Saturday, 19 June 2010

Pierino da Vinci

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export ban on this bronze relief attributed to Leonardo da Vinci's nephew Pierino da Vinci (1529-1553). It depicts Ugolino And His Sons (c. 1549) imprisoned in a tower to starve to death, a tragic scene from Dante's Inferno. That's Famine with the bare bum flying overhead, not an angel. The value of the piece is £10m, but public bodies can make a lower bid thanks to a mutually beneficial tax deduction. If you have the readies and are prepared to shell out, click the title link to visit the website of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) whose Reviewing Committee recommended this bronze be kept in the UK.

Friday, 18 June 2010

World Cup Louts

If you're as sick of the World Cup as I am, spare a thought for those wives who get beaten up whenever England lets its fans down. Home Office research conducted during the last World Cup showed a link between high levels of alcohol consumption during emotionally charged matches and an increase in domestic violence. They'll be a few fat lips tonight! London's Metropolitan Police is highlighting the problem with advertisements such as this: "Dial 999 if you hear domestic violence. You make the call, we'll make it stop". If only Tesco and other supermarkets heeded the Home Office findings and stopped piling the booze high and selling it on special offer in the run-up to the World Cup; but the profit motive beats social responsibility every time.

Sugar Tate

The London Festival of Architecture kicks off tomorrow and runs until 4 July. This is a city-wide celebration of architecture with a host of events (title link). As part of the festival, NEO Bankside commissioned Brendan Jamison to create models of NEO Bankside Pavilion and Tate Modern made entirely from sugar cubes. Over 80,000 sugar cubes were used to create the sculptures to a scale of 100:1. You can see them during the weekend of 3/4 July (CLICK). Apparently these models glisten and look more attractive than this photo of them.

Friday, 11 June 2010

RA Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition 2010 opens its doors to the public on Monday 14 June and totters on until 22 August. A total of 1,267 exhibits selected from 11,000 entries will be on display. The star of the show is this King Kong style Silver Streak made entirely from wire coat hangers by David Mach. If you fancy it in your hall, it will set you back £265,000. Admission is a bit cheaper: adults £8, silver surfers £7 (an astronomical 87.5%). CLICK for a BBC News slide show of the exhibition or click the title link to visit the RA website and book tickets.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Comedy Bomb

Fuzz in riot gear were about to break down the door of London gallery Mauger Modern Art when the manager arrived in the nick of time. This stupid art installation thingy in the window had caused a member of the public to alert the constabulary. It's a "comedy bomb" by Paul McGowan. Some joke! The fuzz demanded the manager put a notice in the window to say it's a piece of art. Some art!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Comedy Art Forum

To coincide with Tate Britain's Rude Britannia: British Comic Art exhibition (next post down) comedian Harry Hill will present Comedy Art Forum in the Tate Britain Auditorium on Thursday 15 July, from 19.00 to 22.30 hours ... er ... 7pm to ... er ... 10.30pm. "Expect gags, art and knitted animals" says the blurb. As you can see by his cartoon, Harry has some serious things to say about contemporary art. Tickets are £15 or £13 for silver surfers (86%). Click the title link to book or phone 020 7887 8888 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 020 7887 8888 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Rude Britannia 2

I previewed Rude Britannia: British Comic Art back in March (CLICK). It opens on Wednesday and continues until 5 September. Tickets cost £10 or £8.50 for silver surfers (85%)! The works displayed range from William Hogath's engravings, through Donald McGill’s smutty seaside postcards to present-day comedy sculptures. Above is Gerald Scarfe's view of Margaret Thatcher Ptorydactyl (1989). To the side is Sarah Lucas's Chicken Knickers (1997). Some of the works aren't suitable for kiddies or those of a nervous disposition. The exhibition occupies six rooms:
Room 1 British Comic Art
Room 2 Social Satire and the Grotesque
Room 3 Politics
Room 4 The Bawdy
Room 5 The Worship of Bacchus
Room 6 The Absurd.
Update: CLICK for a BBC News video of the exhibition.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Art Car Boot Fair

Billy Childish, Sir Peter Blake and friends will be attending the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair at The Old Truman Brewery, 146 Brick Lane, London, next Sunday 6 June from 12 noon to 6pm. Over 60 pitches are promised. Tickets cost £4. Click the title link for details.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Renaissance Drawings

A major exhibition Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings continues at the British Museum, London, until 25 July. In collaboration with the Uffizi in Florence, this exhibition traces the increasing importance of drawing in 15th-century Italy, with 100 drawings by Italian Renaissance artists including Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo. This beauty is Andrea del Verrocchio's Head of a woman (c. 1475) captured in charcoal heightened with lead white. There is an admission charge (title link).

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris - A Life in Art opened today at the Whitewall Galleries, Notting Hill, London. It's on for only 3 days, ending Saturday. So, if you're a fan of the Aussie entertainer, click the title link for details.