Art & Architecture

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Nought to Sixty, ICA, London (Rated 3/ 5 )

Established in 1947 by a collective of artists, poets and writers to champion contemporary culture, the ICA has been a haven for the avant-garde, showing experimental work by numerous artists, performers and writers, and engendering debates on a range of contemporary topics.

Inside Reviews

Whitechapel At War: Isaac Rosenberg And His Circle, Ben Uri Gallery, London (Rated 3/ 5 )

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The poet Isaac Rosenberg is the least well known of the handful of great poets – Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas were the others – who not only helped us to feel the full, protracted horror of the First World War, but whose work helped to define the very nature of war poetry itself.

You Write The Reviews: Cut-Outs and Cut-Ups, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (Rated 4/ 5 )

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The visual work of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and William Burroughs (1914-1997) is explored in this fascinating joint exhibition. At first, it seemed an arbitrary pairing of two figures whose work I assumed would have little in common; but, after two visits, I've come around to the idea that there is something in this unusual union after all.

Preview: More Questions Than Answers, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Is it art or is it horticulture? The first ever art installation at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, More Questions than Answers, is a distinct hybrid. White roses form a body with red petals representing a bloodstain. Enclosed by a black wall, the figure lies on a black slab against a green backdrop of duckweed, the entrance to the underworld.

Claerwen James, Flowers Central, London (Rated 4/ 5 )

Monday, 19 May 2008

Being a famous man's daughter can never be easy; particularly if you are clever, creative and your own person, as is the case with the painter Claerwen James, daughter of the TV personality, wit and wry cultural observer, Clive James. By his own admission James was not exactly a hands-on father. Losing his own father in a plane crash, while the latter was on his way home from the war, left its emotional scars and that loss coloured his relationship with his own children.

Jan Fabre: L'Ange de la métamorphose, The Louvre, Paris
Figuration Narrative: Paris 1960-72, Grand Palais, Paris

Sunday, 18 May 2008

As a rule, interpolating contemporary artworks into Old Master collections strikes me as a bad idea, the outcome suggesting either that classicism needs justifying by its modernity or vice versa.

Loris Gréaud, ICA, London (Rated 3/ 5 )

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Loris Gréaud's work is full of Gallic chic, a sort of stylish marriage between Eurotrash and Roland Barthes. Depending on your taste and point of view, it is either a web of complex ideas that fuses different fields of activity and knowledge, oriented around processes rather than finished forms; or it is a load of French intellectual cobblers.

Mario Rossi Seascapes, Village Underground, London (Rated 2/ 5 )

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

To paint the sea is never just to paint the sea. How could it be? The sea is protean, ever shape-shifting, ever posing – and proposing – new threats, or new and unpredictable visual delights. To paint the sea is to paint it in relation to the land, the sky, the circumambient world; above all, it is to paint the sea in relation to man himself because, being the great brush-wielder, man calls the shots.

Preview: Daphne Todd, Messum's Cork Street, London

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Spike Milligan, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Tom Stoppard and the man who emptied her cesspit for 20 years are among those who have sat for the award-winning figurative artist and portraitist Daphne Todd.

Unpopular Culture, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Don't be deceived by the idyllic location of Grayson Perry's mesmerising exhibition. As visitors stroll towards the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, they can relish its streamlined Art Deco façade overlooking a seductive stretch of Sussex seafront. But once inside, Perry's haunted imagination offers a far more unsettling vision of Britain.

Faux feminisim: Is comtemporary art paying too much attention to work that should be ignored?

Thursday, 8 May 2008

"When I am an old woman," begins one of the nation's favourite poems, "I shall wear purple/ with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me." And it goes on in that vein, listing an assortment of charming but harmless eccentricities, quite as if they were the last word in senior troublemaking. But how about this: when I am an old woman, I shall stand stark naked, legs akimbo, with a desperate look and a pistol in each hand, one pointed at the viewer, the other at my own head.

More reviews:

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