The Easel

17th September 2019

William Blake: The greatest visionary in 200 years

Blake was baffling two centuries ago and, it seems, remains so. His poetry is dense, his iconic paintings “small and dark and hard to interpret”. Often considered together, the prevailing view is that Blake was primarily a painter. Perhaps we shouldn’t try too hard at interpretation. Perhaps it’s enough that this “isolated visionary” helped inspire English Romanticism and somehow still has resonance today.

11th September 2019

Lions, Lifelines, Speedos: The New Paintings of Peter Doig

Critics tackle the strangeness of Doig’s paintings in different ways. Some think his residency in Trinidad helps explain things. Others muse about his Scottish / Canadian upbringing. Even if his motifs resist explanation, Doig’s use of them is well recognized. “Everything seems ordinary and completely weird at once. It’s a portrait of the quietly inexplicable drama within each human life.”