Art in the Age of Black Power

SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER, Tate Modern, until 22nd October 2017

 

Elizabeth Catlett
Black Unity, 1968
Mahogany wood
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, © Catlett Mora Family Trust/DACS, London / VAGA, NY 2017

 

I am grateful to John Kirkwood to visiting and writing about this exhibition:

 

It is quite startling to enter this exhibition and be confronted by copies of the Black Panther newspaper – the printed form of the ideology behind the Black Panther movement of the early sixties which wasn’t always engaged in peaceful or lawful pursuits.

Faith Ringgold (b.1930)
American People Series #20: Die, 1967
Oil on canvas,1828 x 3657 mm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase; and gift of the Modern Women’s Fund, © Faith Ringgold

There are images in varying media of many of the personalities involved in the rise of the awareness of Black Power including Aretha Franklin, Muhammad Ali and Toni Morrison.  On the more political side we have of course Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who has a painting dedicated to him by Jack Whitten on public display for the first time.  There is a fragment from The Wall of Respect in Chicago which became a powerful symbol of the Civil Rights movement.

Andy Warhol
Muhammad Ali, 1978
Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 1016 x 1016 mm
Private collection
© 2017 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London

This is a timely and far-reaching exhibition and a major celebration of a crucial but perhaps overlooked area of American art history when black artists rose to the challenge of increasing their visibility and saying out loud and clear ‘We are here!’

Roy DeCarava
Couple Walking,1979
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper, 356 x 279 mm
© Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives

http://www.tate.org.uk

Inspired by Rothschild Species

Creatures & Creations: Art by Platon H and designs by Mary Katrantzou inspired by Rothschild species, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 29th October 2017 (Wed-Sun)

Lionel Walter Rothschild and a tortoise, early 20th century;
Waddesdon (Rothschild Family) Photo © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

The inspiration for this exhibition that combines digital art, fashion and animal specimens is Walter, 2nd Lord Rothschild and nephew of Waddesdon’s builder Ferdinand. Walter who lived at Tring Park. He was fascinated by natural sciences – birds, butterflies and giant tortoises. He even had zebras trained to draw his carriage. He was held in esteem and many species – creatures and plants – were named after him and known as ‘Rothschildi’.

Creatures & Creations, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Derek Pelling (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

 

Designs by Mary Katrantzou, Creatures and Creations, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Mike Fear (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor (50)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteen Rothschild species – birds, butterflies and insects – have been the inspiration for the Greek artist Platon H’s digital collages which use their abstract natural patterns while the noted fashion designer Mary Katrantzou has created three couture gowns that celebrate the beauty of their nature. Combine this with specimens from the Natural History Museum at Tring, originally founded by Walter and opened in 1892 and it is an exhibition of wide appeal and imagination!

Galapagos Giant Tortoise from Tring Natural History Museum, Creatures and Creations, Waddesdon Manor.
Photo Mike Fear (c) National Trust, Waddesdon Manor (14)

waddesdon.org.uk

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/tring

 

‘A Cut Above’

Pat Albeck – ‘A CUT ABOVE’, Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, 89-91 Pimlico Road London SW1, 22nd – 27th May 2017

What better way could there be for Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler to celebrate Chelsea Flower Show Week in their Pimlico Road showrooms than with this display of paper flower collages by Pat Albeck. Well-known for her textile designs she has created these works using   “a really sharp pair of nail scissors” and Italian coloured fine art paper to create these botanical studies. I am sure some of you will be reminded of pietra dura panels through the colour palette she uses.

www.sibylcolefax.com

The London Original Print Fair 2017

The London Original Print Fair 2017, Main Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts, London W1 4th –  7th  May 2017

General shot of the London Original Print Fair
Photographer credit: Benedict Johnson

This Fair always fascinates as it seamlessly combines prints from across the centuries, including newly published works by artists such as Brian Eno, Gillian Ayres, Tess J and Christopher Le Brun PRA. The talks programme includes the Annual Printmaking Talk by Cornelia Parker OBE RA and Gordon Samuel on the Grosvenor School.  Definitely a place to go whether looking for works to hang on your walls or to start a collection.

Brian Eno,
Grapefruit, 2016.
Courtesy Paul Stolper, London

 

Claude Lorrain
Coast scene with an artist – Le dessinateur
Etching, circa 1638-41
Courtesy Christopher Mendez

 

Anish Kapoor
Blue Shadow 2013
Courtesy Lyndsey Ingram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Ravilious,
Commander Looking Through the Periscope, 1941
Courtesy The Fine Art Society

 

Bridget Riley
Untitled 1962
Courtesy Karsten Schubert

 

 

http://www.londonprintfair.com

Battersea Spring

Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring, Battersea Evolution, London SW11, 9th – 12th March 2017

 

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley. Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm. from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

Peep Show II by Kevin Hendley.
Oil on panel, 21 x 17cm.
from Cameron Contemporary Art at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea.

