A round-up of the week’s reviews…
During the course of its study of the painting, the Getty revealed some interesting facts, and debunked some myths. People have often claimed – partly on the basis of Lee Krasner’s anecdotal reports – that Pollock painted Mural entirely in one feverish, late-night session. Layers of distinctly dried paint disprove this, although a basic design with a limited palette probably was executed in a single session.
Most of the artworks are drawn from the Tate’s own stores, ranging from its 16th century to its contemporary collections. Through the interplay of art across different periods the exhibition shows how ruins form a dialogue with the past, but also how they rise up out of the impermanence of the present, or are imagined in an uncertain future.
‘Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight’, at the The Folio Society Gallery in the British Library (until 26 May), charts – excuse the pun – the intersections between data and visual culture. Framed as the ‘elegant’ union of two disciplines, the graphics here range from the humble table, to state-of-the-art digital and interactive displays.
In the end, it’s difficult to imagine what critics who expressed such disappointment were searching for. It’s unrealistic to expect a tight, cohesive exhibition, as if any part of American art has played out according to these principles.
Sheikh’s paintings are greatly influenced by Ali’s poignant prose, in addition to a wide variety of other sources – Indian and Persian miniature painting, Central Asian wall painting, Kashmiri folk tales, the artist’s childhood memories, and the works of medieval, pre-modern, and contemporary authors. The result is a bewildering, vibrant, kaleidoscopic set of works that not only acknowledge the Hindu-Muslim conflict, but cast light on Kashmir’s composite history and culture.
Many viewers do double takes in front of the digital paintings. What might at first look like a light-box depicting an Old Master painting – unusual perhaps, but not so strange – catches you with a small movement, drawing you into its charmed and softly uncanny vision.