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Exhibitions


GF Watts: Portraits - Fame & Beauty in Victorian Society National Portrait Gallery, London
We're 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.
Nicky Charlish

Storylines Robert Frank at Tate Modern, London
Although 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.
Anu Liisanantti

Black British Style at the V&A, London
Why 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 mores?
Nicky Charlish

Gwen John and Augustus John at Tate Britain, London
They 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.
Nicky Charlish

Peter Kennard: Decoration at Gimpel Fils, London
Kennard’s 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 art.
Josie Appleton

Art and the Sixties: This Was Tomorrow at Tate Britain, London
As 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.
Nicky Charlish

Robert Hupka's Photographs of 'La Pietà' at the Braccio di Carlo Magno, the Vatican
It 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.
Frank Abraham

Andrew Stones: Atlas at the Chisenhale Gallery, London
Stones 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 work.
Gavin Bower

Edward Hopper at Tate Modern, London
Edward 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.
Nicky Charlish

Art Deco Icon: Tamara de Lempicka at the Royal Academy, London
De 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.
Nicky Charlish

Unlocking the Archives at the Royal Geographical Society, London
The 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.
Tom Durie

 

 
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