News

Every joke hides a truth

by Al Jirikowic, Washington DC Editor Joker, the latest film by Todd Phillips, is a work of art. All the characters carry modern American ‘allegorical weight’. They are metaphorical constructs. I saw compounded layers of inherent mental-social problems, the deft compilation of ‘mental glazes’ layered, as a fine Renaissance painting presents itself, as the actors intimated — simultaneously building cross-referential …

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Isaac Levitan, the Russian Master

by Colin Fell in Cornwall Before me on my desk as I write is a thin sheet of orange plastic. It is the outline of what was, to a child growing up in England at the height of the Cold War, the known world of Europe. In our geography lessons we would place this template on our paper, and with …

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Tragédie Française

by Frances Oliver I wrote recently about a just republished book from my parents’ art book collection, Saul Steinberg’s Labyrinth. Another of their books I treasure, a very different book that some might find almost unbearable to look at, is Frans Masereel’s Danse Macabre, the drawings that are his own 20th-century version of the plague-inspired medieval Dance of Death. I …

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Hidden Within

by Anita Di Rienzo, Milan.   Ancient paintings are often referred to as ‘pieces of history’, a definition which explains how a work of art acquires greater meaning, showing how we are able to historicise and exchange information through paintings. What is a painting in the end if not the only language common to all, through which it is possible …

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The Canonisation of Surrealism in the United States part (1 of 2)

by Sandra Zalman (reprinted with permission) Sandra Zalman is Associate Professor and Program Director of Art History at the University of Houston, where she teaches classes on modern and contemporary art, museums, and curatorial issues Her book Consuming Surrealism in American Culture: Dissident Modernism, won the 2016 SECAC Award for Excellence in Research and Publication   In a pointed assessment …

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Making Art, Negotiating Space, and Finding Comfort in the Age of Covid-19

by  Katie Zazenski from Warsaw By the second week of March 2020, systems across the US began grinding to a halt, ushering in the great online migration. Much of the rest of the affected world had already begun this process, provoked by the coronavirus pandemic, which, alarming health concerns aside, has produced waves of logistical confusion and panic as we …

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A Significant Fresh Start is Coming our Way

by Ben Russo in Holland   Infection, virus, asymptomatic, remote, and assembly are continuously heard in official communications, by the media, and in our everyday dialogue, placing them among the most sought-after and fashionable words to be used at the moment. In a not so distant past, as heard in Europe and other parts of the world a century earlier, …

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The Role of A Post–COVID Museum

by Alexander Stanfield, West Coast Editor (USA) If I were to ask you, what is a museum, no matter what your answer is, the more pressing inquiry is what is the function of a museum? What role or responsibility does a museum have to the community it engages with mentally or emotionally? The actual definition of ‘museum’ is more complicated …

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Interview with the artist Donna Nadeau

(with European Editor Daniel Nanavati, conducted over Skype)   You obviously always wanted to be an artist? DN: Yes. When I was in high school, I graduated in the 70s, back then I was told that there wasn’t very much money and we had one boy and three girls. So if someone was going to go to college it was …

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Anonymous Society for Magick/ 煉法社

Ivy Leung in Hong Kong ‘Anonymous Society’, a special name, feels mysterious. ‘Magick’ refers to magic. Magic is the reflection of the individual’s spirit and a psychological activity that transcends the real world. Aleister Crowley was an occultist and ceremonial magician in the early 19th-century. He believed that ‘Magick’ is the science and art of causing change to occur in …

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Leon Golub: A Country No Longer United

by Viktor Witkowski Leon Golub would certainly find many reasons and occasions to make paintings of our current time. He would not feel elevated about that prospect in any way, but he would understand and accept the responsibility to find ways for painting to engage its viewers beyond pictorial references and formalist nodes to past as well as contemporary artists. …

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Bidden to the light

by Liviana Martin The first exhibition in Italy dedicated to Georges de La Tour: 15 paintings out of 40 of certain attribution, compared with masters of his time, such as Gerrit van Honthorst, Paulus Bor, Trophime Bigot, Frans Hals Let’s imagine that a dark room is illuminated by a dim candlelight and that from the dark one can decipher, little …

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A brilliant madness

by Loretta Pettinato (Translated by Laura Pettinato) The artist Emilio Vedova, born in 1919, was able to renovate the artistic language of his time thanks to his brilliant madness and extraordinary instincts. Palazzo Reale celebrated the centenary of his birth by setting up a retrospective of his art which, through constant research and experimentation, morphed from an original realism to …

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Bodies and gods

by Mary Fletcher   Evelyn Williams Evelyn Williams died in 2012, having completed a body of work said to be hard to categorise and having left a Trust to help women artists. I was told at Anima Mundi that the director, Joseph Clark, found a painting by her in a charity shop in Wadebridge and purchased it. It turned out …

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A Realistic Manifesto at the Tate, St Ives

by Mary Fletcher On the way in through Gallery One there is a beautiful golden coloured Gabo made of bronze, looking a bit too large for its corner, and apparently at one stage it was in the main show. It is simple – geometric metal formed into a curvilinear form, constructed using machinery to achieve a perfectly satisfying composition. Its …

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