sat 13/08/2022

painting

10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

“Is she at a pivotal point in her life but unable to pivot…?” Eve, the young heroine of Chloë Ashby’s dazzling debut novel, Wet Paint, asks this question standing in front of Édouard Manet’s painting "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère" (1882). Yet she...

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Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, Royal Academy review – a life lived in extremis

Francis Bacon Man and Beast fills most of the main galleries at the Royal Academy. Thankfully, five of the rooms are empty. The exhibition is such a dispiriting experience, I’d have been hollering like a howler monkey if there’d been any more. And...

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The Lost Leonardo review - an incredible tale as gripping as any thriller

It’s been described as “the most improbable story that has ever happened in the art market”, and The Lost Leonardo reveals every twist and turn of this extraordinary tale. In New Orleans in 2005, a badly-damaged painting (pictured below left)...

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Maylis de Kerangal: Painting Time review - safer in simulation

"Trompe-l’œil," explains the director of the Institut de Peinture in Brussels, “is the meeting of a painting and a gaze, conceived for a particular point of view, and defined by the effect it is supposed to produce”. In layman’s terms, it is the art...

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The Artist's Wife review - uninspired portrait of dementia in the Hamptons

“The only child I’ve ever had is you,” the artist’s wife (Lena Olin), spits at the artist, her considerably older husband (Bruce Dern), who retorts, “That was your goddamn choice so don’t blame it on me.”Although the setting – a wintery East Hampton...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Amina Cain on her first novel and her eternal fascination with suggestion

Amina Cain is a writer of near-naked spaces and roomy characters. Her debut collection of short fiction, I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues, 2009), located itself in the potential strangeness of everyday thoughts and experience. Her second, Creature (...

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Book extract: Nativity by Jean Frémon, with drawings by Louise Bourgeois

How should one paint the baby Jesus? This deceptively innocent question runs the length of Jean Frémon's Nativity, a fictional work that takes as its subject the first painter to represent the saviour of humankind without his swaddling clothes. The...

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Visual Arts Lockdown Special 4: half-way houses

With the first round of galleries opening their doors in June and a new round getting ready to open in July, we’ve a half-way home of a roundup this week. This month’s re-openings include the National Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Barbican, the...

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Visual Arts Lockdown Special 2: read, search, listen, create

Arguably one of the most poignant effects of the lockdown has been to simultaneously draw attention to the connections between the arts and the distinct ways they have evolved into their own forms. Sculpture, painting, textiles, performance art,...

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Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age, National Gallery review – beautifully observed vignettes

A young woman sits sewing (pictured below right: Young Woman Sewing,1655). She is totally immersed in her task, and our attention is similarly focused on her and every detail of her environment. The cool light pouring though the window illuminates...

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The Best Exhibitions in London

 Picasso and Paper, Royal Academy ★★★ A fascinating subject that proves too unwieldy for a single exhibition. Until 13 Apr Rembrandt's Light, Dulwich Picture Gallery ★★★★ A novel collaboration between curators and cinematographer Peter...

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Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

In one of Dora Maar’s best known images, a fashion photograph from 1935 (pictured below), a woman wearing a backless, sparkly evening gown appears to be making her way backstage through a proscenium’s drapes. The star of the show exits the limelight...

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