The Easel

Archives: artnet news

7th June 2015

See the Top Ten Booths at Photo London 2015

Less a review than a news bulletin. Paris has the highly regarded Paris Photo and now London is in on the act. The fair had sufficient size and quality to be declared a success but reviews are scarce. The linked piece details some significant exhibitions. Just so you know it happened.

6th June 2015

Christina Mackie Sets Duveen Galleries Ablaze with Colour at Tate Britain

The Director of Tate Britain has just resigned amid criticism that she was too scholarly. Meanwhile, the foyer is ablaze with colourful silk tubes. This essay argues that major galleries need to strike a balance between scholarship and the desire to attract crowds.  “… the vast un-use of space asks its own question… shouldn’t we expect a bit more of art than just the feeling of being wowed by big things in even bigger spaces? It’s a nice sensation to have at the fairground, but who needs it in an art gallery?”

Is the iPhone a Blessing or a Curse for Art?

A gallery-goer’s smartphone probably influences their engagement with the art more than the wall labels. Is this good or bad? Jackson Pollock felt that photographing his work process turned it into a performance. However, it greatly widened the awareness of his art. Given that museums face declining attendances, perhaps it’s time to constructively make peace with “gadget culture”.

Paul Cezanne’s ‘Card Players’ at the Barnes Foundation Insists on its Own Excellence

Some art critics – notably the late Tom Lubbock – can focus closely on a painting and illuminate its strategems and devices. Blake Gopnik and a fellow art critic are in this mode in front of a Cezanne masterpiece in New York. Start with the five minute video (here) and then read Gopnik’s follow up remarks. “There’s no money on the table, there are no girls, there’s no booze– so where’s the interest?”