Archives for sculpture

National Gallery Shows Masterpieces by Michelangelo and Sebastiano

AN UNUSUAL relationship between the Renaissance master, Michelangelo and lesser known Venetian artist, Sebastiano del Piombo is the focus of a new exhibition at The National Gallery in London. The show, which opens this spring, endeavours to gain greater recognition for Sebastiano whose talents have been largely overshadowed by his association with Michelangelo but whose work was highly regarded by 19th century collectors.

Their creative partnership, which is evidenced through paintings, sculptures and working drawings, took place during a time of great political upheaval, heated theological debate and in powerful opposition to their artistic rival, Raphael. Central to the show are Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s remarkable collection of original letters, which disclose the intriguing details of their professional and personal life and whose writing styles reveal much about the artists’ respective personalities.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersThe Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Michelangelo’s controversial sculpture, The Risen Christ, condemned by the biographer Romain Rolland to be “the coldest and dullest thing he ever did”, although much-admired by the artist’s contemporaries, is displayed for the first time in contrast with a plaster cast from his second version. The exhibition also presents a rare opportunity to view Sebastiano’s work, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as Viterbo Pietà which marks the beginning of the artists’ collaboration.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersChrist carrying the Cross by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1513-14.
Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Sebastiano, who was ten years younger than Michelangelo, was born in Venice 1485. The artists first met in Rome while Michelangelo was just completing  work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Sebastiano, a talented oil painter was an ideal partner for Michelangelo who was eager to undermine the success of his rival, Raphael.

After their initial success with Viterbo Pietà, the artists collaborated on two other major projects, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro and the Raising of Lazarus which was created in fierce opposition to Raphael’s Transformation for the Cathedral of Norbonne in France. However, their friendship ended acrimoniously when Sebastiano tried to force Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgement for the Sistine Chapel in oils rather than his preferred medium of fresco.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersLamentation over the Dead Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1512-16,
Museo Civico, Viterbo. Courtesy of Comune di Viterbo

by Miranda Charalambous

The Credit Suisse exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens from 15 March to 25 June 2017 at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: The Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Artists Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Unleash Our Primal Instincts

A MACABRE repertoire of half-human beasties is unleashed at Le Musée de la chasse et de la nature in Paris this spring.  Collaborating miles apart, South African photographer Roger Ballen and Netherlands-based illustrator  Hans Lemmen create Unleashed, an unsettling combination of re-appropriated imagery which unearths Modern Man’s animalistic tendencies.

Ballen’s photographic scraps merge with Lemmen’s drawings to create a contemporary cave painting alongside animistic sculptures of the artists with their pets. Individual works by each artist are also on display including a video which documents their project. The show endeavours to convey the creative process of each artist and how their art thrives from the fusion of their differing practices. The collaboration has been an exciting challenge, as Lemmen explains, “This is the hardest thing I‘ve ever faced in my career. Until the last moment, I did not know if it would be possible to combine photographs and drawings.”

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Entanglement 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Ballen, a master of psychodramas creates highly original sets in unknown locations near Johannesburg in which marginalised individuals improvise their strange narratives and where animals mingle. His scenarios allude to human survival but man’s inability to escape from nature. Ballen explains, “I think that my works seek the animal at the heart of the human mind, the point where a man turns into an animal … ”

Ballen’s nebulous forms free repressed characters from wires and cables, as if releasing them from the constraints of modernity.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen/Roger Ballen, Unicorn 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Lemmen’s graphics and sculptures are fictional works which explore the domains between animals and people. He is fascinated by pre-historic times when our ancestors lived in empathy with, not against, nature. Lemmen alludes to our primeval instincts,

“We are simply animals. We are animals with, of course, a more developed brain.”

Occasionally his work displays a curious role reversal in which Man appears to become a sacrificial offering, and animals are invited to take charge.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen, Untitled 2014. Courtesy of Hans Lemmen Private Collection

The show parades a grave and male-dominated world but also a few surprises, like this grisly cytoplasm ingesting human remains.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureRoger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

by Miranda Charalambous

Unleashed: Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen, which is co-produced by the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, until June 4 2017 at Le Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, 62, rue des Archives 75003, Paris

Tel: 01 53 01 92 40

Front page image: Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016, Photograph, Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Tate St Ives Cornwall Opens New Gallery Spaces

WEIRD and fantastical sculptures by Aaron Angell, one of Britain’s most radical ceramists are on display at The Studio and The Sea, a sparkling new season of two exhibitions at Tate St Ives in Cornwall which open this March. Both shows precede the transformation of new gallery spaces at Tate St Ives to be launched this autumn. The first show,  That Continuous Thing, charts the emergence of the 20th Century studio potters and the legacy of their influential ceramic-making.