I am sure there is no need to tell you what a tempting mélange of artistic works in most disciplines awaits you at this Spring edition but I thought a gentle reminder may be welcome.

 

https://affordableartfair.com/fairs/battersea-spring

 

Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries, until 2nd April 2017

Robert Rauschenberg Untitled (double Rauschenberg) ca. 1950 Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil Monoprint: exposed blueprint paper 209.6 x 92.1 cm Private collection

Robert Rauschenberg
Untitled (double Rauschenberg)
ca. 1950
Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil
Monoprint: exposed blueprint paper
209.6 x 92.1 cm
Private collection

This important show on Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), organised in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art in New York, is comprehensive and reveals his ability to challenge and change boundaries whether in painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, technology or stage design and performance.  One easily understands why he was the first American artist to win the Golden Lion for painting at the 1963 Venice Biennale.

Monogram 1955-59 Combine: oil, paper, fabric, printed reproductions, metal, wood, rubber shoe-heel, and tennis ball on two conjoined canvases with oil on taxidermied Angora goat with brass plaque and rubber tire on wood platform mounted on four casters 106.7 x 135.2 x 163.8 cm Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Purchase with contribution from Moderna Museets Vänner/The Friends of Moderna Museet © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York

Monogram
1955-59
Combine: oil, paper, fabric, printed reproductions, metal, wood, rubber shoe-heel, and tennis ball on two conjoined canvases with oil on taxidermied Angora goat with brass plaque and rubber tire on wood platform mounted on four casters
106.7 x 135.2 x 163.8 cm
Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Purchase with contribution from Moderna Museets Vänner/The Friends of Moderna Museet
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York

As the images here show this is really an exhibition that has to be experienced in order to fully understand Rauschenberg’s huge talent and drive to create with its continuing theme of performance and dance running throughout.

Robert Rauschenberg Retroactive II 1964 Oil and silk-screen ink print on canvas 213.4 x 152.4 cm Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Partial gift of Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York. Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

Robert Rauschenberg
Retroactive II
1964
Oil and silk-screen ink print on canvas
213.4 x 152.4 cm
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Partial gift of Stefan T. Edlis and H. Gael Neeson
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York.
Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

 

Robert Rauschenberg Bed 1955 Combine painting: oil, pencil, toothpaste, and red fingernail polish on pillow, quilt (previously owned by the artist Dorothea Rockburne), and bedsheet mounted on wood supports 191.1 x 80 x 20.3 cm The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of Leo Castelli in honour of Aldred H. Barr, Jr. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York Image: The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, F

Robert Rauschenberg
Bed
1955
Combine painting: oil, pencil, toothpaste, and red fingernail polish on pillow, quilt (previously owned by the artist Dorothea Rockburne), and bedsheet mounted on wood supports
191.1 x 80 x 20.3 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of Leo Castelli in honour of Aldred H. Barr, Jr.
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York
Image: The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, F

 

 

www.tate.org

BOOK REVIEW: Beautiful People of the Café Society

Beautiful People of the Café Society

Scrapbooks by the Baron de Cabrol

Written by Baron de Cabrol, Text by Thierry Coudert

Publisher: Flammarion
ISBN: 978-2-08-020271-0
£75

 beautifulpeople_cover

The Baron de Cabrol’s legendary scrapbooks take us into an exciting era of glamour and style combined with extravagance and decadence.  It is the world of cosmopolitan café society from 1938 to the 60s amusingly brought to life by through collages, watercolours and archival documents, Daisy and Fred de Cabrol were one of the leading society couples of their era and knew everybody worth knowing.

Bal de Têtes” at the Cabrols, March 25, 1949. © Fred de Cabrol, from Beautiful People of the Café Society (Flammarion, 2016)

Bal de Têtes” at the Cabrols, March 25, 1949.
© Fred de Cabrol, from Beautiful People of the Café Society (Flammarion, 2016)

In this riveting social history we encounter the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Arturo Lopez-Willshaw and his wife Patricia, Pamela Harriman, Charles de Beistegui, Cecil Beaton, Diana and Duff Cooper, Mona Bismarck and many, many others. This is a wonderful trip into a vanished world – those were the days!

Bobsy Carvalho’s Venetian ball, given in 1948 at the Deligny swimming pool. To the left is Daisy de Cabrol, to the right, Fred de Cabrol and the Baroness de l’Espée, and in the center, Bobsy Carvalho. © Fred de Cabrol, from Beautiful People of the Café Society (Flammarion, 2016).

Bobsy Carvalho’s Venetian ball, given in 1948 at the Deligny swimming pool. To the left is Daisy de Cabrol, to the right, Fred de Cabrol and the Baroness de l’Espée, and in the center, Bobsy Carvalho.
© Fred de Cabrol, from Beautiful People of the Café Society (Flammarion, 2016).

http://editions.flammarion.com/