“Colour and I are one. I am a painter” – Paul Klee retrospective at Tate

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. The above is the opening sentence to Paul Klee’s Creative Confessions, a critical text written in 1920 that reflects on the artist’s thinking and creative processes. He sees the visual piece as a record of movement, a journey through unploughed fields, rivers, fog, a “flashContinue reading ““Colour and I are one. I am a painter” – Paul Klee retrospective at Tate”

Going with the times – Daumier at the Royal Academy

Exhibitions held in the Royal Academy’s Sackler Wing have always been very impressive. My first exhibition at the RA was the J. W. Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite back in 2009, and since then the subsequent shows have hardly disappointed. Daumier (1808-1879): Visions of Paris continues this trend of high-quality monographic exhibitions, having previously exhibited worksContinue reading “Going with the times – Daumier at the Royal Academy”

Modern portraiture – the Old and the New Viennese

Vienna, also known as the City of Music, was an area where many great composers found their place in musical history, icons such as Mozart, Brahms and Mahler. Theatres and opera houses filled the city with world-class music, attracting tourists and immigrants from across the Empire. During the years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918), ViennaContinue reading “Modern portraiture – the Old and the New Viennese”

East meets West – Chinese Painting at the V&A

Being inherently of Chinese origin, one might assume that I would have a certain attraction to the paintings of the East. In fact, my upbringing in Western society has actually steered me towards Western European art, leaving me almost ignorant to the understanding of a tradition of art that has become part of my heritageContinue reading “East meets West – Chinese Painting at the V&A”

Behind the glass…the British Museum Print Room.

Have any of you ever felt irritated by the impatient crowds behind you as you strive to appreciate a work of art in detail? Have you ever wished the print in front of you was hung in a better light without any issues with glare and annoying reflections? Have you ever hoped to cross thatContinue reading “Behind the glass…the British Museum Print Room.”

What’s the difference between a Roman and an English person? Not much!

A black, carbonised wooden table, found in the ruins of Herculaneum, a lion’s head carved into its leg. Hanging above it, a joyous fresco of lovers drinking, the cares of the world seeping away into the distance. Finally, filling the empty void of the display case, the plaster cast of a once-playful dog, arched asContinue reading “What’s the difference between a Roman and an English person? Not much!”

Vermeer and the role of music

I assume many of us are familiar with Johannes Vermeer’s painterly masterpiece entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring (c. 1665), on display at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshius in The Hague, the Netherlands. Well, unfortunately, the National Gallery’s latest exhibition doesn’t have anything to do with this painting, but it draws on a theme thatContinue reading “Vermeer and the role of music”

Lowry and the Working Class

They are symbols of my mood, they are myself. –          L. S. Lowry Tate Britain’s recently opened Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life exhibition is a wonderful display of the works of the Lancashire-born artist. The retrospective, his first at Tate, features around 90 paintings alongside various sketches, most of which feature his distinctiveContinue reading “Lowry and the Working Class”

Summer Exhibition 2013 – slightly different from usual…just ‘slightly’.

A few months ago I was welcomed home by a rather strange envelope from the Royal Academy of Arts. I wondered what it could be. Turns out I was invited to the buyer’s viewing of the 245th annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. Having never been formally invited to such events, I was feelingContinue reading “Summer Exhibition 2013 – slightly different from usual…just ‘slightly’.”

Birth of a Collection: Masterpieces from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Established in 1932 by Dame Martha Constance Hattie Barber – known simply as Lady Barber – and Henry Barber, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a research and partnership institute with a mission to “promote the study and encouragement of art and music for the benefit of the University of Birmingham and the widerContinue reading “Birth of a Collection: Masterpieces from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts”