Foreign Correspondent

Reviews of exhibitions and art by our correspondents throughout the world.

Review | David Hansen on Danh Vo’s Slip of the Tongue in Venice

Danh Vo, We the People (detail) (photo Lisa Brice for Artthrob)

Slip of the Tongue, Punta della Dogana, Venice 12 April-31 December 2015 Curated by Danh Vo in collaboration with Caroline Bourgeois Venice: home of Marco Polo; key entrepôt on the Silk Road; the heart of a great and glittering maritime and mercantile empire. For hundreds of years the Most Serene Republic reached out across the Adriatic and the Mediterranean to the Eastern Empire and beyond, trading and plundering; the famous lion of St Mark atop the right-hand column of the Piazzetta, next to the Doge’s Palace, is probably 4th century BC Persian-Hellenistic; the Byzantine water-marble facing of the basilica of San Marco was stripped from Hagia Sophia during the sack of Constantinople at the time of the Fourth Crusade. Yet the…

Exhibition Review | Monumenta 2012: Daniel Buren, Excentrique(s). Reviewed by Victoria Hobday

Daniel Buren, Excentrique(s). Paris, Grand Palais

Monumenta 2012: Daniel Buren, Excentrique(s) Reviewed by Victoria Hobday Monumenta 2012: Daniel Buren, Excentrique(s). Paris, Grand Palais, 10 May–21 June 2012. Each year an artist of international stature is invited to create a work for the hugely successful Monumenta installation project in the Grand Palais in Paris. The Grand Palais is an enormous space 45 metres high and covering 13,500 square metres. Last year it was the turn of Anish Kapoor, who created Leviathan, an enormous inflated aubergine-coloured curved form that fully occupied the space. Its organic curves, suggesting some overgrown vegetable, contrasted with, while complementing, the greenhouse-like form of the Grand Palais (Figs. 1–4). Its interior came as a breathtaking surprise. After being ushered in through a revolving door…

Exhibition Review | Neon: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue at La Maison Rouge Paris -Victoria Hobday

Fig 8. Bertrand Lavier (1949-) Ifafa V(Stella), 2008, purple and green neon, 191.8 x 348 x 16.5cm, Galerie Yvon Lambert.

Neon: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue La Maison Rouge Paris, 17 February–20 May 2012 Review by Victoria Hobday Neon has a long association with the streets, with commercial culture and with Paris. In 1902 Georges Claude, one of the founders of the company Air Liquide, discovered that the process of extracting gases such as helium and oxygen from air left behind a number of rare gases. Amongst these gases was neon and argon that when they are contained in a vacuum and an electric current is passed through them produces a glowing red and electric blue light respectively. The first neon sign was erected on the rooftop of a building on the boulevard Champs-Elysées in 1912 and spelt out…

Exhibition Review | Guercino: A Passion for Drawing – The Collections of Sir Denis Mahon and the Ashmolean Museum by David Packwood

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (1591 - 1666) An old bearded man, probably St Jerome, seated on the ground at the foot of a tree, turning the leaves of a large volume, c.1622 - 1624. Image via Ashmolean Museum website.

Guercino: A Passion for Drawing – The Collections of Sir Denis Mahon and the Ashmolean Museum Ashmoleon Museum, Oxford, 11th February 2012 to 15th April 2012 Reviewed by David Packwood Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino (1591-1666) because of his squint, was one of the most prolific draughtsmen of the seicento. Many of his drawings survive, attesting to his industry, commitment and unwavering belief in his art. Born in Cento—mid way between Bologna and Ferrara—the biographers say that he drew from the age of six. Beckoned by the flourishing Carracci academy in Bologna, Guercino went there to study their art, but had the confidence to set up shop on his own. With the election of a Bolognese pope from the…

