The Easel

12th February 2019

Will Gompertz reviews Jeff Koons at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford

It’s difficult to sit on the fence about Koons but one critic tries: “funny, weird, and surprisingly horrible to look at. I mean that in rather an admiring way.” Others seem to either dislike this show or dislike the show AND Koons. “What was once subversive has now become crass. The show starts brilliantly, but … fades into a tawdry and insipid display of very shiny but rather dull art.”

5th February 2019

Elisabeth Frink’s Human Bestiary

Anxieties about war didn’t show in Frink’s daily life but sure did in her art. Her 1960’s “goggle head” forms are noble but also sinister. The later Riace figures suggest “a warrior as the aggressor and a brutalized victim”. Immune to the emergence of abstract art around her, these natural forms were the perfect vehicle to express the “coexistence of empathy and dread in [her] moral imagination.”