News

A Thank You Letter

Alexander Stanfield The term ‘unprecedented’ has been thrown around a lot as a means to come-to-terms and describe what we have been dealing with over the past year. While ‘unprecedented’ is extremely applicable, my past year has been sponsored by ‘managing’. Just trying to stay afloat like many others. The need for stability, or to find it; mental support, physical …

Read More »

Lockdown Love

Gill Fickling I have been in an unrequited love affair for over 30 years. And what better time to indulge my passion – or at least immerse myself in his legacy of genius – than as we enter the sixth week of the third lockdown in the UK in less than 12 months. Our confinement this time falls in winter. …

Read More »

Life is Finite

Christian Hain Maybe it’s time to savour the simple fact again – challenging, empowering, terrible, all-encompassing, and indeed: beautiful. A fundamental verity that is one of the most neglected, if not actively suppressed, insights in the modern world. A globalized technocentric society has no place for fragility and contemplation, it seems; the swarm knows no limitations: it just is, and …

Read More »

Socially Distanced to All

Susana Gómez Laín For me, the magazine is my actual link to the art world. I am not inspired to do any artistic work and it is difficult and dangerous to gather with other people to do so. So, through the reading of the magazine and the reviews I send, somehow I keep in touch until normality comes back and …

Read More »

The Sea and Me

Annie Markovich During this unprecedented crisis and opportunity I enjoy the sea. The sea in Cornwall continues to be a steady ground when distorted thinking looms its ugly head. The water cleans the barnacles of confusion in my mind. Does it sound unrealistic, escapist or selfish? Local Cornish women and men swim in the rain and cold, sometimes with rolling …

Read More »

Voices from the Art Front

Carmella Saraceno March of 2020 was the month the world decided the best thing to do was stand still. Artists I know just kept on making art. They are creative and unstoppable. After art school, I moved to NYC and quickly learned to exchange art installation and fabrication skills for an income that would allow me to make the artwork …

Read More »

Otto Dix: Objective Painter or Accidental Prophet?

Darius Magada-Ward Few artists have captured the sheer violence, absurdity, and chaos of the phenomenon of war better than Otto Dix in Der Krieg (1924), his series of etchings visualizing his experience of World War I. This series is unique in terms of just how alien and unrecognizable both the earth and humanity become on the battleground. In his etchings, …

Read More »

How Do You Taste? How the Value of Art is Decided and Defended

Darren Jones In the crucible of contemporary art one could be forgiven for thinking that pluralism regarding taste has gone missing. It’s as though it’s been kidnapped from public access and relocated within the jurisdiction of a minority of stakeholders to control what is (and isn’t) deemed important art. The coup d’état has been so successful that one can even be …

Read More »

Future Lovers: the Terrifying Union of Science and Art

Minwen Wang Scientific progress can be controversial, especially when it comes to our bodies. The genetic modification of organisms, including our future selves, is a particularly sensitive issue that tends to grab headlines. Bio-scientific development can cause public alarm because for many people it strikes at our fundamental assumptions of personhood, religion and ethics. And while we benefit from such …

Read More »

UMFA’s “Black Refractions”: A More Accurate Account of Our Shared American History

Scotti Hill On July 3, 2020, The New York Times reported that the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the May 25th death of George Floyd likely constituted the largest in United States history, garnering a half-million participants in over 500 locations at their peak. The magnitude of these events collided with an America encountering a once-in a century …

Read More »

How to Raise the Water Level in a Fish Pond

Aleksander Hudzik It was a warm night in June, 1518, in the modest town called Strasburg, which nowadays sits on the border of Germany and France. There was music and there were people dancing. A woman named Frau Troffea started to dance around sunset, other people joined her and by around midnight there was a group of 50. By the …

Read More »

Sic Transit English

Frances Oliver So – the meaningless ‘so’ now used to begin statements by anyone questioned on the BBC – I’m going to rant on again about what is happening to the English language. I’ve already written about the absurd twists and turns of politically correct pronoun gender avoidance, which produces gems like: ‘Why would a man beat their wife?’ (Maybe …

Read More »

Edward Carey: The Swallowed Man

Lynda Green The Swallowed Man is a short novel, easily read in a sitting, and if you are happy to suspend reality and appreciate beautiful writing, then you’ll enjoy it. Sprinkled with charming illustrations by the author, it is the reminiscences of Geppetto, the creator/father of Pinnochio, while he is in the belly of a gigantic fish. Edward Carey mixes …

Read More »

Helen Gorrill: Women Can’t Paint: Gender, the Glass Ceiling and Values in Contemporary Art

Mary Fletcher The regrettable title of this book, which I deplore, is taken from a remark by Georg Baselitz. At the start of the first chapter Gorrill refers to “masculinities and femininities in contemporary art” that I see as perpetuating unhelpful stereotypes. There is a continued muddle about these terms in the book, which would have been better if it …

Read More »

The Facsimile Diary of Frida Kahlo

Mary Fletcher This is as close as I can get to holding Kahlo’s actual diary. Most of it is written in Spanish in a very legible rounded script, helpfully translated at the back of the book with black and white reproductions of the pages so that you don’t get confused, despite the lack of page numbers. The diary has drawings …

Read More »