The Easel

13th June 2017

Paul Carey-Kent Writes on Ding Yi at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Ding Yi never liked China’s trendy political pop art. Instead he started making abstract paintings using just “x” and “+” marks. But that doesn’t mean they could be robotically generated. “There’s an emotional element to it. And that’s vital. A painting is a flat object, hung on a wall in silence – it has to offer the viewer something they can’t get enough off, that they can’t be finished with.”  An excellent commentary by the artist is here

Portraiture rules, Part 1

Semiotics – the study of signs and symbols – is used to analyse a portrait of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Her choice of a (very costly) painting rather than a (costly) photograph “demonstrates her assimilation into the royal family as only wealth can”. The image itself communicates “a modern monarchy consciously keen to assert itself as less ostentatious, yet as a powerful unfading institution nonetheless.”

6th June 2017

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave review – the mastery simply amazes

The writer seems awe-struck by this London show. Hokusai felt his art developed as he aged – he was over 70 when he produced “The Great Wave”. His technical mastery and a focus on everyday life helped make his art globally influential – Degas and Monet both owned his prints. “[The] technical mastery of the woodblock print, so intractable, simply amazes.  Nothing visible or invisible is beyond his art’s reach.”

Image: Metropolitan Museum