The Easel

14th May 2019

How sex and power collude: the uncompromising art of Nancy Spero

Its easy to see why Spero got angry. The 1960’s New York art scene was ruled by male abstractionists unimpressed by female artists and hostile to figuration. Undeterred, she developed a delicate frieze-like style that has deeply influenced today’s design vernacular. Spero illuminated how the world looks from a female perspective and depicted “woman as protagonist”.

7th May 2019

Blossoming artist: Damien Hirst on returning to the studio, fluorescent florals and the ‘muppets’ in government

Hirst’s “polarizing” 2017 show in Venice persuaded some that his sole interest is money. There is no sign he is chastened by this criticism but still, except perhaps to the irredeemably skeptical, he sounds thoughtful. Of his recent 18 months of studio work – “You need time to make things, and also time to consider them. You don’t want to show things before you believe in them.”

Devan Shimoyama’s Vision of a Dazzling Black Future

A review, dense in parts, but worth it because of the artist. At just 30, yet already with two solo shows, Shimoyama is perhaps a soon-to-be big name. A series of works, set in barbershops, explores “queerness and blackness”. Not all see these as explicitly political images. What is plain, though, is Shimoyama’s “impulse to complicate conventional notions of masculinity”.