Dora Maar at Tate Modern

This is the last weekend to see the wonderful show at the Tate looking at the work of Dora Maar. The most comprehensive retrospective of her work ever staged, it examines her entire career – influential photomontages, street photography, her painting and her role as Picasso’s muse. During the 30’s Maar worked as a professional…

Frank Bowling

It’s always a pleasure to discover an artist whom you are unfamiliar with, and Frank Bowling is just that man. It is almost criminal that a painter whose work is as vibrant and joyous should have remained a relative unknown for so long, especially since he was a contemporary of R B Kitae and David…

Dorothea Tanning

‘Women artists. There is no such thing—or person. It’s just as much a contradiction in terms as “man artist” or “elephant artist.” You may be a woman and you may be an artist; but the one is a given and the other is you.’ Dorothea Tanning, 1990 As I have previously written, with specific reference…

Anni Albers at Tate Modern

It is fair to say that history has not been kind to women involved in 20th Century art and design. Architects and designers such as Eileen Gray are now lauded as pioneers and yet the first time her name was mentioned on the radio was announcing her death. The women who were involved in the…

Connor and the Kabakovs

Yesterday I took Connor, who is staying with us from South Africa, to Tate Modern. He is about to start his 4th year studying Fine Art at Wits University, Johannesburg. A student led effort to ‘decolonialise’ the University and it’s culture has been laudable, but this idea seems to have also resulted in the near…

Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern

This show is like a starting point. Art movements in the second half of the 20th Century, seem to have sprung from ideas explored here, and each room posts it’s own ‘what if we…?’ question. This retrospective show, currently at Tate Modern and moving to MOMA in May, is filled with works that radiate imagination and…

A Playdate with Mona Hatoum

I’m going to be honest with you, I nearly missed this wonderful exhibition and part of the reason was reading a couple of average reviews, in a newspaper I trust. There is always so much to see in London and so little time to fit it all in and this retrospective always seemed to be…

Conceptual Art in Britain (Images of Oxygen Molecules)

Coventry is known for a number of things, not all of them complimentary – where you’re ‘sent to’ when no one wants to talk to you, Lady Godiva and her naked horse ride, Sir Basil Spence’s Cathedral, Europe’s first pedestrian shopping area (both the result of the extensive bombing of the city in the second…

‘Painting with Light’ at Tate Britain

There is a general opinion that using photographs as a resource for painting is somehow cheating, that drawing or painting from life is purer. The snobbery connected with using photos for reference is a subject that came up when I interviewed Sadie Lee about her portraits of Holly Woodlawn. Here at Tate Britain is a…

TATE Modern Switch House Extension

I am a bit sore, and definitely a little bit smelly. I really should have put on a clean t-shirt this morning, rather than sniffing the one I was wearing yesterday. And the reason for my aching thighs and stinky pits? I spent my entire visit to the Switch House climbing and descending the stairs…