Friday, 29 May 2015

The Alice Look

The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with The Alice Look, a display that charts the way Lewis Carroll's heroine has changed in appearance across the years and across the world. Shown is C F A Voysey's Roller-printed cotton chintz Alice in Wonderland from 1920. The display runs until 1 November. Entry is free (CLICK).

Fitzwilliam Landscapes

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge opens two interesting art exhibitions in June. WATERCOLOUR - Elements of nature opens in the Mellon Gallery on 16 June. These exhibits are from the Fitzwilliam's extensive collection of watercolours, rarely exhibited and in superb condition. There will be landscapes by John Constable, Peter de Wint, John Sell Cotman, Samuel Palmer, J.M. Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro and Paul Nash (CLICK). Ruskin’s Turners opens in the Shiba Gallery on 16 June. This comprises 25 watercolours by J.M.W. Turner donated to the Fitzwilliam by John Ruskin (CLICK). Both exhibitions are free.

WWW Inventor

The World Wide Web seems to have been with us forever. It revolutionised human communications and permeates so many aspects of our lives, from news broadcasts to dating websites. But it was invented in 1989 and its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, is only 60 years old. The National Portrait Gallery in London decided to celebrate Sir Tim's 60th birthday with a most unusual commission: its first ever painted bronze sculpture. Shown is Sean Henry's two-thirds life-sized sculpture of Sir Tim Berners-Lee (2015) on a tall plinth. Today it went on public display in Room 40 of the National Portrait Gallery, admission free. CLICK for more information.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Women Artists

The Society of Women Artists (SWA) is holding its 154th annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London from 5 to 13 June. You'll find the usual eclectic mix. Shown is Doreen Langhorn's Cooling Off (2015). Admission costs £3. CLICK for the Mall Galleries. CLICK for SWA.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Square Mile

This summer Sculpture in the City returns to inflict contemporary art on public spaces in and around the Square Mile, which is run by the City of London Corporation. This is the show's 5th year (CLICK). Shown is Damien Hirst's Charity (2002-2003), a giant copy of an old charity appeal box.

David Cameron touch-up

Now that it's stuck with him for the next five years, Madame Tussauds in London has touched up its waxwork of British Prime Minister David Cameron: a few more wrinkles, a few more grey hairs. Shown is stylist Clare Galvin poised to brush the PM's jacket (CLICK).

Up Periscope at BM

The British Museum is obviously determined to demonstrate that it isn't stuck in the past. On Thursday 28 May at 6.30pm it presents a live broadcast: Discover the naked truth behind Greek art with Dan Snow. The historian takes viewers on a guided tour of the museum's acclaimed exhibition Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art. The bad news is that you need Twitter's Periscope app and an Apple smartphone (CLICK). However, a recording should be available on TouTube (CLICK). Shown is Myron's Discobolus.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Vivid Sydney

Recognize it? Difficult, I must admit. It's the famous Sydney Opera House illuminated for Vivid Sydney, an annual festival of light, music and ideas, which runs from 22 May to 8 June. Universal Everything designed the light show for the Opera House (CLICK).

Star Trek China

If you think you recognize the starship USS Enterprise from the sci-fi franchise Star Trek, you're right. Liu Dejian, the Chinese millionaire owner of gaming giant NetDragon Websoft is such a huge fan of the show that he had his company headquarters in Fuzhou, in eastern China's Fujian province, designed to emulate the USS Enterprise. It cost an estimated £100 million to build and looks the perfect venue for a trekkies convention. It is believed he picked up the Star Trek bug while studying in the USA (CLICK).

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Line

Why do the powers-that-be insist on inflicting crap sculptures on public spaces? The latest load of rubbish is The Line, a series of dreadful sculptures on a new walk linking The O2 and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. You need only glance at the list of "sculptors" below to imagine how bad it will be. Shown is Damien Hirst's Sensation, now on Cody Dock (CLICK).
Work No.700 by Martin Creed
DNA DL90 by Abigail Fallis
Sensation by Damien Hirst
Liberty Grip by Gary Hume
Vulcan by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi
Network by Thomas J Price
Consolidator #654321 by Sterling Ruby
Here by Thomson & Craighead
Untitled (The Thing) by Piotr Uklanski

Turner’s Wessex

The Salisbury Museum in Wiltshire recently opened its major summer exhibition: Turner’s Wessex: Architecture and Ambition. This is the first ever exhibition devoted to J M W Turner’s drawings and paintings of Salisbury Cathedral, the city and its surroundings. Shown is Turner's watercolour Stonehenge, Wiltshire (ca 1827-28) painted for Picturesque Views in England and Wales. Alongside its own collection, the Museum has gathered extensive loans from art galleries and museums across the UK. Much of it focuses on Turner's work as a young man and shows his relationships with two rich patrons. Admission for adults is an annual fee of £8 (CLICK).

Sunday, 24 May 2015

£20 Note Artist

Hove you nominated an artist for the new £20 banknote? Here's my nomination: William Hogarth Self-portrait (1735). The painting shows him wearing his best wig. Hogarth was an English painter, engraver, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, campaigner against animal cruelty, moral crusader and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. The closing date for nominations is 19 July. Remember, he or she must be British and dead. To make your nomination CLICK.

Skeleton Woman

This is the weirdest painting I've seen all week: Skeleton Woman (2015) by Jenny Morgan. It's part of her second solo show at Driscoll Babcock Galleries in New York, USA, entitled All We Have is Now (CLICK). Jenny is obviously into death in a big way. Bright colours give it a cheerful feel.

Russian Sale

This charming double Portrait of the Artist's Mother and Sister (1905) by Isaak Brodsky comes up for grabs in MacDougall's Russian Art Auction in London on 3 June with an estimated price tag of £500,000 to £700,000 (CLICK). MacDougall's specializes in Russian art. Oligarchs in the old metrop. take note.