='data:blog.isMobile ? "width=device-width,initial-scale=1.0,minimum-scale=1.0,maximum-scale=1.0" : "width=1100"' name='viewport'/> The Crawford Arts Review

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Art of the Netherlands: The Hague

We travel northwest of Hague Centre today and visit the Gemeentemuseum, the famous modern art building built in the 1930s by the celebrated architect HP Berlage. The Gemeentemuseum (literally the museum of The Hague Municipality) itself has been called a modern palace of the arts. Here you'll find Art Nouveau of the Netherlands, Mondrian and de Stijl, and a continually changing display of modern art, including Delftware. See also this link to the permanent collection. 

Sunday, 6 May 2018

The Art of the Netherlands: Mauritshuis, The Hague

Mauritshuis: some paintings from the permanent collection

In discussing some of the paintings held in this unique collection of Dutch 'Golden Age' art, let's keep for a moment to our 'posh ladies getting tipsy' theme. 

Once again, as with the Jan Steen work shown below, the artist whose work is shown here, Frans van Mieris the Elder, has played with our sense of decorum. It's a seduction scene. Aha, but the subjects are none other than Mr and Mrs Van Mieris themselves.

  • Plein 29
  • 2511 CS Den Haag

Until Sunday 13 May 
(check the Mauritshuis website for any extensions)
Jan Steen's Histories

Jan Steen, The Banquet
of Antony and Cleopatra
, 1667
courtesy of the Mauritshuis

Netherlands' artists of the Dutch Golden Age are rightly celebrated for their genre paintings - scenes from everyday life. Jan Steen (1626-1679), the artist discussed here, painted scenes not only of domestic order but also of disorder. He frequently depicts drunkenness and is sometimes moralising (The Effects of Intemperance) but not always (Man blowing Smoke at a Drunken Woman). This exhibition in the Mauritshuis temporary exhibition galleries shows the artist's mastery of biblical, mythological and historical subjects. He seems to take particular delight in portraying posh ladies either with their maids getting dolled up or with some gallant getting tipsy. The example I've chosen here, a history painting (the subject of this exhibition and a genre on its own), is a case in point. Here the painter is taking on the Ptolemaic Kingdom's famous Queen, Cleopatra. Look at the way the artist shows us her loosening limbs, the relaxation of her queenly pose. She's dining with Mark Antony by the way, whom she eventually married; here she's shown literally letting her hair down.

In a forthcoming post we'll get on to some of the paintings in the Mauritshuis permanent collection. You might know some of the works already? Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft; The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius . . ..


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Until Saturday 05 May

Polaroids were a happy way of framing a scene and instantly printing it out to check that the  composition had all of the desired features. In this Wim Wenders' show at Blain|Southern, Early Works: 19641984, the filmmaker and photographer took that little camera everywhere. Whether filming or touring, together, they visited France, Iceland, Australia, Algeria, Bali, Germany, and all across America. 

Friday, 30 March 2018

Until Saturday 28 April

Neon / Light: Sarah Lucas, Cerith Wyn Evans, Damien Hirst, Brian Eno, Peter Saville
Paul Stolper Gallery, Museum Street, WC1

Until Saturday 05 May Wim Wenders: Early Works, 1964-1984
Blain|Southern, Hanover Square, W1

Wim Wenders, In Brittany,  1964
Silver gelatin on Baryt paper, glazed,
on Alu Dibond, courtesy of
the artist and Blain|Southern

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Until Saturday 28 April

The work of no fewer than 5 art heavyweights is currently gathered in one smallish room at the Paul Stolper Gallery in Museum Street in an exhibition called Neon / Light.

Sarah Lucas, very much not the token woman in a group of four males, is showing New Religion (Orange), 2013, the outline of a  coffin (see pic below). Her gallerist, Paul, has neatly counterpointed 

Friday, 16 March 2018

Paintings by page numbers

I praised Modigliani's sculptured 'Heads' (some 12 are shown in this exhibition) in a previous post, so what do I think of his paintings? A wide variety of opinions circulate about them, at least in London  My advice is to make plans to visit this exhibition immediately before it closes in just over a fortnight. Otherwise, again in my opinion, you will miss something strikingly beautiful and, in terms of nudes, strikingly unusual. This is a man who paints a seemly nude. In a pure sense, they are academic nudes, the model's integrity intact. Modigliani was a great deal ahead of his time. And still is.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

David Batchelor's Spectrum of Brick Lane 22007, at Tate Modern (Blavatnik Building (the Extension) Level 4 Concourse)