Florence and more Masaccios

Florence has so much renaissance art to offer the tourist. This morning we went to the Uffizi Gallery which must have more masterpieces per square metre than any other building I have ever been in… but more about that another time. The Santa Maria Del Carmine on the other side of the river was our…

Florence – Massacio’s Trinity

University staff have decided to go on strike so we have decided to skip Venice for a couple of days and see Florence. Have not been here for years because of all the low life but despite that you just have to stand in awe at the sites.  Santa Maria Novella is first port of…

November Painting of the Month

My Painting of the Month for November comes from the inspirational Indian  pavilion at the Venice Biennale. “Zameen”, 1955, a controversial frieze painting, several feet long, from 1955; it has been alternatively praised and vilified by critics over the years but has become an established icon of Indian Modern Art.  The theme is typical of twentieth…

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…

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…