The Risen Christ
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.
CLICK), the Musée d'Orsay in Paris (CLICK) and the ICA in London (CLICK). The Wallace Collection in London is next to pump up its courage with The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century Drawings from the Paris Academy, which opens on 24 October, admission free (CLICK). Around 40 drawings of male nudes from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries will be on loan from the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Many of the works on show are by artists represented in the Wallace Collection: Rigaud, Boucher, Nattier, Carle van Loo, Gros and Jean-Baptiste Isabey. The drawings on loan are all "académies" from life classes. Shown is Antoine-Jean Gros' Man standing, striking a bull (1790). There is no health warning on this exhibition. So you can take the kids.
CLICK). Red faces at the Royal Scottish Academy.
CLICK). Once again he failed to make the shortlist, because the judges aren't seeking great paintings or sculptures; they want to bamboozle us with rubbish they can foist on us as innovative art. In 2011 Raoof was awarded Artist of the Year by Artists & Illustrators magazine for his painting Roya (CLICK). That's a genuine accolade. He hails from Iran - a good country to get the hell out of - and lives in London. CLICK to visit his Facebook page.
CLICK). To visit AOL CLICK.
CLICK). Shrewd move.
CLICK). Van Gogh spent two years in Paris, mixing with the likes of Monet, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. Their radical ideas helped him to develop his own unique style. The exhibition includes paintings by his fellow artists he would have viewed, as well as his own paintings drawn from private collections and rarely seen. You need to reserve tickets to see the show, but they are free. Visit the website for details.
CLICK to learn more.
CLICK). A treasure trove of original covers by artists such as J.B. Priestley, Eric Fraser, Edward Ardizzone and Sir Peter Blake are displayed alongside original photography and artwork for the publication, which was at one time the top-selling magazine in the UK. Admission is free. CLICK for a BBC video.
CLICK). Stunning in their banality certainly. Liliane Lijn's Two Revolving Robotic Cones (2013) are about as good as it gets. This makes me think of a supine disabled person struggling to rise. There's a thumbs-up sign with an out-of-proportion 32ft thumb, a giant Moon Mask made of aluminium, a skeleton of a horse with a live stock market ticker tape on its leg, a copy of a natural rock formation and, finally, a sculpture which tries to combine all the statues in the square (CLICK). The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group will select two of these soulless gimmicks for full-sized creation next year.
CLICK). It comes with the usual health warning: "Please note that some of the pieces presented in the exhibition may be shocking to some visitors (particularly children)." Knowing kids, I reckon they'll just fall about laughing, having whispered a few rude comments. Shown is Camille Bellanger's La mort d'Abel (1875).
CLICK). It had been bought at auction by US pop singer Kelly Clarkson for £152,450. An anonymous donation of £100,000 got the public appeal off to a flying start. Jane Austen's House Museum has announced that its appeal has now raised the readies to save the ring for the nation (CLICK). This is a small private museum in the 17th-century house where Jane Austen lived for her last eight years. It's in the village of Chawton near Alton in Hampshire. The museum hopes to have the ring next year. CLICK for a BBC video.
CLICK)? Shame nobody told those Islamic lunatics of al-Shabab who attacked the Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing men, women and children without compunction. The latest count is at least 62 people dead, 175 people injured and about 60 people missing. On Monday morning gunfire and explosions were heard and a plume of black smoke rose from the mall, but by Monday evening there was still no final resolution to the siege. On Sunday, while BBC News Live repeated over and over again the footage taken on Saturday, PM David Cameron attempted to reassure any of us suffering from islamophobia. "These appalling terrorist attacks that take place where the perpetrators claim they do it in the name of a religion - they don't," he said. "They do it in the name of terror, violence and extremism and their warped view of the world. They don't represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world" (CLICK). That's a relief, David. But from where did they get "their warped view of the world"? And did you notice two suicide bombers in Peshawar, Pakistan, exploded their cars outside the city's historic All Saints Christian church after Sunday Mass? This Islamic atrocity was overshadowed by the massacre in Nairobi, but the death toll was even worse: 75 (CLICK). Nothing to do with religion, of course.
CLICK). Why on earth Threadneedle Investments should waste £30,000 on any of this pathetic tripe is beyond me. Advertising? Why demean your firm by associating its name with profligacy and failure?
