The ‘Evening Standard’ reports: “One of Britain’s biggest property developers has been allowed to flout rules on affordable housing in central London, claiming it can’t afford to build homes for locals and first-time buyers. Despite Westminster council’s policy that all new housing schemes should contain at least 35 per cent affordable homes, it has given […]
SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER, Tate Modern, until 22nd October 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.
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.
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!’
Westminster City Council and its housing organisation CityWest Homes have left residents hanging on the telephone since implementing their plans to close estate offices and replace them with a new centralised call centre. Labour campaigned against shutting estate offices and warned that the new call centre plan would face significant implementation problems. Since the introduction […]
Royal Gifts – the Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, until 1st October 2017
From the moment you arrive at the Grand Entrance and espy the Australian State Coach, a gift to Her Majesty in 1988 from the people of Australia to mark the Australian Bicentenary, you know you are in for something rather exciting. Indeed many of the State Rooms are transformed by special displays of over two hundred gifts that have been presented to The Queen in the sixty-five years of her reign.
You will discover a remarkable cross section of items and every gift reflects the donor whether a town, organisation or country. Each in its own way is uniquely special. I am not going to mention examples because it is something to be experienced in person. I found it all fascinating and engrossing in a way that I had not expected but will remember for a long time.
In the Music Room is a charming display to mark the twentieth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Many of the objects and mementos on and around her desk from her Sitting Room in Kensington Palace were chosen by the The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception, Compton Verney, until 1st October 2017
Regular readers of my blog may recall that in October 2015 I posted about a small but enjoyable exhibition Bridget Riley: Learning from Seurat at the Courtauld Gallery and now in this large-scale show at Compton Verney this debt is re-visited and much expanded upon.
It reminds us that since the 19th century some artists have been fascinated by the way in which the eye sees optical illusions as it responds to visual stimuli and this point is well proven in this exhibition. Ninety diverse ‘Op Art’ works are featured in the show, including pieces by Victor Vasarely, Julio Le Parc, Jeffrey Steele, Jesus Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Peter Sedgley, Liliane Lijn and, of course, Bridget Riley and Seurat.
Professor Steven Parissien, Director of Compton Verney sums it up: “Optical Art explores a range of effects and emotions, using complex geometry and advanced mathematics to communicate with the viewer in a way that is simultaneously mentally challenging and visually appealing. This wonderful exhibition demonstrates just how exhilarating, electrifying and (quite literally) eye-opening Op Art can be.”
The show is curated by Penelope Sexton and Dr Frances Follin and appropriately enough supported by Farrow & Ball.
Churchill Ward Labour Councillors Jason Williams and Shamim Talukder have called for Westminster Council Leader Cllr Nickie Aiken to step in and provide reassurances for residents of Ebury Bridge Estate on plans for the estate. At a meeting in June 2017 Cllr Aiken tore up plans for the estate after admitting that developers did not see the Council’s plans […]
THE ENCOUNTER: DRAWINGS FROM LEONARDO TO REMBRANDT, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 22nd October 2017
I am grateful to John Kirkwood for visiting and writing about this exhibition:
This delightful exhibition features old master European portrait drawings by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Durer and Rembrandt, many rarely seen and some not displayed for decades.
It attempts to show that the artist and the sitter connected and is rather like going through a Renaissance copy of Vanity Fair featuring as it does eight portraits of people from the court of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger – the David Bailey of his day – but also people from the street as well.
An exhibition which cheers the soul with these close encounters.