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…

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….

Piero di Cosimo – The Forest Fire

The gift or discovery of fire has fascinated all manner of prehistory, mythological and cultural investigation from the cave dwellers to Disney (Baloo the bear). And it is the subject of my Painting of the Month for August. The Ashmolean has a great collection of artefacts including some iconic Renaissance panel paintings. The Forest Fire…

Lanzarote – César Manrique

César Manrique, more than anyone else, is responsible for the low rise, consistently welcoming, settlements on Lanzarote. His influence as architect & politician is felt across the island; the low rise white plastered houses with green or blue window furniture are the norm. Born in Arricife in 1919, he studied architecture and art in New…

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…

Van Gogh at the Tate

(The) Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (1968) was one of the most influential albums of the 1960s. Released by the Scottish psychedelic folk rock band, The Incredible String Band, it’s title suggests the beauty of the afterlife. This concept may go somewhere to explaining the love affair the British have with Van Gogh. Van Gogh in Britain…

Hepworth – Artist in Society 1948-53

St Albans Town Hall, I have described in the past as the ugliest building in England. Maybe unfair but growing up and going to school there, seeing the decaying mock classical edifice on a daily basis informed my view. Can you imagine my delight now seeing it in its new form as twenty-first century Art…

Jeff Koons at Oxford

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, claims in its introduction, to be the world’s oldest purpose built public museum; founded in the world’s oldest University (in the English speaking world.) The initial collection was based on the curios assembled by the Tradescant  dynasty in Lambeth, in the seventeenth century. It was opened by Elias Ashmole in…

Edward Burne Jones

Tate membership brings many benefits and I am grateful to my family for buying me an annual card in a (not very) secret Santa draw last year. We made our first trip to London for a while to visit Tate Modern last week, to test the membership and view the retrospective of Sir Edward Burne…