in Essays

Multinational art

In the dash to internationalism the national is trampled underfoot, argues Laura Gascoigne. In November, Lund Humphries celebrated 75 years of publishing books on British art with an anniversary talk at the ICA titled ‘Is there such a thing as British art?’ It was chaired by Tim Marlow, now of the Royal Academy, and debated by a panel composed of […]

in Essays

Teaching and painting

John Lessore and John Wonnacott wrote the following essays for the catalogue accompanying their joint exhibition, The Life Room and the City, at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery First, John Lessore discusses his attachment to drawing and his approaches to teaching it As a student, I wanted to be taught, and the lack of serious teaching, even in the […]

in Essays

Do real artists still paint flowers?

Patrick Cullen explains the enduring appeal of paintings requiring only to be looked at I showed some paintings of flowers I had done recently to a friend. He said he quite liked them but they appeared to create a problem for him. He seemed to feel that flowers were no longer a subject for serious artists, more one for Sunday […]

in Essays

David Jones – painter Desmond Sloane on an important British artist and poet

Painter Desmond Sloane rehearses the career of an important British artist and poet who fought in the trenches and whose work is too often overlooked. ‘Part of me, the artist within me, has never left the trenches.’ So wrote the artist and poet David Jones about his service as a front line soldier in the First World War. Jones was […]

in Essays

William Orpen reappraised

Painter John Nutt reappraises the forgotten and routinely maligned William Orpen. Largely for historical and religious reasons, the Irish have been persistently marginalised in British society. Orpen was the youngest of five children of a prosperous Irish Protestant solicitor. He was born in 1878 in Oriel House, Grove Avenue, Stilorgan near Dublin, where he enjoyed a comfortable middle class Irish […]

in Essays

Lament for a lost, semi-innocent world: Giles Auty remembers St Ives, half a century on from when he first painted there

I paid a first visit to St. Ives in the late 1950s and will never forget my first glimpse of the town from the hill above the railway station. For someone to whom the word ‘sea’ had hitherto largely meant the pebbly beaches and endless mudflats of the coast of East Kent, the turquoise water, dazzling white sands and rows […]

in Essays

Kenneth Clark at Tate Britain: the great panjandrum

Edward Lucie-Smith discovers that their tribute to Kenneth Clark is not as complimentary as the Tate thinks it is The Tate Britain show devoted to Sir Kenneth Clark – ‘Lord Clark of Civilisation’, as he came to be called – was a slightly strange phenomenon. It defined a whole tract of the recent history of the visual arts here in […]

in Essays

Matisse at the Tate: cut and paste

Edward Lucie-Smith admires an ambitious exhibition but with the reservation that something is missing The big new exhibition of Matisse’s Cut-Outs at Tate Modern in London is, certainly on the face of it, everything that a major museum of Modern and Contemporary Art should be doing. It is beautifully presented, very professionally curated, has an extremely thorough, excellently illustrated catalogue […]

in Essays, Uncategorized

Painting Now – an alternative view

Inspired by the lacklustre, boring effort of the Tate in their exhibition Painting Now, Edward Lucie-Smith nominates his own five painters Contemporary painting, according to many critics and curators, is a dying art form. In the big Biennales it gets pushed aside by more ‘relevant’ forms of expression – installation, video, achingly fashionable performance art. We are encouraged to go […]

in Essays

Ai Weiwei at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Such is Ai Weiwei’s predictable status as a heroic dissident, that he could select an object blindfold and if he then exhibited it under his name it would automatically be said to be ‘about’ oppression or, as is more frequent these days, the individual’s place in the collective. The recently refurbished chapel in the grounds of the park (see illustration), […]