The Easel

22nd January 2019

Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today

Black women appear frequently in Impressionist art, reflecting a Paris that was becoming multi-racial. What has escaped everyone’s notice is that these women were depicted matter-of-factly, without racial tropes. This shift, radical for the time, is highlighted in a landmark show that is “singular in illuminating fully [this change] while pulling its theme … thrillingly into the present.”

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Lovely, ‘Louder’ New Paintings

Yiadom-Boakye is an artist in the ascendant. Many expect greater things to come. Her paintings feature imagined, handsome black figures – “because I am not white”. Her work, says this writer, has an emotional clarity and her figures, shown in relaxed, still poses, are vaguely reminiscent of the Old Masters. Or, as one critic expressed it “They say little, explicitly, but you hear much.”

Eye Candy: Bergdorf Goodman’s Holiday Windows and the Enduring Art of Selling

Psychology experiments show that our distaste for forgeries comes from a perception that originals gain “identity from their history”. We are also good at identifying genuine abstract works – “people see more than they think they see in abstract art – they see the mind behind the work “. Sadly, no evidence is found that looking at art is good for the soul.