Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint was a mystic, spiritualist and an abstract artist who more or less invented the form. Yet it is only in the last few years that her work has started to enter the public consciousness. In part because she never displayed her pictures in her lifetime and when she died in 1944 gave …

The A to B of Andy

Along with Picasso, Andy Warhol is perhaps the most famous artist of the twentieth century. There’s probably not a western human being alive who hasn’t seen one of his screen prints or heard about The Factory. So on one level, it’s hard to have an exhibition that really holds any surprises for an audience. Yet …

The Culture of Nauman

  If you like the artist Bruce Nauman and live in New York, you’re in luck. MoMA is doing a massive retrospective of his work that spans not just the Manhattan branch of the Museum but MoMA PS1 as well. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth traipsing out to Long Island City to see one …

Hockney

The retrospective of David Hockney at the Metropolitan Museum of Art doesn’t show you anything new. It just reminds you of all that Hockney has achieved over his life. From the portraits of London society in the seventies to the landscapes of his native Yorkshire everything he does has a very distinctive stamp while still …

Maurizio’s John

Ever taken a slash in a gold-plated toilet? You haven’t lived my friend. But if you were in New York for the past couple months the opportunity for your ‘golden shower’ was available too you at the Guggenheim. Conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan had created his shining head for the esteemed gallery and called it ‘America’ …

A Pen of all Work

Southern Californian Raymond Pettibon has been a counter culture artist since his days playing bass, albeit briefly, in his big brother’s punk band ‘Black Flag’. But it was with a pen rather than a guitar that he found the tool that would unleash his creativity His comic like drawings in black and white and color …

Cathedral of the Pines

Gregory Crewdson has been creating film stills of the lives of ordinary American suburbanites for many years. His latest effort ‘ Cathedral of the Pines’ continues his themes of loss, loneliness and alienation in wide screen. But with more foliage. Beautifully composed, these eerie and unsettling images are what I imagine David Lynch might come …

Widow Basquiat

With works of fiction like ‘City on Fire’ and non-fiction like ‘Love Goes to Buildings on Fire’ being set in a ‘golden’ era of American alternative music the late seventies and early eighties, it makes sense that this a good time to re-release Jennifer Clement’s ‘Widow Basquiat’ I’d previously known Clement only through her novel …

Journals

Keith Haring left behind him an impressive body of work that reflects his era perhaps better than any New York artist of the early eighties. His understanding of modern music and street art gave him a leg up on contemporaries still beholden to galleries and collectors to make their names. Ironically even without the backing …

Severson Surf

Eighty year old John Severson, one of the founding fathers of modern surf culture, has a book out unimaginatively but appropriately called ‘John Severson’s Surf’. This is a man that introduced surf culture to none other than the surfin’ safari Beach Boys( who he accuses of appropriating surf culture) That’s how deep into the culture …