The Easel

6th December 2017

More Light!

Hockney’s very first show was a sellout and helped establish his reputation for bright colours and “debonair playfulness”.  As art world tastes shifted to the conceptual he has remained stylistically constant. His youthful work carried a quotient of “homosexual propaganda”, making a point to conservative Britain Now in his 80’s, he is “an apostle of niceness and kindness”. A promo video (2 min) is here.

Thinking Machines

Computers can be used as art-making tools and artists have been exploring this use for decades, in film, music and graphics as well as traditional image-making. The story of how art was influenced by computer capabilities is interesting. Perhaps more interesting is the way some artists, for example Vera Molnár, have experimented with computer-like logic independently of any hardware.

Show captures splendor of Viennese designers

Fin de siècle Vienna could boast not only Freud and Klimt but also illustrious designers. The Wiener Werkstätte produced exquisite objects but only in tiny qualities. Profitability was not its strong point. Its experiment with an artist collective was more promising and led to an even more illustrious name in twentieth century design – Bauhaus.  Some images are here.

28th November 2017

Michelangelo’s Majestic Humanity

No superlative seems too lofty for this show, which has been eight years in the making. One critic gushes “we’re seeing an artist stop and start, reconciling deep inner urges, his own probably thwarted homosexuality, surging religiosity, and pride all mixed with a classicism now filled with elemental unconscious, id, asymmetry, and imbalance. Nothing like it had existed on Earth before.”  More images are here.

The Comedic Beauty of Laura Owens’s Work

Laura Owens’s show at the Whitney is notable. Firstly she is not well known. Further the accolade is being directed to a woman artist. Notwithstanding her use of fun colours and an eclectic feminine style Owens is being recognised as an important artist. “This smart, beautiful exhibition [shows] that painting can be renewed in ways we haven’t seen before … [and the artist is not] among the usual white male suspects”.