A kind of blue: Léon Spilliaert at the RA

Last year the disquieting images of Felix Vallotton filled the Sackler Gallderies of the Royal Academy of Arts (read ArtMuseLondon’s review here). This spring, another little-known artist, Belgian Léon Spilliaert is represented, in this the first major exhibition of his work in the UK. Like Vallotton world, Spilliaert’s is unsettling, but for different reasons. Plagued…

Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’

Last autumn London’s Royal Academy of Arts gave us Abstract Expressionism, a mighty exhibition celebrating the output of the stellar artists of the genre – Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning and their contemporaries. This year, in what may be a deliberate sense of continuity, the RA’s major winter exhibition focuses on the work of the American…

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017

The RA Summer Exhibition has been part of my cultural landscape for years. As a teenager I used to go to the members Private View with my parents, enjoying an illicit glass of fruit-laden Pimms while perusing the weird and wonderful of the world’s most democratic art exhibition (yes, anyone can submit work for inclusion…

America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

The big draw at the Royal Academy’s new show is a truly iconic work of art: “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. It’s one of the most recognizable images in American painting: a stern-looking couple – actually posed by Wood’s sister Nan and his dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby – stand in front of their Carpenter Gothic…

Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 at the Royal Academy of Arts

  The centenary of the Russian Revolution will be commemorated by a plethora of exhibitions large and small in London during 2017. Among them will be two undoubted blockbusters. In November Tate Modern will launch ‘Red Star over Russia’, a survey of over fifty years of Soviet visual culture; first off, though, is the Royal…