The Easel

5th October 2021


Noguchi would have disliked being described as ‘designer and artist’. For him, his tables, lights and sculptures were not fashion items but a reflection of the human activity associated those objects. Well, at least one critic doesn’t see Noguchi’s modernist designs as art, either. They have “no punch … no emotional or psychic energy, just … harmless creations”. Responds another “just because something is simple, modest and popular does not mean it is not art.”

28th September 2021

Frans Hals: The Male Portrait, review: pale, stale, male – and exhilarating

Hmm – a show exclusively of male portraits! The curatorial rationale is to celebrate the “astounding originality” of Baroque portraitist Hals and his masterpiece, The Laughing Cavalier. Done in 1624, the painting is a tour de force of vivid personality, showy fabrics and “27 [shades] of black”. Hals “revolutionized” portraiture with strategies that made his subjects “immediate, sparky, and natural”.