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(Summer 2019)

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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


The Great Spectacle

Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Charles Pugin, ‘Exhibition Room, Somerset House,’ 1808. Engraving. (Image: Wikimedia commons) If we want to learn about the history and heritage of the British art world, we need look no further than the Royal Academy. Celebrating its 250th anniversary, the RA boasts the longest running exhibition of contemporary art in the world. It is a significant achievement and who better to talk to about it than Sarah Turner, deputy director of research at the Paul Mellon Centre and co-curator of the upcoming exhibition The Great Spectacle at the RA. The Great Spectacle will chart the history of the Summer Exhibition from the first ever exhibition in 1769 to today, displa

Review: SURGE, the 13th East Wing Biennial

Hiroki Ishikawa, Sediment of a Day, 2018. (Image courtesy of EWB) For its thirteenth edition, SURGE, the East Wing Biennial has turned its focus not only to contemporary art but to the art of the future. Curated and organised by Courtauld students, this year’s exhibition brings together a number of emerging artists from across the capital. Following the legacy of Joshua Compston, former Courtauld student and founder of the biennial, this year’s team of curators, led by Claire Ping and Aileen Dowling, have undertaken the task of installing works of contemporary artworks in the unconventional spaces offered by the Courtauld’s architecture. And, as ever, have sought to restore art to its “right

The Wallace Collection: An Interview with the 9th Marquess of Hertford

Illustration by Nia Thomas The beloved Wallace Collection boasts a rich and exhilarating heritage, one that is intrinsically linked to the Hertford family. Surveying the grand galleries and the intimate setting of the first floor Oval Drawing Room, I was honoured to get the opportunity to sit down in the Wallace Collection’s courtyard and probe the exceptional mind of Lord Hertford, an honorary Trustee of the museum. The extensive collection, including paintings by Titian, Rubens, Rembrant, Poussin, furniture by André-Charles Boulle, and one of the best collections of Indian, Persian and Turkish, armoire ranging from the 15th to the 19th century, was left by Amélie-Julie-Charlotte Castelnau


Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists, 1568 Edition. We look at objects, write about them, talk about them, consume them. They are the centre of our discipline - the focal point and its reason to be. For OBJECT No. 2 Elizabeth Craig from the Courtauld Book Library discusses Giorgio Vasari’s entry on Properzia de’ Rossi in the 1568 edition of The Lives of the Artists. Regarded as the first of its kind, Le Vite was reportedly begun after Paolo Giovio convinced Giorgio Vasari to publish the notes he had been collecting on famous artists. When it was first circulated in 1550, The Lives of the Artists contained what Vasari considered the most eminent Italian painters, sculptors and architects

‘History’, ‘Unscripted’ Historical Traces and the Fiction of Ownership in the work of Sven Augustijn

The starting-point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is ‘knowing thyself’ as a product of the historical processes to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory. Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks, 1929 There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History VII, 1940 Sven Augustijnen, Spectres (stills), 2011. Courtesy: Jan Mot, Brussels. ‘Own it!’ is a common American colloquialism, the kind of thing a Real Housewife™ would demand of her castmate who has failed to accept responsibility for something unsavoury she has supposed

Brief Encounter at Empire Cinemas Haymarket

After recently experiencing the wonder that is The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh’s latest show; now on tour), I was very excited to see the revival of the company’s 2008 hit, Brief Encounter – the two shows, which are both directed by Emma Rice and deal with a love affair using similar theatrical devices, naturally invite comparison. This theatrical adaptation of Noël Coward’s 1936 play and David Lean’s 1945 film, which incorporates many of Coward’s classic songs, tells the story of the affair between housewife Laura and GP Alec in a wonderful spectacle somewhere between theatre, musical theatre and film. Anyone familiar with Kneehigh’s work will know their knack for fusing music and da

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography at the National Portrait Gallery

The Evening Sun (Iphigenia), c 1860, by Oscar Rejlander The Victorians lived in a world flooded with new optical instruments and physiological investigations, provoking anxiety about technological progress and the nature of beauty. Early photographers – like Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Clementina Harwarden and Oscar Rejlander – faced these issues head-on when experimenting with a fledgling medium. This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, however, emphasises composition over novelty, pushing its audience to consider these photographers, shown together for the first time, as artists akin to painters. While iconic portraits of celebrities like Tennyson and Rossetti fit the

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922 at Centre Pompidou

After the success of Kollektsia, which unveiled the donation of more than 250 works from Soviet and contemporary Russia, the Pompidou Centre is now showing avant-garde productions from the period of Vitebsk’s School of Art (1918-1922). With a selection of works from the museum’s collection, as well as unprecedented loans from international and Russian collections, visitors will have the opportunity to discover the short history of this institution, founded by Marc Chagall, and where El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich left a strong mark. Following the events of 1917, which marked the end of Tsarist Russia, a new society began, with the construction a more equal, socialist world. One major chan

SURGE. A glimpse into the future of the contemporary art scene The Courtauld Institute of Art

Kickstarter Preview Event 26 April 2018, 18.00-21.00, £5 tickets Larry Amponsah, Hunger, Curiosity, & Urgency , Mixed Media Collage & Painitng on Somerset velvet paper, 342 x 180 cm, Royal College of Art, MA Painting The 13th East Wing Biennial, an exhibition organised entirely by students that, since its inception in 1991, has exhibited established icons of the British Art scene including Gilbert and George, Howard Hodgkin and Damien Hirst. On the 26th April, The Courtauld will open its doors for the Kickstarter opening of the 13th East Wing, SURGE. Guests will get the chance to catch a glimpse of the work of emerging contemporary artists in the place dedicated to its study. This year’s exh

Current Affairs 6.04

Unheard tape of Francis Bacon shredding Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol is revealed A tape has been revealed in which Francis Bacon calls John’s painting False Start ‘ridiculous’ and Warhol’s works ‘very bad’. He goes on to say: “It is such a ridiculous thing”. “The whole thing, it is nothing. It is just a series of a number of diagonal scratches going in different directions in red and blue.” Read the full article at: Indonesian Tourist Attraction is a complete rip off of Chris Burden, Yayoi Kusama, and Museum of Ice Cream A new tourism park in Indonesia, seen to be a destinat

Curiosity, Collecting and Cabinets - An Interview with Mark Dion

Detail from The Wonder Workshop (2015) by Mark Dion American conceptual artist Mark Dion has long been fascinated with how we understand, categorise and collect from the natural world around us. Through his drawings, sculpture and installations Dion explores how we tell stories about the natural world and challenges the narratives that fill many of our museums and scientific institutions. Where do we draw the line between scientific fact and human feeling? The current retrospective of his work Theatre of the Natural World at the Whitechapel Gallery features a glow-in-the-dark wunderkammer, live zebra finches flying around an enormous human-sized birdcage, and a cabinet filled with curiositi

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