CLICK). Shown here are the first four painted Gromits to be unveiled. Quick off the mark were Sir Paul Smith, Cath Kidston, Simon Tofield and Richard Williams. Having been spread around Bristol in July, the 5-feet-tall painted statues are to be auctioned to raise funds for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal in aid of the Bristol Children's Hospital. CLICK to view a video of the BBC's Jon Kay getting excited over the designer dogs.
CLICK. Too good to be a photo, I thought. So I tracked down the original.
CLICK). Scotland's most successful living artist has been rubbished by art critics for yonks, because he's too damned popular! How can the self-appointed arbiters of good taste approve of an artist whose prints used to sell in Woolworths? For a vitriolic tirade against Vettriano, CLICK to read The Guardian's impercipient critic. Then CLICK to read a BBC interview with Jack Vettriano. In answer to criticisms of sleaze, he says "Critics don't take sex seriously". They don't like black underwear and stocking tops. Too real. Rather than show one of his famous paintings, I've chosen one you may not have seen before: Blades (2009). Tickets cost £5 adults or £3 silver surfers.
CLICK). Winner of the Size Matters category and overall adult winner was Bence Mate with this terrific image A Giant Trophy for a Small Ant (2013). The exhibition is now open, included in the ticket price for London Zoo: £21.50 for adults and £20.00 for silver surfers (a diabolical 93%). Ouch!
CLICK). Here is a still from Matt Pyke's Presence (2013), a 24-minute digital show. Two dancers from the Benjamin Millepied LA Dance Project were fitted with motion sensors and filmed as they performed to music. The dancers were then given "digital costumes" and their movements transformed into pulsing lines as they danced again. I'm not sure I'd want to sit through 24 minutes of this, but the still is great. The show opens tomorrow.
Two and a half years ago Fulham FC chairman Mohammed Al Fayed unveiled this Statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage and threw a wobbler when somebody suggested the idea was "bizarre" (CLICK). Al Fayed sold the club to American Shahid Khan for £150m in July. The club has now decided to return the statue to Al Fayed (CLICK and if you get a black screen, scroll down; it's a BBC bug).
CLICK to read the rest of the blurb and to view more images.
CLICK; warning: you may find this is a very slow loader). My glorified thumbnail of the overall winner doesn't do it justice: Mark Gee's photo Guiding Light to the Stars (8 June 2013). What looks like a thundercloud is actually the Milky Way, taken from the coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The bright light is the Cape Palliser Lighthouse. Mark says, "I took a wide panorama made up of 20 individual images to get this shot. Stitching the images together was a challenge but the result was worth it!" True. CLICK for a BBC slide show produced by Paul Kerley, not one of his best: poorly chosen music and an irritating voiceover by a self-important female judge.
CLICK). I'm not sure what Antony Gormley is doing among these grizzled veterans. He mainly spreads casts of his naked self around the planet, on beaches, buildings and mountains. It's all rather boring and egotistical.
CLICK). The Contemporary Art Society has been raising funds to buy works for British galleries and museums since 1910. The other part of the title refers to the slogan emblazoned on the Manchester Art Gallery in 1824. A mixture of art, philanthropy and social class is the order of the day, with treasures from up North mixed with old photos of working-class life. Shown is L.S. Lowry's The Bandstand, Peel Park, Salford (1931). Watercolours by John Ruskin and works by William Holman Hunt, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Eric Gill are included in the mix. The show runs until 1 December, admission free.
CLICK). That threat having receded, the loan went ahead and Botticelli's wall-sized mural was unveiled on the due date 17 September. James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum, wittered some nonsense about the annunciation having taken place in Nazareth (CLICK). It's a myth, for goodness' sake!
CLICK). It was the same story when version IV was released, with fights in queues and homeward bound gamers being mugged. As you can see from the still shown here, the graphics are superb, but why queue for hours and run the gauntlet of muggers? It's all a far cry from Lemmings, the Dundee-based firm's first video game.
CLICK). Over 50 paintings of the British Aesthetic Movement, created during the reign of Queen Victoria, are on display until 20 January 2014. The artists include Lawrence Alma Tadema, Edward Burne Jones, John William Godward, Frederick Goodall, Arthur Hughes, Talbot Hughes, Frederic Leighton, Edwin Long, John Everett Millais, Albert Moore, Henry Payne, Charles Edward Perugini, Edward John Poynter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Emma Sandys, Simeon Solomon, John Strudwick, John William Waterhouse and William Clarke Wontner. Shown is Sir Edward John Poynter's Andromeda (1869) How did this lot end up in the hands of a collector in Mexico? Astute buying while Britain was ignoring its own heritage! This international show will visit Rome and Madrid before culminating its tour at the Leighton House Museum in London in autumn 2014. So we will have the chance to view some of our lost treasures.
