Watts: Portraits - Fame & Beauty in Victorian Society
National Portrait Gallery, London
straddling two worlds here where there's a gap between the apparent
hierarchical one of the Victorians, and the modern world of the in-depth
celebrity portrait, which reveals all. Yet Watts is able to perform
this balancing act adroitly. Watts shows us, well, what's what.
Robert Frank at Tate Modern, London
the chronological order of the images allows even the most ignorant
viewer to acknowledge the gradual changes in Frank's work, it may not
do justice for the artist himself, leaving the viewer frustrated as
the images become more self-indulgent.
at the V&A, London
have black styles been adopted - albeit rather more sloppily- by white
working-class youth? Is it because black British style is perceived
to have more strongly-defined sex-roles - and particularly a tougher
masculinity - than what is on offer from white post-feminist middle-class
John and Augustus John
at Tate Britain, London
both got their feet in the door of artistic noteworthiness just before
it was slammed against their chosen styles. Gwen went for simplicity
and remained with it. Augustus - after giftedly dabbling with Impressionism
- adopted what we might call his bombastic official portrait style.
at Gimpel Fils, London
critique is peculiarly lifeless. The paintings show no trace of human
complexity or passion, of the kind that we are used to seeing in anti-war
and the Sixties: This Was Tomorrow
at Tate Britain, London
Tony Blair recently reminded us, the fallout from the Sixties is still
with us. Many of the social currents that the various works of art in
this exhibition symbolise have yet to exhaust their flow.
Hupka's Photographs of 'La Pietà'
at the Braccio di Carlo Magno, the Vatican
is easy to get caught up in the wonder of this magnificent piece of
art from angles heretofore unavailable. We see this tremendous sculpture
from every conceivable perspective that Hupka's lens could capture.
at the Chisenhale Gallery, London
posits Western man as merely the consumer of science, utilising technological
advancement for his own limited purposes - in the home, for entertainment,
for communication - without actually comprehending how these innovations
at Tate Modern, London
Hopper's art is different: it's really discomfiting stuff - at least,
for persons of a certain disposition. And its very setting within normality
- its seeming peacefulness - is what gives it such a sharp edge.
Deco Icon: Tamara de Lempicka
at the Royal Academy, London
Lempicka's exile seems over. There is wide disenchantment with Modernism.
People realise that it's just another style, and an unattractive one
at that. Her work combines accessibility with deeper meaning.
at the Royal Geographical Society, London
opening of the archives is accompanied by a small but interesting exhibition
which provides a whirlwind tour of the society's 500 year history. Themes
range from the historical - exploration and Empire - to those pressing
on the modern agenda - global poverty, pollution and migration.