Gunpowder Art in Oxford

The Ashmolean, Is the oldest museum in the world, as we keep reminding ourselves, but at the same time putting on some great cutting edge free exhibitions from time to time. The current example is a terrific display of gunpowder art – yes gunpowder art. Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957) is known for his…

Blake at the Tate Britain

Relevance is the key to great art. If painting is not relevant in its day then it is pointless. But when that relevance transgresses the ages it is even more valuable to us.  William Blake is one of those greats whose message is as relevant today as it was 250 years ago. The Tate Britain…

Venice Biennale – Jon Rafman

May You Live in interesting Times. The strap line for the Venice Biennale 2019 is very relevant. We do live in interesting times but the contemporary art on show may suggest a different strap – May you live in Challenging times. While in Venice we have seen a lot of art here placed in contradictory…

Gely Korzhev in Venice

The Venice Biennale is currently in full swing and the city is also full of modern and contemporary exhibitions. My first post from Venice is from a very strong exhibition of the work of Gely Korzhev (1925-2012). Situated in a sumptuous space at Ca’ Foscari palace, part of the University here. Gely Korzhev first exhibited…

Zuloaga – Bilbao

Bilbao has transformed over the last thirty years from a city dependent on trade and heavy industry to become a modern cultural capital. We visited the Guggenheim, Frank Gehry’s masterpiece, last time here and decided on the Museo de la Belles Artes this time. There was an exhibition of the Spanish artist, Ignacio Zuloaga, not…

Narbonne

Narbonne is originally a Gallo Roman town on the canal de La Robine but also has a significant historic medieval and baroque centre. The cathedral of St Just et St Pasteur is particularly interesting comprising a choir, sanctuary, and apse ambulatory only. The gothic choir is stunning though and at over 130 feet high matches…

Keith Haring – Liverpool

London buses. There used to be an expression along the lines of “you wait ages for a red bus and then two come along together. I feel a little like that with “stick man” art. Having enjoyed the A R Penck show at The Ashmolean, my next trip was to Tate Liverpool for Keith Haring….

A R Penck – Oxford

The Ashmolean in Oxford occasionally holds free small exhibitions, which are always worth a visit. On my recent visit (The Forest Fire) I caught up with A R Penck. The exhibition ‘I Think in Pictures’ is the first UK show of this distinctive, energetic artist for nearly thirty years. A R Penck is, of course,…

Barbican – Lee Krasner

The Barbican Art Gallery in East London, I always think, is a difficult place to find, with all the other events taking place at the Arts Centre. And when inside I always find it odd that you start the tour at a point half way round the gallery. That having been said the exhibitions are…

Claudette Johnson – Oxford

Oxford Modern Art has a reputation for bringing the very best of the modern to this city of medieval tradition. Very often this is in the form of installation and modern media but occasionally there is an exhibition of paintings which really opens up the space. I have seen Graham Sutherland and an amazing exhibition…