We are delighted to announce Spectrum’s competition, The Spectrum Art Prize. This is a new national award which celebrates the exciting work produced by artists on the autistic spectrum.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) were both sons of artists, both mastered realism at an early age, both left their native countries and both turned up in Paris, where they met for the first time in 1931 and enjoyed a working friendship that flourished until the 1950s.
Between 1560 and 1630, Europe experienced the worst of a Little Ice Age characterised by long, cold winters. The cruel weather coincided with the most intensive period of witch hunts in history. Bruegel the elder, is credited with leading the way as Flemish and Dutch artists developed what is now the popular image of a witch, flying on a broomstick with her ragged hair streaming in the wind.
Wry, strange, self-mocking, subversive, acerbic, ironic, cynical, sarcastic, bitter, unconventional and of course surreal – are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind as you browse the unsettling Belgian art on display in a central Brussels venue until 24th January.
Barbara Hepworth said finding Trewyn Studio in St Ives was “a sort of magic”. It provided her with the perfect context to work, in harmony with her surroundings, and to display her sculptures in the best possible light to reveal their contours and depths.
Two things strike in this exhibition: a strong sense of Englishness and a creative link to an artistic heritage as far back as the antique world.
What exactly is the essence of Belgium? Far harder to pin down than French chic or English sang-froid, the nation’s uneasy mix of Walloon and Flemish, surreal and down-to-earth, all miraculously held together, is perfectly encapsulated by the Atomium – a giant, futuristic structure on the northern edge of Brussels.
One of the more unlikely joys of Brussels life is the rotating EU presidency. Every six months, a different member of the 28-strong European Union takes on the task of presiding over policy-making. For the citizens of Brussels, it’s a chance for a cultural mini break without the expense and inconvenience of braving the airport.
It is always interesting to pinpoint the moment when one becomes conscious of a change of mood or orientation in contemporary artistic practices. Something has emerged that offers quite a different tonic. This ‘something’ might be termed ‘mindful matter’: it is materialism with a twist, or with a new twist.
When approached for an idea for an exhibition at Turner Contemporary, guest curator, Brian Dillon, editor of the arts magazine Cabinet, hit upon the concept of ‘curiosity’.
Phillip Kotokwa – sculptor in stone from Zimbabwe
Lucy Chaloner reviews exhibitions by Shelley Wilson