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Category: Art

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

I think that by now many of my FB friends and followers of this blog may well know that I spent a week in Palm Beach this January. I was very glad to get to know the work of the Norton Museum of Art and to deliver a lecture there as part of an exhibition exploring some of the aspects of the Second World War. As part of their wonderful hospitality I was invited  to the launch of an exhibition…

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Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

  Christ in the House of His Parents (‘The Carpenter’s Shop’) 1849-50 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Combining rebellion, beauty, scientific precision and imaginative grandeur, the Pre-Raphaelites constitute Britain’s first modern art movement. The exhibitionat the Tate  brings together over 150 works in different media, including painting, sculpture, photography and the applied arts, revealing the Pre-Raphaelites to be advanced in their approach to every genre.   Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, the…

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MICHELANGELO: The Art of Old Age

MICHELANGELO: The Art of Old Age

                     Did Michelangelo really believe that his life had been wasted because he failed to pursue a spiritual goal? Yes, he did believe that and wrote about in his journal in later life.  Nonetheless, his later works are an astounding example of what critics would later call the “late style” and “late freedom.” Here is  the Rondanini Pietà,a marble sculpture that Michelangelo worked on from the 1550s until the last days of his life, in 1564.     Henry Moore,…

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Jungle Queen II by Hew Locke

Jungle Queen II by Hew Locke

Hew Locke is a sculptor and contemporary British visual artist based in london. Locke uses a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, photography, relief, fabric, sculpture and casting, and makes extensive use of found objects and collage. Recurrent themes and imagery include visual expressions of power, trophies, globalization, movement of peoples, the creation of cultures, ships and boats, and packaging. This is all very clear in this sculpture as it contains cardboard, glue, mixed media, pom-poms, feather trim, toys…

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Chagall

Chagall

  chagall   donkey or cow, cockerel, horse, right down to the varnish on a violin; a man who sings, a lonely bird, a dancer floating with his wife; a couple, soaked in their own springtime; the gold of the grass, the leaden sky; between them, blue flames and the vitality of dew: the blood shines; the heart is a bell. a man and a woman, together, invent the mirror and, in the underground snow the vineyard’s riches paint a…

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Barnett Newman

Barnett Newman

One of the exciting things about travel is the discovery of new artists – Newmans effect on this tourist was electrifying – his use of primary colours  is vibrant and fascinating. Barnett Newman (January 29, 1905 – July 4, 1970) was an American artist. He is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionisn and one of the foremost of the color field painters.   Barnett Newman wrote catalogue forewords and reviews before having his first solo show…

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Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

  Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, known as Willie, was born in St Andrews, Fife, on 8 June 1912. As a child she showed very early signs of creative ability. Determining while at school that she wanted to be an artist, she set her sights on Edinburgh College of Art where, after some dispute with her father, she enrolled in 1931, and after periods of illness, from which she graduated with her diploma in 1937. At the suggestion of the College’s Principal Hubert…

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Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Clive Hicks-Jenkins was born in Newport in 1951 and educated in Theatre Studies at the Italia Conti School. He currently lives in mid Wales. His painting has been critically praised in The Independent, Modern Painters, Galleries and Art Review. Shelagh Hourahane, in Planet, has called him ‘an inspiring and masterly painter’, and Robert Macdonald described his work as, ‘One of the most powerful series of paintings and drawings produced in Wales in recent times’. He is an Honorary Fellow of…

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Compton Verney House

Compton Verney House

  Compton Verney House  is an 18th century country mansion at Compton Verney near Kineton in Warwickshire which has been converted into the Compton Verney Art Gallery. The building is a Grade I listed house built in 1714 by Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke. It was first extensively extended by George Verney, the 12th baron in the early 18th century and then remodelled and the interiors redesigned by Robert Adam for John Verney, the 14th baron, in the…

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Ruthin Craft Centre

Ruthin Craft Centre

The Arts Council of Wales Lottery funded transformation of Ruthin Craft Centre is now complete. This amazing re-development designed by Sergison Bates architects is located on the existing site in its own landscape and is a dynamic zinc and cast stone building with undulating roofs to echo the surrounding Clwydian hills. With three galleries, six artist studios, retail gallery, education and residency workshops, tourist information gateway and café with courtyard terrace.  

