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.
In the Flemish town of Veurne (Furnes in French), tucked away with appropriate incongruity between a bandstand and an aviary, stands a bust of Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), the surrealist painter who lived and died among the step-gabled houses painstakingly rebuilt after the devastation wrought by the World Wars.
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.
An exhibition of the extraordinary output of France’s Henri Cartier-Bresson, hailed as the founder of photojournalism and “the eye of the century”. That is true in the fullest sense of the words, given his exceptional ability to see the telling detail, or, in his own words, to seize the fact related to “the deep reality”.
With their green goats, giant roosters and bridal couples flying through the air, Marc Chagall’s works appear fantastic, but he insisted he only painted direct reminiscences of his own life.
Faces Then focuses on the 16th-century, regarded as the golden age of the portrait, when it was the rich, the powerful and the burgeoning bourgeoisie who could afford to have their portraits taken. Faces Now confines itself to the period since 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and, with it, the collapse of ideologies and artistic parameters.
This is a thought provoking exhibition that aims to go beyond the surface of simply putting faces to the famous names. It suggests an art form that continues to find ways of revealing the self but also reveals the artist as a conduit for all human emotion.
Matisse’s original idea of producing this cut and paste art form in the 1940s, was a major breakthrough in minimalism. The genius of a great artist is to make complex work in a simple way.
This exhibition includes examples of David Harker’s project Species of Trees and drawings, paintings and prints from his portfolio of landscape imagery.
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.
In Brussels, art nouveau found its most complete expression in the architecture of Victor Horta. Now the Brussels’ Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts has devoted a huge new “Fin-de-Siecle” section, a museum in itself, to the artistic context in which he thrived.
Now fully restored, with its chequered Flemish floors, semi-circular gallery and portico inspired by a Roman triumphal arch, the Rubenshuis, Ruben’s home in Antwerp, is one of the most popular attractions in a vibrant city, just under an hour’s train journey from Brussels.