The Easel

Archives: Apollo

12th March 2024

How Peter Blake makes his sculptures Pop

Years before Warhol, Pop had emerged (in name and form) in Britain. Blake was an early figure, notable for his record album sleeves and his sculpture. He “slyly” juxtaposes high and low culture – Beethoven standing next to Elvis, or Hogarth prints next to comics. These works don’t cluster around a single narrative but rather “a proliferation of speculative anecdotes [such as] where are the Disney princesses going?” His work may not be heavily intellectual but is “as delightful as an anecdote can be.”

5th March 2024

Lee Ufan and the art of slowness

Japan’s Mono-ha art movement explored the properties of natural and industrial materials. Lee, one of its founders, used those ideas to produce an acclaimed body of minimalist-looking paintings and sculptures. These works need slow viewing – the patina of the steel plates, the grittiness of the stone. His paintings display single or repeated small brushstrokes that peter out into nothingness. They exude tranquillity. This show “brims with abstract feeling but finally says only what a viewer brings to it.” More images are here.