The show takes its name from a quote by Peter Voulkos, an abstract expressionist artist renowned for his innovative use of tools and inspirational pot-throwing demonstrations. Highlights of the show includes work by pioneering artists, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, innovators of the climbing kiln at the St Ives Pottery in the 1920s, experimental work from the ‘70s and ‘80s by Gillian Lowndes and Richard Slee and sculptures by 2016 Turner Prize winner, Anthea Hamilton made at Aaron Angell’s “radical and psychedelic” workshop, Troy Town Pottery, London.

That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, Tate St Ives, CornwallBernard Leach (1887-1979), Spherical Vase c.1927, reduced stoneware, 14.5 x 14 x 14 cm.
Courtesy of the Tate and The estate of Bernard Leach

The second exhibition displays Sea Paintings by Jessica Warboys, great swathes of sea drenched canvas weathered by the Zennor coast which explore the mystery of the landscape and the artist’s approach to symbolism and form. Apart from these specially commissioned works, Warboys displays her sculptures and films, imaginary narratives that mingle fiction with myth and forgotten histories.

The artists, who works across a range of media, including performance and stained glass, explains, “I am not concerned with how the tableau looks or appears as I make a sea painting, but with the result or record of the process.”

Jessica Warboys, Tate St Ives, CornwallJessica Warboys Sea Painting, Dunwich 2015, 2015, mineral pigment on canvas, 320cm x 500 cm (x 3 parts).
Courtesy the artist and Gaudel de Stampa, Paris

Supporters of the new season at Tate St Ives include the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Japan Foundation, Idlewild Trust, and  Galerie Gaudel deStampa in Paris.

That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, Tate St Ives, CornwallAaron Angell, Flower, Bread Knife 2015, Glazed stoneware, 40 x 35 x 26 cm.
Courtesy of the artist, Rob Tufnell, London and Studio Voltaire
London. Photo: Andy Keate


by Miranda Charalambous

The Studio and The Sea comprises the exhibitions, That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today and Jessica Warboys which open concurrently from March 31 to September 3, 2017 at Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1TG

Jessica Warboys’ film, Hill of Dreams was made in collaboration with the Norwegian artist, Morten Norbye Halvorsen and was supported by The Office for Contemporary Art in Norway. The film will be screened by Tate St Ives in March.


Telephone: +44 (0)173 679 6226

Front page image: Jesse Wine, “I think you ought to know, I’m going through a creative stage some people find easy to connect to” 2016, Glazed ceramic, 82 x 123 x 55 cm 2 parts, Courtesy of the artist and  Mary Mary, Glasgow

Kröller-Müller Museum Presents New Show of Sculpture

THE Kröller-Müller Museum, Holland presents Move On, a new exhibition of 20th century drawing and sculpture which opens later this month. The show, which is based on the theme of movement displays work by Dutch artists Gerrit van Bakel, Tom Claassen, Constant, Martin van Oel, Panamarenko and Carel Visser. Either painfully slow or alarmingly fast, movement is conveyed through an eclectic mix of visionary ideas and humour from the futuristic machine to the tatty soft toy.

Tom Claassen’s sculptures are found in public spaces such as airports, parks and carriageways. His cutesy cartoon animals are monumental pieces but deflate any sense of importance. Claassen’s over-sized rat is sluggish and fat. Divested of razor sharp teeth and scurrying feet, it defies the aggressive nature of its real life counterpart.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artTom Claassen, Untitled (Brigid), 1998, latex, sand, burlap, synthetic textile and polystyrene foam,
130 x 390 x 860 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum. Photograph: Cary Markerink

Fascinated by the mythical possibility of human flight, Panamarenko creates imaginary vehicles inspired by existing designs. His jet-propelled rubber car, Polistes is based on the Porsche 917 and takes its name from a species of wasp that fly to a high altitude.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artPanamarenko, Polistes, jet-propelled rubber car, 1974, steel, wood, polyurethane foam, rubber,
fabric, glass fibre, silicon, pvc, 98.5 x 209 x 378 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum. Photograph: Cary Markerink

Carel Visser, a constructivist sculptor and collagist from Raavenswaay is celebrated for his elegant minimalist works from metal and concrete. Visser incorporated collage into his sculptures using a variety of materials which included iron, sand, cardboard, glass and even walking sticks from the British Rail lost property office. His work, Cart implies movement with a neat trail of sand which appears to reference the slow drudgery of historical farming techniques.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artCarel Visser, Cart, 1981, photo: Marjon Gemmeke, steel, wood, rubber, glass, plaster, cardboard, rope, sand, 117 x 455 x 170 cm, Courtesy Kröller-Müller Museum / Photo: Marjon Gemmeke

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Move On opens is on from November 26  until April  23, 2017 at The Kröller-Müller Museum, Houtkampweg 6, 6731 AW Otterlo, Holland