CLICK). I've already previewed the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition (CLICK). Also in the Main Gallery and North Gallery are the entries shortlisted for the inaugural Derwent Art Prize for works created in pencil, sponsored by the Cumberland Pencil Company (CLICK). In The Threadneedle Space is Still Alive: Contemporary Still Life Painting by members of the Federation of British Artists. Shown is Lucy Mckie's excellent oil painting Unripe Figs. You can view this exhibition online: CLICK.
CLICK). This will be the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, spanning the period from 1800 to 2012. Top of the Aussie icons is Sidney Nolan's boring and incompetent Ned Kelly (1946). This is one of two hundred paintings, drawings, photographs and multimedia thingies to encompass the length and breadth of Australian art. What about the movies? The exhibits will have travelled halfway round the world from the National Gallery of Australia (CLICK), but I still think ticket prices of £14 adults and £13 silver surfers are OTT.
CLICK), but lacked a graphic of any item in the fair, so I had to settle for a photo from last year. Sunday's ArtDaily provided this miniature captioned "Plimer Pringle. Photo: Courtesy of Philip Mould", who will be displaying at least 50 miniatures at the fair (CLICK). Plimer Pringle? Sounds like a carton of crisps. Time to hit Google search! The artist was Andrew Plimer (British 1763-1837). The subject is General Sir William Henry Pringle, who was killed at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812. Bonhams auctioned this miniature for £8,640 including premium in 2005. More than 17,000 visitors from around the world attended last year's fair, despite the heavy admission price, because members of LAPADA (The Association of Art & Antique Dealers) know their onions and won't sell you a dud. All the items are vetted by experts. Prices start at £500.
CLICK) I came across his silverpoint drawing Self-portrait aged 13 (1484). Any 13-year-old who can create a drawing of this high quality must be considered a genuine prodigy. Modern usage has devalued the term, because any kid who can squeeze a tube of paint is likely to be hailed as a prodigy in the daft modern art market. Most of them produce rubbish. I've seen paintings by apes, elephants, piglets and even sea-lions that are better. (CLICK for Trotters Independent Painters.) The only contemporary artist who is truly a prodigy is the UK's Kieron Williamson. I've been following his career since he was 7 years old (CLICK).
CLICK). That's the day to go.
CLICK). Considering Amy's fame and popularity, I'm surprised the painting didn't fetch more. Had Amy not succumbed to alcohol in 2011, she would have turned 30 today.
CLICK for a larger picture.
CLICK to view Aardman Animations' Shaun The Sheep & The Flock Dance (2008). Then CLICK for the offical Shaun The Sheep website.
CLICK). Shown is architect Alex de Rijke's Endless Stair installation at Tate Modern, with members of the New Movement Collective flitting about it. St Paul's Cathedral is nicely framed in the background.
CLICK). Here is a second showing of his Shine A Light In The Darkness Of Your Soul. Since then, he has been warned that his must vacate his neon yard, God's Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, because the land has been sold to property developers. He has been based there for nearly 40 years and has no idea where he can go. He spoke to BBC News about his career (CLICK).
CLICK). This HANG THE RAPISTS drawing by Indian pavement artist Roop sums up the public mood. One of the original six accused died in police custody. Suicide? The juvenile found guilty was sentenced to the maximum three-year term in a reform facility. The big question is: Will these four death sentences make life any safer for women in India?
Improbable Research announced the winners of this year's Ig® Nobel Prize at a ceremony yesterday evening at Harvard University, for "Research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK" (CLICK). The Joint Prize in Biology and Astronomy went to a team which showed that lost dung beetles can navigate their way home by looking at the Milky Way. The Peace Prize went to the president of Belarus for making it illegal to applaud in public and to the Belarus State Police for arresting a one-armed man for applauding. The Public Health Prize went to a report on "Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam" (by miffed wives) that describes techniques for re-attachment, except in cases where the amputated penis has been partially eaten by a duck. What's worse, Thai wives or their ducks?
CLICK). I can't say I'm terribly impressed by this year's choices. My favourite is Spencer Murphy's photo of jockey Katie Walsh, because she's wearing no makeup and looks as though she's just done a job of work. The winners will be announced on the 12 November.
CLICK to view the shortlist and learn more.
CLICK for a BBC slide show.