Category: ART

Raphael is coming to the National Gallery London


From 3 October 2020 to 24 January 2021, the National Gallery London will host the work of Raphael. He was a painter, draughtsman, architect, archaeologist, and poet who captured in his art the human and the divine, love, friendship, learning, and power, who gave us quintessential images of community and civilisation: Raphael’s life was short, his work prolific, and his legacy immortal.  In the year that marks the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the National Gallery will present one of the first-ever exhibitions to explore the complete career of this giant of the Italian Renaissance.  In his brief career, spanning just two decades, Raffaello Santi (1483–1520) shaped the course of Western culture like few artists before or since.  This exhibition will examine not just his celebrated paintings and drawings – but also his not so widely known work in architecture, archaeology, poetry, and design for sculpture, tapestry, prints, and the applied arts. The aim is to do something no previous Raphael exhibition has ever done – explore every aspect of his multimedia activity and in 2020, the Gallery will do just that. Find out more at the National Gallery’s website.

V&A Museum London: Guo Pei presents first runway show in the UK

Guo Pei dress crow

First things first: Who’s Guo Pei? Remember the yellow gown that Rhianna wore on the red carpet of the Met Gala in 2015? She made that. And many other haute couture pieces as part of her work as China’s largest named couturier in the 21st century. She’s a big deal. And now, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is hosting a landmark presentation by her, showcasing looks from her AW 2019/20 Alternate Universe Couture collection inside the museum’s iconic Raphael Gallery on Friday 1 November 2019. It’s all part of Fashion in Motion: V&A’s key fashion event enabling anyone to take a seat on the front row. It provides a platform for both established and up-and-coming designers, and presents – as part of its regular series – free-to-attend runway shows for the public. Its previously featured Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto and other large names. “I am very pleased to be the featured designer of V&A’s Fashion in Motion 20th anniversary show. This will also be my first-ever show in the United Kingdom. The V&A is an historic platform, preserving and celebrating art and design in many forms, from many cultures and very often spanning many centuries. I feel fortunate to be included onto V&A’s platform and very much looking forward to the collaboration,” said Guo. Guo Pei has established herself as one of the most inventive designers working today. Showcasing the finest of traditional Chinese craftsmanship while incorporating contemporary innovation, her designs take inspiration from myths, legends, religious, architecture, and her… Read More

Mushrooms at Somerset House: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi

Beatrix Potter, Hygrophorus puniceus, pencil and watercolour, 7.10.1894,

This right here is the kind of work that sets Somerset House apart and makes for January 2020’s next exhibition you need to see. Doesn’t matter if you take them, cook them or eat them, the humble ‘shroom is a wealth of point of interest, all its own. This exhibition explores that in all its glory, from the mind and talent of curator and writer Francesca Gavin. Through the work of over 40 artists, designers and musicians, Mushrooms celebrates the rich legacy and incredible potential of the remarkable fungus, the ideas it inspires in the poetic, spiritual and psychedelic, and the powerful promise it offers to combat the human devastation of the planet. Throughout the exhibition, international artists will delve into their take on the concept of the mushroom, spanning large-scale sculpture, hand-cut collage, painting, drawing, photography, film and performance. The incredible versatility of mushrooms is also explored in new, conceptual pieces from designers working across architecture, furniture and fashion, including a 3D-printed mycelium chair from Eric Klarenbeek, light shades and stools from Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova, and mushroom based textiles. It all goes down on 31 January 2020 to 26 April 2020. See more at the Somerset House website.

