In Search of Dora Maar

Model, Assia Granatouroff photographed by Dora Maar   Walking into the Tate Modern show on Dora Maar, a question wouldn’t go away. Would Maar’s best work turn out to be what she produced during her years with Picasso? The Barbican show I had attended on artistic couples, in January of this year, was still fresh…

Bridget Riley retrospective mesmerises and excites at Hayward Gallery

I still remember the first time I saw Bridget Riley’s vivid, abstract paintings. It was at a provincial gallery, Wolverhampton or somewhere similar, in the mid-1970s. Coloured stripes and shapes shimmered and bounced, their contrasting yet consonant colours jostling and vibrating on the large canvasses. I was fascinated by the rhythm and energy of these…

‘Rembrandt’s Light’ lights up Dulwich

  A new show has opened for autumn at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. It’s called Rembrandt’s Light. It’s intelligent, empathetic, surprising and at one point breathtaking, and I urge you all to go and see it as soon as possible. Dulwich, the UK’s earliest purpose-built public picture gallery (it was founded in 1811), was designed…

Olafur Eliasson’s Show: Pioneering and Powerful.

  Beauty 1993 A trip to the Tate Modern almost always involves me taking a left at the Turbine Hall where I know I will end up in familiar art territory, one which preferably involves paint! Going right on the other hand, into the Blavatnik Building, constitutes more of an art departure for me: tech art…

Dulwich Printmaking Show Impresses

  Dorrit Black, Music, 1927-28 I had never heard of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art until I set foot in the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Founded  by wood engraver, Iain Macnab in 1925, the Grosvenor School was different from other London-based art schools of the time. There were no exams, students enrolled on courses when they could,…

Leonardo da Vinci. A Life in Notebooks

Study of Fetus in the Womb circa 1511   Part artist, part scientist, Da Vinci embodies the Renaissance man par excellence. Luckily for us, the workings of his inner mind in painting, sculpture, anatomy, military engineering and cartography have all been recorded in the notebooks he kept throughout his life. One of these notebooks made…

Stepping inside Stanley Kubrick’s Mind

Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick on the ‘Paths of Glory’ set.   There are many talented people in this world but there are few creatives who are really able to produce magic, whether we be talking literature, film, art or music.  The ‘magic’ I am talking about is the tingling experience one gets when presented…

Munch’s Scream Revisited at the British Museum

  The Sick Child by Edvard Munch 1885 You wouldn’t wish Edvard Munch’s childhood on your worst enemy. Munch was brought up in Kristiania (as Oslo then was) in a strict Lutheran family in the second half of the 19th century. Aged five, Munch lost his mother to TB and nearly succumbed to the same…

Mary Quant retrospective at the V&A

The Victoria & Albert Museum always excels in its presentation of fashion – from the memorable Vivien Westwood exhibition back in 2004 to Balenciaga (2017) and the current blockbuster Dior show. Smaller in scale than the lavish Dior exhibition, but no less significant, this is the first international retrospective of iconic fashion designer Mary Quant,…