. 

New Fragonard Museum

April 19 2011

Image of New Fragonard Museum

Picture: Didier Rykner, La Tribune de L'Art

A new Musée devoted to Fragonard has opened in Grasse, France. The museum is funded by the family owners of Fragonard perfumes. More here. Museum website ici.  

Don't worry, it's only a replica

April 18 2011

Image of Don't worry, it's only a replica

Pictured is British Museum director Neil MacGregor handing over a replica of the Museum's Cyrus Cylinder to the National Museum of Iran. MacGregor was in Tehran at the closing ceremony of an exhibition devoted to the Cylinder, a 6th century BC Persian declaration praising the Achaemenid King, Cyrus the Great.

The loan had been the subject of some controversy, and was extended by three months. There had even been rumblings in Iran that the Cylinder should not be returned to the Britain. So it's a relief to read:

“Today, it is sad to see the Cyrus Cylinder departing from its homeland, but it should travel around the world, providing the opportunity for all nations to see it,” Presidential Office Chief of Staff Rahim-Mashaii said during the ceremony. 

More here

'He painted and painted and painted'

April 18 2011

Image of 'He painted and painted and painted'

Picture: Mercer Gallery, Harrogate

The first exhibition on John Atkinson Grimshaw for over thirty years has opened at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate. Says The Guardian:

Lionised by Victorian society for his delicate studies of twilit landscapes, and portrayed in studio photographs as an aesthetic dandy, the artist was in fact dogged by debt, an opulent lifestyle beyond his means, and the premature deaths of 10 of his 16 children.

"He painted, painted and painted," said Jane Sellars, curator of the Mercer gallery in Harrogate, where the exhibition has opened. "He painted to pay bills, painted keep his family together, and painted in lieu of rent on his palatial homes."

The exhibition closes 4th September 2011. More at the museum website here

A 'retro-academic soft-porn fantasy'

April 15 2011

Image of A 'retro-academic soft-porn fantasy'

Jonathan Jones has an interesting take on Holly, Louis Smith's head-turning picture shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award. Jones was one of the judges.

I wonder if the same assessment applies to Van Dyck's Cupid and Psyche, below? 

World first for Art History News!

April 14 2011

Image of World first for Art History News!

Picture: Me

I learnt at tonight's opening of Dutch Landscapes at the Queen's Gallery that from tomorrow visitors will, for the first time, be allowed to take photographs inside the gallery of any object they like. 

I asked if I could jump the deadline - and behold, above is the first photograph legitimately taken by a member of the public inside the Queen's Gallery, and published online for your viewing pleasure. The picture is the Royal Collection's Cupid and Pysche by Van Dyck. [More below]

Read More

BP Portrait award shortlist announced

April 13 2011

Image of BP Portrait award shortlist announced

Guess which one the media have picked up on? Yup - the one with the naked model handcuffed to a rock (aka, Holly). More here

Leonardo loan to London still at risk?

April 13 2011

Image of Leonardo loan to London still at risk?

Picture: AP

In Poland, some conservation experts are still advising against letting Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine travel to London for the National Gallery's Leonardo exhibition. They believe it is too fragile to be moved. They don't seem to be bothered about the flimsy case they carry it about it, however.

A final decision on whether it can also travel to Berlin and Madrid is expected soon. 

Rembrandt heads East

April 13 2011

Image of Rembrandt heads East

Picture: Hyde Collection

A Rembrandt rarely seen in Europe will be lent to the Louvre's forthcoming exhibition, Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus. Christ with Arms Folded belongs to the Hyde Collection in Glenns Falls, NY. The exhibition runs from 21.4.11 to 18.7.11.

Miro's Pubes

April 12 2011

Image of Miro's Pubes

Picture: Fondacio Joan Miro

If, like me, you're looking forward to the new Miro exhibition at Tate Modern (opens 14th April), then can I suggest you don't read the press reviews until after you've been? Since most of them adhere to the Guff Rule - the less paint on a canvas, the more guff a critic invents to describe it - you'll be robbed of the open mind necessary to appreciate Miro when you finally see the works yourselves. Check out Adrian Searle in The Guardian, describing Painting on White Background for the Cell of a Recluse, above:

There's nothing much to the three white canvases. No colour, no forms. Each enormous canvas is painted with a single black line over an unevenly primed white ground. You can tell where the slender brush has run out of paint, is recharged, then continues on its way with the same unknowable purpose, like the passage of an ant or a bird in flight, or the journey the eye makes along a horizon. Or like a long hair lost in the bedsheets, a memory of something or someone.

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