Coming to Buckingham Palace: the Art and Spectacle of George IV

George IV feature

George IV: Art & Spectacle is at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 15 November and it really is one to see. He’s the man who turned Buckingham Palace into a Palace, built the residence in Brighton and amassed collections from around the world in such great volumes that he’s almost like the patron saint of the Royal Collection. What sits inside the Palace owes a lot to the late King (1762–1830), renowned for his Bacchante ways and art promulgation. He was hated by many, but sat at the throne for a long time and for good reason, casting the reach of Britain further in the creative realm than any other. From 1811, George ruled as Regent, due to the decline in the mental health of his father, George III. By the time he came to the throne in 1820, aged 57, he was intensely disliked by a nation tired of his extravagant lifestyle. Today he is perhaps best known as the rotund, gout-ridden, drunken buffoon lampooned by the satirists of the day for his acrimonious marriage to Princess Caroline of Brunswick and his many mistresses. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and a period of unprecedented global exploration, George IV: Art & Spectacle considers the Monarch’s public image, taste for the theatrical and exotic, admiration of French style and all-consuming passion for collecting. It will present George as a man of extreme contrasts: on the one hand, a recklessly profligate showman, and on the other, a connoisseur with intellectual interests whose endless… Read More

V&A goes green: Supporting Extinction Rebellion with a new display

Extinction Rebellion 1

The Victoria and Albert, V&A, Museum in London has announced something new: they’ve newly acquired work that supports the movement of Extinction Rebellion (XR). The group is known for their non-violent demonstrations of civil disobedience and disruption, who’ve busied themselves since 31 October 2018, urging the UK government to declare a climate and ecological emergency and commit to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025. They have grown into an international movement with over 363 groups active in 59 countries around the world. And now, the V&A is putting them on show. Given by the Extinction Rebellion Arts Group, a coalition of graphic designers, artists and activists responsible for XR’s Design Programme, the objects reveal how XR has harnessed the power of open-source design to develop a coherent and impactful visual identity and sought to foster a collaborative ‘do-it-together’ movement recognisable across the globe. The objects have been acquired through the V&A’s Rapid Response Collecting programme that enables the acquisition and immediate display of design objects that address questions of social, political, technological and economic change. The collection includes: A digital file of the Extinction Symbol – the logo designed by east-London artist ESP in 2011 and adopted by XR in 2018 The Extinction Symbol website where the symbol is available for download for non-commercial use The first printed pamphlet issued by XR group outlining its ‘Declaration of Rebellion’. The immediate popularity of these pamphlets makes this example from the first print-run extremely rare, while the screen-printed text and graphics outline the emphasis XR placed… Read More

What is human perfection? Melbourne Uni takes a look with its new art commission

First Commission

Melbourne University is doing something interesting with art. They’ve given 30 emerging artists the chance to work across three locations, alongside some of the world’s most famous works of art – all without as much as a brief. A challenge? Yes, but one the artists whose own take on creativity and the historical beauty of so many of the pieces they work alongside, have proven great inspiration for the projects they undertook. Called First Commissions, the Uni’s project is purposed to present these 30 unique responses from the artistic troupe. It asked them to reinterpret world-changing historical commissions for the present moment, all of which were pretty broadly reaching; Think, the Titanic to Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, to Michaelangelo’s David, a vision of human perfection. In fact, five of the 30 artists worked with David, working back from the finished product to create pieces that told the story of being a person in the modern day. Through each of their five disciplines, Esther Stewart, Aboriginal Australian visual artist Ashley Perry choreographer and dancer Jack Riley, interactive composer Samuel Kreusler and classical composer Danna Yun, churned out works that did just that. The University of Melbourne was able to launch the project at the statue of David in Florence, from where the exhibition will then make its way to Melbourne, taking place over Open House weekend (27-28 July) in the Martyn Myer Arena on the University of Melbourne Southbank campus. The exhibition will include 30 works responding to the 7 commissions and involve over 100 emerging artists… Read More

