Thirty pieces of silver – the betrayal of mankind or the world?

This exhibition of work by graduates of TOMA in Southend is a powerful response to the slick prefessionalism of most shows up the river in London. The title of this recent show was Everyone Must Go and it was housed in the old Havens department store which dates from 1920, now taken over by Age…

The compass of eternity – Richard Pousette-Dart at Kettle’s Yard

Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–92), working in New York in the 1940s, created beautiful, layered paintings as well as experimenting with drawing, photography and sculpture. Playing a key role in the genesis of Abstract Expressionism and the New York School, which transformed American art in the post-war years, Pousette-Dart’s contemporaries included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman…

Shape of Light – 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, Tate Modern

Antony Cairns, LDN5_051, 2017 This amazing exhibition takes as its starting point the fact that photography has for the past century existed alongside the fine arts, sometimes overlapping and sometimes clashing with their objectives and styles but usually remaining in the shadows of the showmanship of painting and printmaking. It’s a great show because it…

When Warhol meets Mars

There are two exhibitions currently on – Warhol at Firstsite Gallery in Colchester and Other Worlds at the Natural History Museum in London. Both are great shows, one small and intimate, the other more epic. The Warhol show is an intelligent collection of some of his death-themed imagery over a period of about three decades…

Edgelands of England

For a few more days at The Museum of East Anglian Life at Abbot’s Hall, Stowmarket, you can see an interesting exhibition of photography by Tom Owens ARPS. Owens explores the buffer zones between urban and rural environments, challenging the notion of officially designated areas of beauty by conveying our mundane environments in a favourable…

Saul Leiter – photo impressionist

In the revamped Photographers’ Gallery just off Oxford Street, until April 3rd you can see some great work from the 40s, 50s and 60s by a New York poet of colour film – Saul Leiter (1923-2013). His colours capture the luminous pastels and vivid saturation of the bustling city, often seen through the grisaille of…

Suspended animation -Alexander Calder

I recently went to the Tate Modern show on Calder’s early/mid years: 1940s/50s/60s. The wire portraits were exquisite – how can anyone be so assured with wire, to put a kink at the perfect point, never wavering with distances and relationships, curving delicately or with knots, always elegant and true. Conjuring a solid form from…

Constable and HDR

Today I visited the exhibition at Christchurch Manor, Ipswich, to see the big Constable: “Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows.” I was amazed by its scope and scale and the power of its emotive energy – painted soon after the death of his wife Maria. The sky is as well painted as the cathedral and river…