Misericords

Misericords

  A misericord (sometimes named mercy seat, like the Biblical object) is a small wooden shelf on the underside of a folding seat in a church, installed to provide a degree of comfort for a person who has to stand during long periods of prayer. Prayers in the early medieval church for the daily divine offices (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline) were said standing with uplifted hands. Those who were old or infirm could use crutches…

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Favourite galleries: Oriel Ynys Mon, Wales

Favourite galleries: Oriel Ynys Mon, Wales

Oriel Ynys Môn is a museum and arts centre located in Llangefni, Ynys Môn, Wales. A two-part centre, the History Gallery provides an insight into the island’s culture, history and environment. The Art Gallery has a changing programme of exhibitions, encompassing art, craft, drama, sculpture and social history. It also houses a series of permanent displays, including: the world’s largest collection of the works of local artist Sir Kyffin Williams. This is housed in a specialist collection named Oriel Kyffin…

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Henry Moore – Figure in a Shelter (1983)

Henry Moore – Figure in a Shelter (1983)

Moore’s Figure in a Shelter 1975 finds its origins in the Helmet Head series first produced in 1939-40. By making the central figure smaller, widening and dividing the space around that figure, and even eventually removing it entirely from its’ protective armour to produce Bronze Form 1985.

Henry Moore

Henry Moore

Perry Green is the name of Moore’s former estate, which includes the farmhouse home of Hoglands and garden, his studios, and less formal gardens and fields containing many of his larger sculptures. The grounds also feature the Sheep Field Barn gallery with changing exhibits of his work, and the Aisled Barn with a display of nine large tapestries based on his drawings. The Foundation’s headquarters are located on the grounds at Perry Green, and its collections of his work. The…

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Gauguin

Gauguin

I wrote earlier this week about the life of Paul Gauguin following a visit to the Tate to see Gauguin: Maker of Myth ( http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/gauguin/ ) Gauguin had been a stockbroker and a Sunday painter before taking up art full-time after an economic downturn in the early 1880s, as a result of the collapse of a French bank. He was largely self-taught, using the art he had collected when a stockbroker, including Pissarros and Cézannes, as a study aid. He was…

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Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Motivated by a visit to the Tate on Friday with my friends the Dwyers here a some reflections on the artist Gauguin – the first blog is some biography – we shall move onto his work later in the week. Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France to journalist Clovis Gauguin and Alina Maria Chazal, daughter of the half-Peruvian proto-socialist leader Flora Tristan, a feminist precursor. In 1851 the family left Paris for Peru, motivated by the political climate of…

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Sandra Blow

Sandra Blow

Sandra Blow (14 September 1925 – 22 August 2006)    Sandra Blow was born in London,  and studied at Saint Martins School of Art from 1941 to 1946, at the Royal Academy Schools from 1946 to 1947, and subsequently at the Academy of Fine Arts, Rome from 1947 to 1948. She travelled to Spain and France in the late 1940s, worked in Cornwall for a year from 1957 to 1958 and went on to teach at the Royal College of…

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The skill of Piper

The skill of Piper

This is a wonderful book – the first comprehensive account of the life and work of John Piper, including many of the overlooked tributaries into which his creativity overflowed. It contains in-depth research into all the major commissions within John Piper’s lengthy career, plus much new information on his work in print-making, stained glass, illustration, theatre design – and fireworks. In patricular it sensitively uncovers the life and work of Myfanwy Piper; her collaborations with the composers Benjamin Britten and…

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Georges Rouault Christ on the Cross

Georges Rouault Christ on the Cross

In one of Rouault’s crucifixion scenes, painted around 1920, the dark is one again a fundamental feature. The Crucifixion could almost be taking place at night. The sky is dark, the land is dark and the outline of the Cross is black. This serves to focus the eye of the viewer on the unearthly light of Christ’s body and the face of those by the Cross. The one shown here however, has streaks of light in the sky and all…

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Henry Moore

Henry Moore

Radical, experimental and avant-garde, Henry Moore (1898–1986) was one of Britain’s greatest artists. This  exhibition at Tate Britain takes a fresh look at his work and legacy, presenting over 150 stone sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes and drawings. Moore rebelled against his teachers’ traditional views of sculpture, instead taking inspiration from non-Western works he saw in museums. He pioneered carving directly from materials, evolving his signature abstract forms derived from the human body. This exhibition presents examples of the defining subjects of his…

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