One of the joys of the MASP in the Paulista Avenue, Sao Paulo’s equivalent of the Champs Elysees, is that when you pay for entry (every day except Tuesday) nearly everyone else is too busy making or spending money to block your view of old and new masters.
Henry Moore enthusiasts could do worse on this rainy Easter Week than to head for Canary Wharf and see this exhibition, which tells the story of the creation of the Draped Seated Figure, now known as “Old Flo”, and her changing fortunes over the past fifty years.
The Danes have given us “hygge” as a not directly translate-able concept particular to their culture. The Cornish offer “hireth” to refer to an intangible feeling, a longing for the familiarity and comfort of a place.
On Thursday 16th November a group of local government dignitaries, representatives of the Canary Wharf Group PLC and arts professionals from the Henry Moore Foundation assembled in in a well-known cigar and jazz venue in Canary Wharf to celebrate the return of Old Flo.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was the consummate commercial artist. He devised a formula for making lots of money out of his work long before Andy Warhol proclaimed “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art”.
Art is Comic, billed as a light-hearted response to terror, is the latest exhibition to embrace rough, industrial brickwork as the perfect backdrop for popular artists with hundreds of thousands of followers and an outwardly casual attitude towards failing politics and social injustice.
“Matisse in the Studio” does not deliver the sensational overdoses of colour and the full-on confrontation with genius of the Tate blockbusters, but there is a place for this more digestible insight into the transformative way Matisse saw based on examining his use of “objets d’art” as inspiration.
On the whole, the curators have given the works the space they need and brought a coherent approach to displaying them in relation to each other, which provides the viewer with a largely satisfying experience.
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.
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.