John Weretka – Review: Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011

Fig_05_Russell_Collins_Ram

Exhibition Review Pastel Portraits: Images of Eighteenth Century Europe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 17 May 2011 – 14 August 2011 Reviewed by John Weretka The eighteenth-century pastel portrait is the subject of a compact show of about forty images from 1711–1801 being hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (17 May 17–18 August 2011).  Too often derided as a minor art, placing it on a level with other domestic entertainments such as the silhouette, pastel is revealed in this show as a highly nuanced, delicate and beautiful art form that in a sense has suffered by being too closely allied to the tastes of its own time.  In fact, as the inclusion of pastels by artists…

Exhibition Review: Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity, Paris Musee D’Orsay – Victoria Hobday

Edouard Manet, The Bullfighter,

Exhibition Review Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity Paris, Musée D’Orsay, 5 April – 17 July 2011 Reviewed by Victoria Hobday Spring weather has at last come to Paris and the Musée d’Orsay, on the banks of the Seine, is exhibiting one of France’s best-loved artists to welcome the season. Manet: The Man Who Invented Modernity, promises a fresh look at the work of this central artist of the late nineteenth century. The choice of a spring exhibition sits well with the vibrant palette and breezy brushwork of Manet. With the staging of the exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay or ‘Impressionism central’ many would indeed say that it is a return to the fold for the great Impressionist artist ……

Exhibition Review: Lorenzo Lotto, Rome Scuderie del Quirinale, until 12 June. David R. Marshall

Lorenzo Lotto, Detail from The Adoration.

Exhibition Review Lorenzo Lotto Rome Scuderie del Quirinale, until 12 June Reviewed by David R. Marshall The last big Lotto show was in 1998, but I suspect this one doesn’t quite match it. The illustrations to the introductory essays in the catalogue indicate the ones that got away. But even so, this is an impressive exhibition, mainly for the altarpieces. For those who do not know the Scuderie, it is the old papal stables on Piazza del Quirinale. It has two long and wide floors that once housed horses. It is one of the best Roman venues, as these spaces are roomy and flexible, although the transition between levels can be awkward. In this case the lower floor is devoted…

Review – Watteau: The Drawings. Royal Academy, London. 12 March – 5 June 2011. David R. Marshall

Fig_07_40_Watteau_Nude_Man_500

Watteau: The Drawings Royal Academy, London. 12 March – 5 June 2011 Reviewed by David R. Marshall This exhibition is organized for the Royal Academy and curated by Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, and based on their 1996 catalogue of Watteau drawings. In his essay Prat points out that the number of drawings (90) is less than at the big Watteau exhibition of 1984-85, but that the selection is more focused and unproblematic. The bulk of the drawings are from the Louvre and British Museum, but there are a number from other collections not often seen. The drawings are displayed in the Sackler wing of the Royal Academy, already showing its age, with it’s weird open lift shaft between the exterior…

Comment: Thoughts on the Aesthetic Movement Exhibition. David R. Marshall

Edward Burne-Jones, 'Laus Veneris', 1868.

Comment: Thoughts on the Aesthetic Movement Exhibition David R. Marshall These are some thoughts after seeing the exhibition, The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (till July 17th 2011, see the review by Kim Clayton-Green on the MAN website). What struck me about this exhibition was how familiar it was, on both a personal and intellectual level. On the personal level it helps one make sense of one’s own familial history: that photo of great-grandmother in strange loose fitting costume with metal armlets in a dirty green and gold frame, or that pair of brass candlesticks in the form of rearing cobras remembered from childhood and spotted in an obscure corner of the…

Review: The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900. Kim Clayton-Greene

Fig_11_Rossetti_Bocca_Baciata

Review by Kim Clayton-Greene of The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900 The Victorian and Albert Museum, London 2 April – 17 July 2011 Reviewed by Kim Clayton-Greene ‘The Cult of Beauty’, brings together some of the finest objects and works of art produced by those artists and craftsmen who revolutionized late nineteenth-century British art and society.  As the introductory wall text states, these men and women were united by ‘the desire to escape the ugliness and materialism of the age and find a new beauty’. The exhibition begins by demonstrating the way this ‘new beauty’ manifested itself in all realms of art and life by placing immediately opposite the entrance…

