A round-up of the week’s reviews and interviews
The latest addition to Dulwich Picture Gallery’s permanent collection display was a bargain at $88. For weeks the cheap Chinese copy after Fragonard’s Young Woman – commissioned by contemporary artist Doug Fishbone – stood in for the original, unmarked and slotted into the old frame, as a challenge to visitors. Could they spot the ‘fake’? They could not, as it turns out.
Romantic artists were, in fact, continuing the Enlightenment emphasis on criticism and applying it to the emotional responses and experiences which that era’s thinkers had overlooked…Thus, George Stubbs’ analysis both of the complex anatomy of the animal world and of the raw emotions of nature are shown by juxtaposing his A Lion attacking a horse (1770) from the University Art Gallery with his Zebra (1763) from the Center for British Art.
After its first spell in the [Economist] plaza, Suwasa was recycled into a work for Terence Conran’s Habitat store in Wallingford in 1973–4. There it joined a group of Paolozzi sculptures to form a children’s playground. This was sculpture that could be touched and climbed on. While parents shopped and lunched, children were offered a non-commercial space where objects were something to explore, not consume.
This year some 50 European and US dealers show works dating from antiquity to the 21st century in every medium, from contemporary ceramics by Fausto Salvi (Lost City Arts) to Freud etchings and Degas sculptures, courtesy of Browse & Darby. As Osborne Samuel’s Peter Osborne puts it: ‘It is the closest thing to a miniature TEFAF – top quality across the board.’ High praise indeed.
Biennale time is fast approaching, and my inbox won’t let me forget it. I’m stuck here in London for the duration, and am starting to feel more than a little provincial. I can’t shake the sense that owing to Biennale-fever, London has temporarily become a cultural backwater. If proof were needed, the most significant exhibitions to open in this country in the past fortnight have been not in the capital, but in East Anglia.
Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter…the list of artists whose work is included in Stefan T. Edlis and Gael Neeson’s bequest is exceptional…