Grasping after Perfection: the making of Rodin

Auguste Rodin The Three Shadows, before 1886, S.03970 If you were expecting to see Rodin as the maker of finished sculptural objects, a fabricator of masterpieces in bronze or marble, a maker whose works could easily be defined and wholly encompassed by the word MONUMENTALITY, this is the wrong exhibition for you. Auguste Rodin, Hanaka … Continue reading Grasping after Perfection: the making of Rodin

Georg Baselitz and the Graspability of Hands

Georg Baselitz has been much preoccupied by the subject of hands, old hands, recently. His own hands? The hands of others? The hands drawn and painted by artists of the past? An amalgam of all three perhaps. Hands show off and encapsulate extremities of emotion – think of the reaching index finger of God's hand … Continue reading Georg Baselitz and the Graspability of Hands

The Molten Force of the Sunflower****

‘I, indeed, before, others, have taken the sunflower,’ wrote Vincent Van Gogh to Paul Gauguin on 21 January 1889 with remarkable assurance for a man of such febrile temperament. Ever since, the whole world has inclined to agree with him. The name Van Gogh has become identified with his various painted representations of it. Without … Continue reading The Molten Force of the Sunflower****

The Challenge of Latex: the danger of gender-fluidity spillage **

Can you imagine a hotter topic for an inflated gallery show than gender fluidity? Apparently human beings are are at it everywhere these days, in the bedroom and the schoolroom, wondering who they are, and who they might yet become once they have shucked off the daily, flat-footed plod of their customary identities... Could there … Continue reading The Challenge of Latex: the danger of gender-fluidity spillage **

Wildness is all: yet another under-sung heroine… ***

Do you know the work of the painter Lee Krasner? Why not? Born in 1908 into a family of Russian Jewish émigrés in New York, she was an Abstract Expressionist. Remember them? In the 1950s, they snatched the crown of Art Capital of the World from Paris single-handed. Paris has never recovered. Who were the … Continue reading Wildness is all: yet another under-sung heroine… ***

Those Long Afternoons in Paris: the voyeur’s view of Edouard Vuillard ****

The sheer oddness of the angle of view is what appeals above all things else. Too pent? Too wonky? Too side-on? The painter Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) lived for much of his life in a variety of rather small apartments in Paris, hugger mugger with his mother and his sister... The Family After the Meal (1891), … Continue reading Those Long Afternoons in Paris: the voyeur’s view of Edouard Vuillard ****