Category: Reviews

The Bureau of the Centre for the Study of Surrealism and its Legacy

Mark Dion at the Whitechapel Gallery, London

For our modern age – prone to jump to the defence of science, of data-driven evidence – there is something unusually wistful about the art of Mark Dion….

Corner of the House (1922), Oil on canvas

David Milne at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Canadian artist David Milne was born in 1882. By all accounts he was a modest man with a leaning towards the austere. Raised in a log cabin…

Andreas Gursy, Montparnasse

Andreas Gursky

Gursky likes to print his images on very large scale paper. Think Monet’s water lily series at the Orangerie, Paris. So as you approach a work it fills your horizontal field of vision. As well as enveloping you, the technique also has the effect of encouraging you to forget about edges of the picture, to disregard what lies beyond, and to overlook the very deliberate cropping that Gursky undertakes.

Review of “Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France” at the Ashmolean

Modernism has a habit of returning, of seeming pertinent as a bearer of explanations, long after its paradigms have been eclipsed. Changes in artistic epoch are like the…

Review of ‘The Human Document: The Photography of Persuasion from 1930s America to Present Day’ at Mead Gallery, Coventry

There are few social-documentary photographs more well known, nor more heavily plundered for significance, than those of rural America from the era of the Great Depression. Black-and-white shots…

Review of Barbara Walker’s ‘Shock and Awe’ at mac Birmingham

In the victory parades in Paris that crowned the end of the Second World War, the Allied Nations agreed that Black soldiers – those mainly from the colonial…

Review of ‘Oppenheimer’ by Tom Morton-Smith, RSC, Swan Theatre

How do we depict the past? One way is to travel along the byways of hindsight, to remember with knowing sobriety the magnitude of some event and then…

Review of ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ by William Maxwell

In Virginia Woolf’s experimental novel The Waves, the wistful Bernard reflects “I have lost friends, some by death […] others through sheer inability to cross the street.” The…

Review of “BBC Four Goes Abstract: When Art Broke Free”

Does it matter if an abstract painting is hung the wrong way up? This question is not as facetious as it sounds. In one of the programmes under…

Review of ‘Candide’ Adapted by Mark Ravehill, RSC, Swan Theatre

Anyone who is familiar with Voltaire’s satirical classic Candide will recall the calamitous, if not frankly pernicious, series of trials and tribulations the eponymous hero undergoes as his…

Review of Marat/Sade at the RSC

In his 1938 book The Theatre and Its Double (Le Théâtre et son Double) , French dramatist and actor Antonin Artaurd proposed a theory known as “Theatre of…

Review of “False Warnings” by Rita Gabrowska, at Gallery 150

There was a time when abstract painting was all the rage. Perhaps never quite de rigueur, but in a more compelling way, it was the language of avant-garde…

Mischievous Folk: “What the folk say” at Compton Verney

Compton Verney has raided its own collection of folk art in an attempt to open up its collection to new and multiple interpretations. Artists and curators have been…

Review of public artwork: “Spring” by Oliver Barratt

Oliver Barratt’s sculpture, Spring, is a bright and fulsome tribute to the influence of water. Its signature is the uninterrupted line, which swirls and undulates in heavy blue…

Review of ‘Since I fell for you’ by Susan Collis at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

The events that happen inside buildings often leave behind marks, like a little scar on a wall where a ribbon of paint has been displaced by accident, or…