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Ernst1

Who? Max Ernst.

What? Erm, untitled?  This is just (just!) a single page from Ernst’s collage-tastic, surreal novel Une Semaine de Bonte (or, for us monolinguists, A Week of Kindness).

Where? Available at all good bookshops… Read the rest of this entry »

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There are unique difficulties involved in coming face-to-face with one of the most significant paintings the world has ever seen.  As an art lover in Madrid this is a problem you’re going to face on a regular basis, but I still haven’t come up with a decent solution.  After all, when you’re gaping open-mouthed at the greatest painting of the 20th Century, no amount of looking is ever really going to be enough… Read the rest of this entry »

 

Mexico 1968

Who?  Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, Eduardo Terrazas, and Lance Wyman

What?  Mexico 1968 Olympics Poster

Where?  The V&A Museum of Childhood

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An entertaining story here about how some well-meaning Victorians unwittingly misled millions of people for nigh-on 150 years:

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Introducing the first in an occasional series drawing your attention to some of the most interesting merchandise available from the gift shops of our galleries and museums…

William Morris bottle

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The Ambassadors

Who?  Hans Holbein the Younger

What?  Portrait of Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve.  More commonly known as The Ambassadors.

Where?  The National Gallery, London

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Every so often the art world sneaks out advance warning of an exciting new exhibition on its way to us.  Today was one of those days, with London’s National Gallery releasing details of its fantastic-sounding Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian. 

 

Moroni\'s The Tailor

 

 

 

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There is perhaps just one of the many ‘achievements’ of Tony Blair’s New Labour administration that has proved uncontroversial and universally popular.  It also happens to be the only one that directly relates to this blog: the 2001 decision to abolish entry fees to a number of the UK’s major museums and art galleries.

How wonderful then to see the Times living up to its reputation and asking for us plebs to be charged again to ‘encourage quality’ in a recent article their web editors have signposted under “Intellect R.I.P.”:

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I ventured out of my artistic comfort zone this week to visit the new exhibition of John Currin paintings at Sadie Coles HQ.  Located in the part of London where you get looked down upon if you’re only driving a Rolls Royce, this is the sort of small private gallery where you have to ring a bell and then await judgment on your worthiness or otherwise for entry.    (I snuck in behind someone much cooler and much richer-looking than I.)  It goes without saying that the air of exclusivity I find so unsettling in such places is also a vital ingredient in the seduction of those with the heavier wallets and shiner credit cards.

Currin’s work has intrigued me since I came across it in Matt Collings’s This is Modern Art some years ago.  His eerie juxtaposition of fleshy, painterly nudes and their grotesque, disproportionate bodies were greater than the sum of their parts, at least in their capacity to remain memorable long after viewing.  From interviews, Currin doesn’t necessarily come across as much of a thinker, so I suspect that the spotlight he shone on media misogynism and female body dysmorphia may have been unintentional (he just likes breasts), but it’s there all the same.  Having not seen his work in the flesh before, the new exhibition certainly sounded worth a visit. 

(Note: don’t click to read more if you’re likely to be easily offended…)

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