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Wow, a giant!  Not quite.  Don’t be misled, those are actually very small houses…

Like doll’s houses?  Exactly like doll’s houses…  Collected by the British artist Rachel Whiteread over two decades and kept in her basement ever since, the doll’s houses now get their chance to be centre stage.

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I’m a little embarrassed by how few female artists this blog has featured in recent weeks, so here’s a Picture of the Week by arguably Britain’s greatest living artist.  No tokenism here though, this is stunning…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who? Bridget Riley

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To the best of my knowledge, this is only the second English language review of the Prado’s ambitious Goya in Times of War exhibition thus farAs such, I feel the weight of such an important duty rest heavily on my shoulders – I only hope I can do both you, my dear reader, and the exhibition justice.

 

Dos de Mayo

 

First and foremost, some (highly significant) context.  Madrid’s magnificent Prado gallery already houses the greatest Goya collection in the world, but this is its first retrospective proper in over a decade.  The occasion?  Nothing less than the 200-year anniversary of the most evocative date in Spanish history: the 2nd of May 1808

This famous uprising against French oppressors – not to mention the bloody revenge exacted the following day – retains legendary status for the Spanish people and inspired some of Goya’s greatest work.  However, as we shall come to see, our friend Goya was somewhat more equivocal in his treatment of the events than many of his compatriots.

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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 »

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 »

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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The very, very first in a regular series:

Who?  Charles Sheeler

What?  Ballardvale

Where?  Dulwich Picture Gallery

When?  On show as part of the small-but-fascinating Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s until 8 June 2008.

Why?  Because I took home a postcard of this having seen the exhibition recently and every time I’ve looked at it since the colours seem more perfect and the angles more dynamic.  Not a powerful picture as such, but an incredibly assured one. 

And an exhibition that is well worth seeing by the way, tracing America’s emergence as an ‘art power’, following the dramatic influence of the European avant garde, and ending up with New York effectively overtaking Paris.  A little extra exposition on the walls would not have been unwelcome though.

 

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