The Easel

16th July 2019

Olafur Eliasson’s Tate Modern retrospective shows reality in “higher granularity”

An Eliasson retrospective must be a great temptation for Tate Modern. His 2003 “weather” installation had 2m visitors. This show feels a bit like a collection of greatest hits and is, according to one critic, “disjointed”. Still, Eliasson’s eloquent works are acclaimed as experiments in perception and statements of concern about environmental loss. The video in the article is worth a look.

Photographers creating work through the queer gaze

Western art is full of heterosexual role models. One can hardly object when LGBTQ folks seek to balance things up. One critic complains about the curation of this show, calling it a “shambles”.  Surely, though, the main point is the virtue of an inclusive visual culture. One artist wants to remove perceptions that the LGBTQ community is exotic: “[My art] encourages people to see those ‘Others’ as equals.”

Groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence art exhibition to open at Somerset House

Views of artificial intelligence in art vary from “it’s a miracle” to “it’s rubbish”. Eaton, a classically trained animator, uses AI as a humble ‘assistant’ to complete his drawings. The result is notably “coherent” work. Perhaps AI is merely a technological yeoman? Not so fast. Says Eaton “The result [of the collaboration] is often a wondrous, unexpected, interplay of visual ideas, both mine and the machine’s.”

Howardena Pindell with Toby Kamps

An accomplished career as curator and artist did not bring Pindell the accolades one might expect. Recent high-profile exhibitions have changed this and she is currently “riding a triumphant wave”. This interview is interesting throughout including, sadly descriptions of “microaggressions” against women artists and, especially, against women artists of colour.

9th July 2019

Enigmatic and erotic: the art of Félix Vallotton

Will the real Vallotton please stand up. Vallotton’s early satirical woodblock prints are “astonishing in their sheer graphic force”. He then married into money and switched to painting. These later works are diverse, some having the polished realism of Holbein, others anticipating the acute psychology of Edward Hopper. Perhaps the only common thread is “the uneasy sense … that something is going on, concealed from the viewer.”