Matisse’s Startling Late Works: The Cut-Outs. Tate Modern, 17 April – 7 September 2014 No wonder Henri Matisse is well loved. His works are sensuous, jubilant, gorgeous: they envelop and immerse the viewer in voluptuousness, in light that finds itself materialised as coloured form, coloured space.
The Future-Past: Competing Temporalities of the Ruin. Ruin Lust, Tate Britain, 4 March – 18 May 2014.
A fascination with ruins has not always been with us. It presumes, for one, a linear notion of time, in other words the idea that the past is irrevocably lost. It is also born of a forensic – or archaeological – interest in history, one that sees in broken remains the traces of past acts and endeavours.
I first came across the work of Delhi born artist Dayanita Singh in an exhibition and book, Myself Mona Ahmed (2001), a photo-essay about an aging eunuch transsexual (hijra) living in a graveyard in Old Delhi. In this extraordinary body of work – the book contains various different kinds of text alongside the photographs) – one sensed not only compassion, but a collaboration between the person in front of the camera, and the one looking through the lens.
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.
The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 11 June – 26 August 2013. Souzu – Outsider Art from Japan, Wellcome Collection, 28 March – 30 June 2013.
The Painting of Modern Life: Contemporary Photography and the Everyday Ruth Rosengarten explores an exhibition that enquires what painting makes of photography
Archive 2010 Ruth Rosengarten reviews an exhibition of Italian Renaissance Drawings at the British Museum, London, 22 April – 25 July, 2010.
The Intimate and the Beautiful: Elinor Carucci in Context by Ruth Rosengarten
Crushed, Crumpled, Transformed – Ruth Rosengarten reviews work by Angela De La Cruz at Camden Arts Centre, London – April-May 2010
Heaven and Earth, Richard Long’s serenely exhilarating retrospective exhibition at the Tate Britain art gallery (3 June – 6 September 2009) serves as testimony to a brilliant idea.