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Art & design Culture «TheGuardian»

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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 20:46:36 GMT
Art and design | The Guardian
Latest art and design news, comment and analysis from the Guardian [ + ]
Wed, 23 Jan 2019 12:00:32 GMT
Rory Lewis's best photograph: David Cameron looks back without regret

‘I took this a year after he resigned. Did I sense any regret about the situation he’d left behind? Not really’

This picture has actually lost me a few jobs. Plus I think I might even have lost a flat because of it. I was looking at a property and was chatting to the estate agent and told them that I’d recently shot David Cameron. We put an offer in – for the asking price – but it was turned down. So yes, I do suspect people don’t like David Cameron.

But when you shoot someone like Cameron, though, you have to remain neutral. If you turn up thinking too many things then you’ll inevitably forget something, or position the lighting wrong, and the subject will get irritated. You have to go in with clarity. Whether you’re a former prime minister or a bus driver, I’ll always have the same clarity of thought.

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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 07:00:05 GMT
Flights of fancy: Pentti Sammallahti's birds – in pictures

Pentti Sammallahti’s exhibition focuses on one of his most consistent and compelling subjects: birds. These residents of the land, sea and sky find their way into the Finnish photographer’s field of vision no matter what country he explores

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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 06:00:06 GMT
Two years of Donald Trump as president – in pictures

From tossing paper towels to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to rallies to Kanye, here are some of the images of the first half of Trump’s term of office

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 17:57:06 GMT
Antony Gormley’s statue is the new flasher of Folkestone | Brief letters
Healthcare for all | Books | Ofsted | Markeaton footbridge | Antony Gormley | Elderly drivers

In 1999, we had a student from Ghana on a summer school at Oxford who needed immediate hospitalisation. At A&E, he asked if they wanted to see his passport and medical insurance. The nurse said: “Sir, all I need to know is that you’re sick.” Let’s keep that kind of NHS (‘I thought they were killing me’: NHS trust halted asylum seeker’s cancer treatment, theguardian.com, 21 January).
Andrew Shacknove
Oxford

• It is not possible to own too many books (Tom Gauld cartoon strip, Review, 19 January). It is, however, common not to have enough space for all your books, a problem that I and many others experience.

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 17:05:44 GMT
Beatrice Gibson – can kids, disco and poetry fix the world's turmoil?

Camden Arts Centre, London
From panic attacks and political chaos to a letter to the unborn, video artist Gibson’s intense films present a kaleidoscope of our fears – while her six-year-old offers a live “afternoon of mayhem”

It’s rush hour, and Beatrice Gibson is having a panic attack in a packed carriage on the London underground. The train stops suddenly in the tunnel. “I can’t breathe,” she says. Cascading images fill the screen, in a flickering montage of ecological doom, refugee boats overturning, Grenfell Tower burning, tumult on the streets, Brexit, Donald Trump … the daily kaleidoscope of our fears. She can feel her body, but it is as if the skin has gone, she says. Racing thoughts of disaster erupt from within, interspersed with more homely thoughts. Family footage of kids playing on the beach and in the bath, domestic life; even the reassurance of the familiar feels under threat.

So begins I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead, one of two new films by Gibson at Camden Arts Centre, London. Both are dense, sometimes disorientating and disjunctive, packed with words, images, poetry and song. Titled after a poem by CAConrad, I Hope I’m Loud repeatedly turns from the apocalyptic to the intimate. Like Gibson on the underground, I’m hanging on in here, not knowing how much the details matter, or which matter, as we swerve from one scene to the next, from one voice to another. These are the world’s mixed messages. A single viewing is not enough.

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 15:06:41 GMT
Back to the art cave! Inside Switzerland's magical new gallery

With its grottos, stalactites and walls blasted from rock, the Muzeum Susch is like a Bond villain’s secret lair. Our writer steps inside this geological marvel

Pebbles from a nearby riverbed form a chunky cobbled floor in the entrance to the new Muzeum Susch in Switzerland, as if a tributary once flowed through the building. Maybe it still does. The sound of dripping water can be heard coming from the end of a corridor, where a shiny trickle snakes down a bare rock face. There are other strange things going on. Peer through one opening and you find a gnarled column of earth plunging down into the basement, as if it’s the remains of an archaeological dig. Another passage is encrusted with viscous white goo, forming stringy stalactites that lead to a curious cave downstairs.

In this beguiling new gallery in the Engadin valley, it is hard to tell where nature ends and artifice begins. It is located on the site of a 12th-century monastery, in a rambling complex of buildings that formerly housed a vicarage, hospice and brewery, and the young architects Chasper Schmidlin and Lukas Voellmy have concocted a magical place where the historic fabric, contemporary art and the raw geology of the landscape collide.

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:07:25 GMT
National Portrait Gallery to face new direction with revamp

Redeveloped entrance will point towards Soho, despite wishes of a Victorian donor

The National Portrait Gallery is to get a new main entrance more than a century after a rich donor insisted it should not point north towards the filth of Soho and Covent Garden.

The entrance is part of a £35.5m redevelopment that is intended to make the gallery more welcoming and less crowded, and to better display contemporary crowd-pleasers such as Sam Taylor-Johnson’s video of David Beckham sleeping.

