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London Art News previews art exhibitions in London and reports on anything of special interest in the visual arts worldwide, from ice sculpture to body painting.
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This is William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Dream of Spring (Rêve de printemps) from 1901. Didn't we just! The coldest spring for 50 years in the UK. Any excuse to show a Bouguereau, the supreme master of flesh tones. You can see the blue of veins and the red of arteries below the skin. Although extremely successful in his day, sadly he was thought too chocolate-boxy by the new art pundits, who preferred Impressionism. Nevertheless the Indianapolis Museum of Art is over the moon that collectors Melvin and Bren Simon have donated this 6ft x 4ft masterpiece to the museum in celebration of its 125th anniversary (CLICK). Now take a look at the hand I've enlarged. This seems far too clumsy and awkward for Bouguereau. Is it a repair or is he hinting at arthritis in Spring's later life?
CLICK). On 25 May the Museum of Childhood opened War Games (CLICK). And today the British Museum opened The art of influence: Asian Propaganda (CLICK). This exhibition covers the period 1900 to 1976, with unpublished and rarely seen posters, prints, drawings, money, medals, textiles and even teapots of political art from Asia. Shown is Nowhere to run to escape (Chay dău cho thóat) signed by unknown artist Ta. You'll find the exhibition in Room 91 until 1 September. Entry is free.
CLICK). What on earth they'll learn about art at the Venice Biennale is beyond me. How to con rich punters into buying tripe? At least Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller included representational murals in the British Pavilion; but his English Magic is a self-indulgent statement of his own obsessions. Shown is his A Good Day For Cyclists (2013) depicting a giant hen harrier snatching a range rover in its talons (CLICK). The money wasted on his obsessions could have gone to our museum guards.
CLICK). Blame Government and the Brit. Anti-art Establishment. They're prepared to waste millions of pounds commissioning Turner Prize winners to create facile rubbish, but refuse even to negotiate with the staff who guard our real treasures! (How much is the Venice Biennale costing us? CLICK). Cheeky postcard by Bamforth & Co (CLICK).
CLICK to see what you missed!) It reopens on 12 June with Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922. The "crisis of brilliance" part is a quote from their drawing teacher Henry Tonks, who taught all of them at the Slade School of Art in London between 1908 and 1912. Shown is Dora Carrington's sensitive drawing of Mark Gertlier (c. 1909-11). Over 70 works will explore the group's development, culminating in their paintings made during and after WW I. Entry costs £11 or £10 for silver surfers (CLICK).
CLICK). Part of the story is recounted by the protagonist to an Artificial Intelligence Freudian therapist program he nicknames Sigfrid von Shrink. Whenever I see the latest attempts at AI psychotherapy, I think of Gateway. Here is Elle Virtual Shrink, a computer-generated image created by the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). She will be a diagnostic and therapeutic tool for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder when she is ready to go solo (CLICK to read more).
Today the Cambridgeshire Constabulary renewed its appeal to find 18 priceless Chinese treasures stolen from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge more than a year ago. The burglars have been arrested, convicted and sent to prison, but the Museum's treasures from the Ming and Qing dynasties have never been recovered. Here are three of them. There is a reward (CLICK).
CLICK). Peace is un-Islamic? Sounds par for the course. I was surprised to find that a bunch of dangerous Islamic loonies has an official website. Home Secretary Theresa May is threatening us all with a snooper's charter. Why not block the websites of these nutters?
CLICK). It shows how toy manufacturers, the military and some political leaders have seen games as a way of preparing children to fight real wars. As an example, Joe Maneely's cover art for War Comic #27 (1954) depicts an heroic Yank putting the boot into a nasty Korean commie. That's the stuff to give the future troops! CLICK for a BBC video of five toys that "will never be sold again".
CLICK). This is the silliest art fair of them all, perfect for weirdos with no taste in art. An afternoon of fun and frolics with British artists for £5. Have your prints signed by someone infamous, maybe a Turner Prize winner. Gates open at noon and clang shut on the frolics at 6pm.
CLICK). Drawings by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are included, also Turner and Gwen John among the more moderns works. Admission prices are £5 for adults and £4 for silver surfers; under-18s are allowed in free.
CLICK). The photo shows teachers taking traumatized girls away from Briarwood Elementary School in south Oklahoma City. It's the most positive image I've seen of the disaster. They survived. Many didn't. My sympathies go out to all those who lost homes and loved ones. I checked on Texas and it is indeed in Tornado Alley and has more than twice the twisters of any other state, over 8,000 (CLICK)!
CLICK). It goes on to state that DMA is the first US museum to show this "international touring exhibition of more than 120 objects exploring the human form through exquisite works exclusively from the British Museum’s famed collection of Greek and Roman art". Treasures on display include marble and bronze sculptures, fine painted pottery, funerary monuments, terracotta and gold jewelry. Usually entry to DMA is free, but it will charge $16 for admission to this special exhibition. My advice to my American readers is to hotfoot it down to DMA. This is a golden opportunity.
CLICK). There should be a law against it. The good news is that his complete works are available to view on the Internet: CLICK.
CLICK). The Islamic lunatics who butchered him and charged the police probably hoped to wake up in Muslim heaven attended by 60 virgin girls. Instead they'll wake up to the NHS and a police guard! Two more Islamic nutters have been arrested for conspiracy to murder. Our politicians witter on with platitude after platitude, but have no idea how to deal with the menace of jihad. Making all our schools secular and removing religious instruction from the syllabus would be a start. The World Health Organisation recognises religiosity as a form of mental illness. All our children need to be protected from it.
