The Easel

24th May 2022

‘It’s worse than the USSR’: how the censors returned to Russian art

It seems like there is a slowly unfolding crisis in Moscow’s contemporary art world. Until recently a booming sector with new world-class museums, the start of the war with Ukraine has marked “another age”. Censorship measures have emerged along with pressures to be “patriotic”. As a result, some institutions have lost staff and cancelled exhibitions. Says one uncertain artist “There could be a creative explosion like in the 1920s … or we could be heading into a swamp.”

17th May 2022

Matthew Wong’s life in light and shadow

Wong, a Canadian artist, died young after an art career marked by “a furious outpouring” of work and disrupted by mental illness. His artistic development was lived out on social media and reveals how he came to make works of “astonishing lyricism, melancholy, whimsy, intelligence, and, perhaps most important, sincerity”.  He was, says one critic, “a genius from nowhere.” A shorter piece focused on a current exhibition is here.