Gauguin’s portraits are coming to the National Gallery London


Paul Gauguin’s first-ever exhibition devoted to his portraits (1848–1903) will open at the National Gallery this October. On until 26 January 2019, the exhibition will show how the French artist, famous for his paintings of French Polynesia, revolutionised the art of the portrait. Gauguin was rarely interested in exploring his portrait sitters’ social standing, personality, or family background, which had been among the main reasons for painting portraits in the past.  The exhibition’s made up of sculptures in ceramics, wood paintings, drawings and more, even showing how Gauguin created a range of personifications including his self-image as Jesus Christ. Together with his use of intense colour and his interest in non-Western subject matter, his approach had a far-reaching influence on artists throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Gauguin Portraits will show how the artist – inspired by his time spent in Brittany, France and French Polynesia from the mid-1880s to the end of his life in 1903 – became fascinated by societies that to him seemed close to nature. With their folk-tale heritage and spirituality, these communities appeared to him to be far removed from the industrialisation of Paris. See the exhibition at the National Gallery in London from October to 26 January 2019. See more at the Gallery’s website.

Cut Copy and London’s Somerset House Summer Series takes over the West End

Somerset House Cut Copy

Across eleven nights of open-air gigs, Somerset House Summer Series with American Express will be pumping out music, food and drinks and good vibes, while the sun’s in the sky and everyone’s mood is high. The Series is all about bringing a vibrant festival atmosphere to the very heart of London with a programme of pioneering musicians across a range of genres For example, on Friday 19 July, Melbourne band Cut Copy will take to the stage right in the middle of Somerset House, serving up some of the band’s latest work, an entirely new flavour all their own. “Shaking off some of the Balearic and acid house leanings heard on older releases, their new tracks favour Afrobeat textures, dubby rhythm sections and sweeping disco synths with an upbeat, effervescent tone that reflects their Melbourne origins,” says Somerset House. Summer Series gives music fans a live experience unlike any other, with the rare chance to see critically acclaimed artists plus some of the best up and coming performers in a spectacular yet intimate setting. Before Cut Copy, London was looking at the likes of Nao, Sons of Kemet, Jacob Banks and Rosalia + Badgirl$. See the full line-up here. The series ends on 21 July, so get in quickly, or sign up to Somerset House’s newsletter for when they do it again.

Free gay exhibition for London Pride: Kiss My Genders

Art London 4

Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery is offering free admission to all visitors for its latest exhibition, Kiss My Genders from 11am – 7pm on Saturday 6 July.  The new exhibition Kiss My Genders is all about celebrating more than 30 international artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity. Spanning the past 50 years, Kiss My Genders brings together over 100 artworks by different generations of artists from around the world. Employing a wide range of approaches, these artists share an interest in articulating and engaging with gender fluidity, as well as with non-binary, trans and intersex identities. If acceptance, joy and tolerance are your thing, then this exhibition is for you. Give it a shot at the Southbank Centre and see more at the website.

Dark Mofo exhibition in Hobart: Mines; from the mind of Simon Denny

Simon Denny Mines Dark Mofo

An unnervingly vibrant dystopia opened on the eve of the madness that is Dark MOFO 2019. Curated by Jarrod Rawling and Emma Pike and taking two and half years from conception to exhibition, Mines will leave you feeling helpless. In the bowels of MONA is a colourful sign, “Mines”. Fittingly its physical location is buried beneath the earth.  But this is less about our traditional mineral past and more about the collection and manipulation of what we may see as intangible. Data. Our data. Metric monitoring of our behaviours and patterns. Allowing corporate entities to manipulate what we love, what we hate, what we must have. Using the bones of the classic boardgame, Squatter, Denny has amended its gameplay and thematics to reflect our era, our data.  Denny lulls us with space. He gives us room to move and the freedom to interact. With intelligent use of “The O”, augmented reality, designed by the MONA boffins, we are able to see how our interactions with the exhibit are collated and displayed real time. This speaks to the reality of our digital presence being commoditised and with the information space changing around us thanks to surveillance capitalism, one thing is clear, we are the resource. Come and see. Don’t be helpless, all alone. Mines is open until the 13th April 2020. Remember to download “The O”, from the iTunes App Store before you arrive, or collect a device from the lovely crew at MONA. Entry is $28, $25 concession, Tasmanians and under 18s get in for free.