Telephone: +31 (0)318 591 241

Front page image: Panamarenko, Polistes, jet-propelled rubber car, 1974, steel, wood, polyurethane foam, rubber, fabric, glass fibre, silicon, pvc, 98.5 x 209 x 378 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum / Photo: Cary Markerink


Paul Nash Retrospective Opens At Tate Britain, London

A RETROSPECTIVE of the work of the work of Paul Nash, one of the greatest war artists and landscape painters of the 20th century, opens at Tate Britain in London. Nash played a significant role in the discourse between British art and International Modernism and was a key figure in the development of British surrealism. The exhibition, which takes its title from the artist’s name displays paintings, sculpture and collage, including his collaborative work with British surrealist, Eileen Agar, paintings from the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936 and works by the avant-garde artists of Unit One, of which Nash was a member.

Nash was fascinated by the mystical power of the landscape, moonlight and trees, themes with which he maintained a strong affinity. The exhibition begins with his early illustrative work inspired by Pre-Raphaelite poetry and a fantastical seascape of sand dunes and pyramids. Nature assumes unearthly forms such as the tall elms at his family’s garden in Iver Heath which Nash described as “ … three heads fused in cascades of dense leaves spreading out like the crown of a vast fountain.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingEquivalents for the Megaliths 1935 by Paul Nash. Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

Drawn to ancient landmarks, Nash painted the chalky hills of Wittenham Clumps and the prehistoric stones at Avebury, the latter of which inspired his abstract depictions of megaliths.

In wartime, his trees ceased to be places of refuge and tranquillity, as in his early work. With their branches hacked off by artillery fire, his trees became disfigured stalks that scar the landscape. Letters home to his wife, Margaret reveal that in the aftermath of battle, Nash sought comfort in the regeneration of nature, “Nearly all the battered trees have come out and the birds sing all day in spite of shells and shrapnel.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingSpring in the Trenches, Ridge Wood, 1917-1918 by Paul Nash.
Imperial War Museum, London, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

During the Second World War, Nash decided to convey war differently and nature became a metaphor for destruction. In his famous work, Totes Meer, an owl surveys the skeletal remains of aircraft wreckage under a watery moon. The artist remarked, “…it is not water or even ice, it is something static and dead. It is metal piled up, wreckage.”

Paul Nash, Tate Gallery, art, paintingTotes Meer (Dead Sea) 1940-1941 by Paul Nash. Presented by the War Artists Advisory
Committee 1946, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery.

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Paul Nash opens from October 26, 2016 to March 5, 2017 at Tate Britain, London SW1P 4RG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888


Front page image: The Rye Marshes 1932 by Paul Nash. Ferens Art Gallery, Courtesy of the Tate Gallery

Luxembourg and Dayan Restage Famous Exhibition Of Formless Art

IN their latest restaging of historical art, Luxembourg and Dayan present Formless Re-examined at Frieze Masters in London. The display, which opens next month, will showcase work from L’Informe: mode d’emploi, a provocative exhibition curated at the Centre George Pompidou in 1986. L’informe, a concept initiated by philosopher and writer, George Bataille, proposed that art should be reduced to its base materialism or formless state as a tool for creativity. By appropriating l’Informe for the theme of their show, the curators sought to reshape the categories of 20th century art. This exhibition will re-examine formlessness as a creative device once again and consider its relevance today.


Luxembourg and Dayan, art, painting, sculptureAndy Warhol, Oxidation Painting, 1978 © Luxembourg & Dayan

Displaying many seminal avant-garde and modernist works, the exhibition will include Andy Warhol’s Oxidation Painting, a visceral composition in metallic paint treated with uric acid and Jean Dubuffet’s gritty work, Aire Mediane Claire.

A highlight of the show is Claes Oldenburg’s gargantuan cigarette butt, Fagend Study on view at the Frieze Sculpture Park. Oldenburg stated, “A life cycle can be imposed on an object. An object can be very energetic and active, and then it has a dying phase and a phase of decomposition.”

Luxembourg and Dayan, art, painting, sculptureClaes Oldenburg, Fagend Study, 1975 © Luxembourg & Dayan

Frieze Masters is an annual art fair held in Regents Park  which showcases art from antiquity to the late 20th century.

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Formless Re – Examined opens from 6 – 9 October 2016 at Frieze Masters, Stand D7, Regents Park, London

Tel: +44 (0)20 3372 6111

Front page image:  Andy Warhol, Oxidation Painting, 1978 © Luxembourg & Dayan


Rumi’s Mystical Writings Inspire Artists at Long and Ryle, London

A DELIGHTFUL summer exhibition entitled Beauty is the Garden opens at Long and Ryle in London. Featuring the painting and sculpture of 26 artists, the show is inspired by a poem by the 12th century Persian poet, Rumi,

Beauty is the Garden
scent of roses, murmuring water
flowing gently…
Can words describe the indescribable?

