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…

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…

Modernism seen now

RICHARD GERSTL (1883–1908), Self-Portrait in front of a Stove, 1907. Oil on canvas on board. Neue Galerie New York Modern Worlds: Austrian and German Art, 1890-1940 Renée Price (ed.), Prestel/Neue Galerie, 2021, 656pp, $75/£55 ALEXANDER ADAMS is transported to a thrilling time of artistic experimentation The Neue Galerie in New York holds one of the world’s…

An Agincourt for our age

STUART MILLSON enjoys seeing Shakespeare’s Henry V brutally updated The year is 1415... Trumpets sound at the Globe Theatre; Olivier draws his sword and heroically sets forth to ‘the vasty fields of France’ where English arms and chivalry triumph, and a youthful English king wins the hand of France’s fair princess, Katherine... That is the…