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 00:01:04 GMT
Michelangelo makes mincemeat of soggy Bill Viola – review

Royal Academy, London
Michelangelo’s vivid, vital drawings are well worth looking at, preferably unaccompanied by the empty spectacle of Viola’s video installations

Bill Viola/Michelangelo is subtitled Life Death Rebirth. The three words are the first thing you see in the Royal Academy’s pairing of the two artists. You enter fully alive. About half way through the dark, labyrinthine galleries, we meet an naked elderly couple, each projected on a slab of black granite, examining their own bodies with small torches. Apparently, he is searching for immortality, she for eternity. By now I wish it were over. At the end, we come across a woman silhouetted against a wall of flame. This is the last frontier.

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Mon, 21 Jan 2019 16:46:38 GMT
Mehretu's furious scrawls bite deeper than Bourgeois's spiders – review

★★★★★/★★ ☆☆☆

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
In these two contrasting solo shows, Julie Mehretu’s great and tragic introspections speak starker truths that Louise Bourgeois’s trite and silly images

Now and then an artist comes along who turns every critical cliche on its head and proves the experts know nothing about where art is going. Julie Mehretu is one of those heroes. This Ethiopian-born, New York-based painter works in a style that has long been mocked and patronised by avant garde intellectuals as macho, pompous and even an instrument of US imperialism – a style that flourished in New York some 60 years ago. Mehretu is an abstract expressionist. And she is showing that the legacy of Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly can bite deep into the madness of our time.

Mehretu takes on those titans at their own game of colossal ambition. Her 2017 diptych Howl consists of two abstract paintings 27 feet high and 32 feet wide that make Pollock’s One look teeny. Meanwhile, she has a show at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge that is smaller in size yet just as formidable and infectiously creative.

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Mon, 21 Jan 2019 14:39:43 GMT
Pierre Bonnard review: monumental, monstrous – and rubbish at dogs

Tate Modern, London
Awash with colour and full of fidgety brushwork, Bonnard’s paintings range from the terrific to the scrappy. Why do people love him so much?

Pierre Bonnard in the bathroom mirror holding up his hand like a boxer, though really he is clutching a wet sponge. Bonnard on film, in a snatch of home movie, blinking incessantly behind his little round glasses. Bonnard in the kitchen (I’m sure the housekeeper would rather he went away) and out on the terrace. Bonnard hovering here and there; Bonnard beside the tub, as his wife takes yet another bath.

I am ambivalent about Bonnard. The things I admire and that interest me in his paintings are not perhaps the things he fully intended. Aspects of his work that others find charming or life-affirming I soon weary of. All that colour, all that fidgety brushwork. His figures are very hit-and-miss, sometimes crude and absurd; sometimes the distortions seem terrific, at other times horrible. I can’t bear the way one naked female leg is always warm, the other always cool, and why Bonnard teases the viewer with one female nipple always being in stark profile. He can be monumental, he can be scrappy. Faces in the crowd are often monstrous or ill-formed. Bonnard did not have a facile talent: he had to work at things. There is a great deal of niggling about, and piling paint on. I think he found landscape easier, a relief from the tensions of the human subject.

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Sun, 20 Jan 2019 17:01:24 GMT
2019 British Life photography awards – in pictures

The awards aim to capture and celebrate the essence of life in Britain through illuminating, humorous and poignant imagery. Opening at Mall galleries in London on 18 February, the exhibition will then go on tour to Banbury, Leyburn and Glastonbury

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Sun, 20 Jan 2019 07:00:14 GMT
The big picture: siesta in a hammock shop
Paul Trevor’s photograph of a sleeping shopkeeper in 80s Mexico is part of his ongoing collection featuring people napping

When British photographer Paul Trevor was travelling around the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico in the 1980s, he stayed at a hotel where guests had to bring their own hammocks. “You went into the bedroom and there were just two hooks,” he recalls. “So you needed to provide your own, otherwise you slept on the floor.” He headed out to buy one, but found the owner of the local shop asleep in front of his folded-up hammocks.

Careful not to disturb the slumbering shopkeeper, Paul Trevor quietly photographed the scene and left. (He returned to buy a hammock later.) This photo joined a growing collection he’d been putting together since he started out in photography a decade earlier. In an ongoing project, brought together in his new book Sleeper, he photographs people – and sometimes animals – napping. “It’s something I’m drawn to: there’s something very serene, very peaceful about it,” he says.

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Sat, 19 Jan 2019 08:43:09 GMT
The 20 photographs of the week

Gunfire and explosions in Nairobi, fast food at the White House, a great white shark off the coast of Oahu and the Australian Open tennis – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 07:00:13 GMT
Everybody dance! Bauhaus hits 100 – in pictures

A century after its birth, the great German art school’s influence is still being felt

• An updated edition of 100 years of Bauhaus is available from Taschen

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Mon, 21 Jan 2019 17:16:42 GMT
Twist and shout: is this the Tate Modern for classical music?

Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s timber-and-glass vision for a new Centre for Music in London aims for great heights – but might not exactly reach them

Twisting pyramids seem to have become the accepted vernacular for London’s big cultural buildings, as plans for the new £288m Centre for Music were unveiled on Monday. Following in the footsteps of Tate Modern’s Switch House and the Aldwych student centre at the London School of Economics, the proposals for a new 2,000-seat concert hall take the form of a faceted ziggurat, rising from the roundabout site of the current Museum of London as an angular glass beacon.

Related: First designs revealed for new £288m London concert hall

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