“Music for a while, shall all your cares beguile”

STUART MILLSON can hear Restoration London from 21st century Kent Music@Malling, planned and organised by classical musician and educator, Thomas Kemp, is one of those provincially-based, smaller festivals which succeeds in bringing performers of national and international standing to local and semi-rural settings. So, instead of having to travel to Kings Place, Wigmore Hall, or…

Art-icles of war

Photo: Ivan Radic. Wikimedia Commons Artivism – The Battle for Museums in the Era of Postmodernism Alexander Adams, Societas – Imprint Academic, pp 215, £14.95 GUY WALKER welcomes a spirited sortie onto the cultural battlefield One function of placing fine paintings in ornate gold frames or sculptures on marble plinths is to demonstrate the special…

Lincolnshire – a land apart

Crowland Abbey. Photo: Derek Turner Edge of England: Landfall in Lincolnshire Derek Turner, Hurst & Co., 2022, hb., 446pps, 32 col. Illus. & map, £20 PAUL GARNER enjoys a survey of an oddly little-known county Edge of England is a rich tapestry woven of many threads—history, nature, industry, geography, religion and folklore—all intertwining to create…

A painter’s peregrinations

Field Notes: Walking the Territory Maxim Peter Griffin, London: Unbound, 132pps, hb., £16.99 DEREK TURNER admires a unique landscape artist Several years ago, when I was thinking about writing a book about Lincolnshire, I found a strikingly original Twitter account. Almost every day, the seemingly tireless Maximpetergriff posted pictures painted during or after apparently endless…

Kafka: oracle and artist

Franz Kafka, Der Denker The Aphorisms of Franz Kafka Franz Kafka, Reiner Stach (ed.), Shelley Frisch (trans.), Princeton University Press, 2022, hb, 230pp + XXII, 9 mono illus., £20/$24.95 Franz Kafka: The Drawings Pavel Schmidt, Andreas Kilcher (ed.), Kurt Beals (trans.), Yale University Press, 2022, hb, 368pp, 240 col. illus., £35/$50 ALEXANDER ADAMS sees different…

Summer with the Sinfonia

Tintagel. Photo: Chris Gunn. Wikimedia Commons STUART MILLSON enjoys a super-orchestra’s seasonal offerings The re-formed Sinfonia of London (a recording and film-score orchestra of the 1960s) appeared at the Proms on Saturday 16th July under the baton of the ever-popular John Wilson, for a concert of music by British composers. The programme was made up…

Sanctions and sanctimony

A gallery of Russian oligarchs. Wikimedia Commons LAURA GASCOIGNE casts an eye on oligarchs and their arts The Art Newspaper has published its annual museum attendance figures for 2021. The Louvre is top, 5% up on the year before, followed by the State Russian Museum at + 88%. Really? There are four Russian museums in…

How time flies – British Art Show 9

DAVID LEE attempts to take an interest in a forty-year old artistic institution Not that it’s much fun remembering, but can it really have been more than 40 years ago that, like a new comet, the British Art Show (Arts Council prop.) first swam into our ken? It’s been coming back to haunt us every…

Images of Bacon

Francis Bacon, by Reginald Gray. Wikimedia Commons After/Après Francis Bacon Alexander Adams, Bristol: Golconda Fine Art Books, 2022, 60 pages, £10. English and French (French translation by Peggy Pancini) LIAM GUILAR follows an influential artist’s flamboyant trajectory through verse Some years ago, the Canadian critic, Hugh Kenner, in conversation with Charles Tomlinson, lamented the disappearance…

The sharpness of Ruskin Spear

Ruskin Spear (1911-1990), Patients waiting outside a first aid post in a factory. Wikimedia Commons Humankind: Ruskin Spear Tanya Harrod, Studies in Art, The Estate of Francis Bacon Publishing and Thames & Hudson, 2022, £35 PHILIP WARD-JACKSON remembers an unpretentious but greatly gifted artist ‘This is not a full-scale biography’ apologizes Harrod, lamenting the dearth…