CLICK for a BBC interview. The 245th RA Summer Exhibition limps along from 10 June to 18 August, admission £10 for adults, £9 for silver surfers (90%). Pensioners in London are expected to be rich (CLICK).
CLICK). So far the most popular modern "art" to have sailed into Hong Kong is Florentijn Hofman's inflatable Rubber Duck, which has been floating round Victoria Harbour and brought the tourists flocking to see it and buy little replicas (CLICK).
CLICK). The drawing comes up for sale during the inaugural London Art Week, which combines Master Paintings Week and Master Drawings and Sculpture Week, from 28 June to 5 July 2013. Specialist art dealers in St James and Mayfair will exhibit a wide range of artworks from the 1st century BC to the 20th century (CLICK). Have a gawk at treasures you can't afford.
CLICK). In case you haven't come across it before, here it is: Quinn's Michael Jackson after Michelangelo's David. I don't know whether this statue was commissioned by the warbler himself as part of his self-deluding ego trip or whether it arose from Quinn's sense of humour. Either way, I think the statue would have looked better among the garden gnomes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show than Quinn's jumbo orchid. Gold medal winner?
CLICK). This is the portrait that destroyed the art critic's marriage. While painting the portrait, posed during the friends' holiday in Scotland, Millais fell in love with Ruskin's teenage wife, Effie. The following year the marriage was annulled and a year later Millais and Effie wed. Oh, the scandal! But by today's standards it was all very prim and proper. The story has recently been turned into a movie starring Dakota Fanning (CLICK).
Yahoo is to buy social networking firm Tumblr for $1.1bn (CLICK). While the family of a deceased Hungarian art collector argued the toss about who was to get what, thieves stole 500 of the artworks in dispute (CLICK). The exhibition Houghton Revisited, which reinstates the art collection of Britain's first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great of Russia in 1779 to pay debts, opened on Friday, courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (CLICK, CLICK).
CLICK). In short, of all the museums in Britain, the Natural History Museum is the bees knees. It's been my favourite since I was boy. Shown is a Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) photographed in the Sensational Butterflies exhibition (CLICK).
CLICK for a Festival Programme of fun things to do.
CLICK. If you want to view the real thing, rather than photos, you'll find netsuke in The British Museum, the V&A Museum and the Horniman Museum - all in London - and The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Car boot sales? You'll be lucky.
CLICK). The show is open Mondays to Thursdays 9am-9pm, Fridays 9am-8.30pm and Saturdays 1-4pm. Founded by the Prince of Wales to promote the art of drawing, the School provides free tuition and mentoring for state-educated children aged 10–18 through its Young Artists Programme. Shown is Anita Iyawe's musical skeleton with cello and umbrella (don't ask). CLICK to see more. The School also runs a Postgraduate Programme and a Public Programme with courses for adults (CLICK).
CLICK). It shows the Queen and Greek goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. There can be no doubt that the miniature was inspired by this painting: Hans Eworth's Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses (1569) which is displayed in the new exhibition at The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace: In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. CLICK to see a larger graphic.
CLICK). Admission is free. The chronological order makes for some strange bedfellows, such as Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's charming A Favourite Custom (1909) with Walter Sickert’s gritty modernist junk La Hollandaise from 1906. They look like the work of different centuries. Around 500 artworks from the 1500s to the present day show the rise and fall of British art, with great masterworks leading to despicable modern tripe.
CLICK). I like a woman who reads books, especially when she has the most pattable bum since The Rokeby Venus (CLICK).
CLICK). Surrounding the Pop-up Garden are seating areas where tourists can indulge in lunch from the Design Museum Café. How long will summer last? is the big question.
CLICK). Haringey residents are hopping mad again (CLICK). Shame on the unscrupulous people involved in this case, the anonymous "collector" out to make a fast buck, Wood Green Investments, which must know who the greedy "collector" is, and The Sincura Group for putting Slave Labour up for sale to would-be VIPs.
CLICK). Above is a painting attributed to William Scrots, showing Elizabeth I when a Princess (c.1546) aged about 13. She is portrayed as a bookish and devout girl with bible in hand. The exhibition struts its stuff until 6 October, entry £9.50 for adults, £8.75 for silver surfers.
CLICK). No sense of humour! It's a gas.
CLICK). I wouldn't describe this crap as art, John. You've been duped!
CLICK). The exhibition covers his output from the 1950s to the 1980s. His eye for detail was incredible, as you can see from his Indian Onion above (1971) and the YouTube video below. The drawback is the price. You have to buy garden tickets at £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for silver surfers. Kids 16 and under are free. There is also a book: £20 paperback.
CLICK). It's always fascinating to see how plots of land can be turned into works of art. This year the University of Lincoln will be showing a garden designed to respond to Twitter activity. Digital Capabilities features a Perspex wall, the panels of which will open or close depending on the volume of tweets about the show: hashtag #rhschelsea (CLICK). If you can't be artistic, at least be creative. The show runs from 21 to 25 May.
CLICK). The inaugural SELF Prize, worth £20,000, was won by Czech artist Jan Mikulka with his Self Portrait (above). He beat 945 other paintings submitted by 635 artists (CLICK). The show runs until 24 May. Admission costs £3 or £2.50 for silver surfers.
CLICK). Where will the boy go?