The Easel

11th August 2020

Art in lockdown review

Current gallery shows in London are “the scapings from the back of the oven”. In contrast, online displays have leapt ahead. As ever, some are better than others. Among the national museums, New York’s Met is tops, London’s National Portrait Gallery “disastrous”. Some commercial galleries have surprised with “genuinely interesting” online offerings that are a “valuable resource”. The writer’s podcast on the topic is here.

4th August 2020

The eerie experience of visiting a socially distanced art gallery

Impatient for art galleries to re-open, this writer shares his misgivings when he finally gets to visit. Instead of enjoying their “alluring emptiness” he is filled with doubt. “Everyone is masked, and we avoid each other like repelling magnets. We can’t see each other’s smiles under the face coverings, which creates an air of imagined stand-offishness”. Was this visit a mistake? Rather than supportive, has he been “foolish and selfish”? (He did enjoy the art.)

Are sculpture parks having a moment in the sun?

An appreciation of sculpture parks. Greater diversity of materials has encouraged greater ambition in sculpture. Moving outdoors was logical. Artists relish the challenge of the interplay of light, materials and location. Civic authorities and museums have discovered the popularity of sculpture parks as “outdoor living rooms”. Just the thing when art needs “to be decentralized and dispersed”.  More images are here.