Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery, London

 Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)  A thought-provoking exhibition which offers a different view of Poussin’s early work in Rome and displays his paintings in a sympathetic and joyous environment.  Guest review by Sarah Mulvey Detail from a Bacchanalian Revel Before a Term, ca.1632-33, London, National Gallery  I am spellbound before Poussin’s painting of the Adoration of the Golden Calf in the…

Summer Exhibition 2021 at the Royal Academy of Arts

Summer Exhibitions at the RA are often organised around a single unifying idea – ‘From Life’, say, or ‘Man Made’ – although most years you wonder why they bother, for all the difference it makes to the range (or quality) of submissions. The theme this year, though, ‘Reclaiming Magic’, is apt, because for once the…

‘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…

Love In a Creative Climate

  Artistic duos tend not to receive the attention they deserve in art history. We often read about the art movements and the artists who create them. The artist’s partner or lover meanwhile is often overlooked, or simply seen in terms of a muse. An ambitious exhibition at the Barbican, entitled Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy…

Edward Burne-Jones at Tate Britain

It feels like the right moment to reacquaint oneself with the work of Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. In our uncertain times, escapism provides relief and comfort, and when you enter EBJ’s dreamscape world of myth and fantasy, you move beyond the petty preoccupations and ugly politics of our world now. This is the first large show…

Objects from the inside out: Rachel Whiteread at Tate Britain

It’s not often that one gets to see the inside of a hot water bottle, but there are plenty of opportunities to do so at the major new exhibition of Rachel Whiteread’s work at Tate Britain. She calls these ‘Torsos’ and describes them as “headless, limbless babies”. Cast in a variety of materials – plaster,…

An added poignancy to Howard Hodgkin’s ‘Absent Friends’

Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends – National Portrait Gallery, London The title of the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibition of portraits by British artist Howard Hodgkin has an added poignancy: called ‘Absent Friends’, the show opens just two weeks after the artist died at the age of 84, and thus Hodgkin himself is an absent friend…