Review – Pioneering Painters – Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900

James GUTHRIE, Miss Helen Sowerby, 1882.  National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Review by Kim Clayton-Greene of Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880– 1900 Pioneering Painters – The Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900 Royal Academy, London 30 October 2010—23 January 2011 Reviewed by Kim Clayton-Greene Presenting a relatively modest selection of works, the exhibition Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys: 1880-1900, which recently closed at the Royal Academy, London (the version reviewed here), after an earlier run in Glasgow, still provided much to delight.  The works were rich and varied, at times pale and restrained and then bold and vibrant.  The exhibition, the first showing of the works of the Glasgow Boys in 40 years, showcases the works of the movement’s protagonists: Sir James Guthrie, Sir John Lavery, Arthur Melville, Edward Arthur Walton, George Henry…

Review: Piers Baker-Bates, A Collector’s Eye: Cranach To Pissarro at the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool 18 February–15 May 2011

Detail of 'Battle of the Amazons' by Rubens from the Exhibition Catalogue.

A Collector’s Eye: Cranach To Pissarro at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 18 February–15 May 2011 Reviewed by Piers Baker-Bates. While exhibitions that showcase a private collection can be the proverbial curate’s egg both in terms of the quality of the works on display and their attributions, this new exhibition is never anything but stimulating and thought-provoking. The works come from what is described as ‘the Schorr Collection assembled by private collector David J. Lewis for his family interests’ which is ‘one of the largest collections of Old Master paintings amassed in England since World War II.’ David Lewis remains an anonymous figure throughout, and the visitor learns nothing about the man himself, but as a patron of art his particular…

Review ‘Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals’

Fig. 1 Canaletto 'The Torre di Malghera' about 1756

Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals The exhibition finished at the National Gallery, London, on 16 January 2011. It runs at the National Gallery, Washington, from 20 February to 30 May 2011. Reviewed by David R. Marshall Canaletto is synonymous with Venetian view painting, and when you enter this exhibition you can see why: it looks like room after room of Canalettos. But gradually this impression resolves itself into several different painters and manners. Some have lamented the lack of the chronological organisation that informs most recent Canaletto and Bellotto exhibitions, but that would miss the point: this is an exhibition about comparisons, and the curator, Charles Beddington, has set up many interesting ones. However, when I saw it, on a…

Review: Takashi Murakami – The Fun King meets the Sun King

Takashi Murakami, Tongari-kun 2003- 2004. 700 x 350 cm, fibreglass, acrylic and urethane paint. Photo Florian Kleinefenn.

Takashi Murakami – The Fun King meets the Sun King Chateau de Versailles September 14 – December 12 2010 Reviewed byVictoria Hobday. Following the autumn throngs through the royal apartments at the Palace of Versailles one is struck by the diversity of nationalities, the amount of photographic equipment and the irritating background drone of audio-guides tuned to a multitude of languages with the volume cranked up. The self consciously regal decoration of the rooms still impresses with their grand scale and wonderful ceiling paintings, the parquetry in its distinctive squared pattern polished by the tread of a steady army of nike running shoes. In September 2008 Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the director of the Palace of Versailles, organised the first contemporary exhibition…

Victus Hobday – Magician of the Palimpsest: William Kentridge

William Kentridge - World Walking

‘Magician of the Palimpsest – William Kentridge’ Cinq Thémes Paris, Jeu de Paume 29.06.10 – 5.09.10 NB:  This exhibition ‘William Kentridge: Five Themes’ is currently on in Melbourne at ACMI, Federation Square until May 27th 2012 – see here for details of the Melbourne Show. The Jeu de Paume is a public gallery situated overlooking the Place de Concorde in a corner of the Tuilleries Garden. From the outside it appears to be a large classical mausoleum for retired double-decker buses or perhaps a large garden pavilion of the nineteenth century that would feature fusty old examples of gilt-framed dark offerings. It is deceptive. Once the home to the Impressionist works that are now housed in the Musee D’Orsay the…