Rumi (1207/17-1273)

The scholar produced a remarkable legacy of almost 70,000 impassioned works following a family tragedy.

600x400 Rumi's Mystical Writings Inspire Artsists at Long and RyleKatharine Morling, Fresh Cut, 2016, Porcelain and black satin, 30 x 30 x 17 cm.
Photograph: the artist and Long and Ryle, London

Katherine Morling’s Fresh Cut, a delicately worked sculptural piece in fine porcelain is reminiscent of the pleasure derived from visiting a relative’s garden. Perhaps a gift on parting company, roses are packed hastily between the contents of a bulging satchel. Contrasted by black satin, the porcelain’s ghostly pallor imparts a funereal quality, perhaps in empathy with the poet’s sad experiences.

The stillness of David Inshaw’s formalised garden evokes a sense of occasion or expectancy, underlining Rumi’s empathy with everyday life. The spontaneous and illusory quality of the poet’s words is captured beautifully by Ian Bliss. A magical  scene, his swaying flower forms and clandestine lovers are the essence of garden dreams.

600x400 Rumi's Mystical Writings Inspire Artsists at Long and RyleIan Bliss, We two, one another’s best, 2016, Oil on canvas, 64 x 64.
Photograph: the artist and Long and Ryle, London

By Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition is at Long and Ryle until July 29, 2016
Long and Ryle, 4 John Islip Street, London Sw1P 4PX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7834 1434

Front page image:
David Inshaw, Garden I, 2016, Oil on canvas, 51 x 51 cm. Photograph: the artist and Long and Ryle, London

Henry Moore Foundation Launches New Visitor Centre and Show


THIS summer, arts charity the Henry Moore Foundation opens a new visitor centre and archive at the Henry Moore Studios & Gardens in Hertfordshire. The Henry Moore Foundation aims to encourage the appreciation of the visual arts and to demonstrate why sculpture matters. The charity is also opening a new exhibition The Body Extended: Sculpture and Prosthetics at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.

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Stuart Brisley, Louise Bourgeois’ Leg (2002) Performance Object Plaster, ironing board, wood.
Courtesy of the Artist and Hales London New York © The Artist Photograph: Andy Keate


The show aims to focus on the relationship between prosthetics and sculpture, with examples dating from World War I until today. The show will present over 70 artworks, objects and images, exploring how sculpture and medical science have collaborated in order to augment the human figure and rebuild the lives of those affected by the war.

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Yael Bartana, Entartete Kunst Lebt (2010) video still.
Courtesy of Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

The exhibition will include a new sculpture by British artist Rebecca Warren RA, which will be located outside the Leeds’ Institute.  Additionally, there will be a series of talks and events led by sculpture scholars and medical historians.


facialprosthesiscrop_2Painted metal facial prosthesis attributed to Anna Coleman Ladd (1878-1939), made in France, 1917-1920. Courtesy of the Antony Wallace Archives of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons ©


by Rebecca Acres


Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire SG10 6EE Tel: 01279 844104

Henry Moore Institute, 74 The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AH Tel: 0113 246 7467

Artists Leap Towards New Forms of Knowledge at Modern Art Oxford

IN CELEBRATION of its 50th anniversary, Modern Art Oxford stages the third exhibition of Kaleidoscope, a programme that showcases significant art of the past and new commissions from well-known contemporary artists. The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists comprises drawing, sculpture and video animation by Daniel Buren, Sol Le Witt, Dorothy Cross, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Dan Graham, Yoko Ono, Karla Black and Amy Silman.

art, exhibitionsDorothy Cross, Doorway (detail) 2014. Photograph © The artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

Informed by the words of Sol Le Witt that “conceptual artists are mystics, rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach”, this exhibition defies traditional convention by offering an alternative view of the world. These artists push boundaries or challenge the processes of modern day technology using a range of materials as paradigms for their unusual creations.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board. Photo © Vigo Gallery and the artistIbrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board.
Photograph © Vigo Gallery and the artist

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists at Modern Art Oxford runs until July 31, 2016.

English Medieval Embroidery Show to Open in London

THE Victoria and Albert Museum presents a rare opportunity to see outstanding examples of English needlework from the 11th and 16th centuries in Opus Anglicanum, Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery. A magnificent display of secular and ecclesiastical garments, the exhibition reveals the richness and complexity of these unique textiles and provides a fascinating insight into the skill and craftsmanship of their makers.

Paris, musée de Cluny - musée national du Moyen Âge. CL20367a;CL20367b.Part of a horse trapper probably made for Edward III’s Court (detail) 1330-40. Photograp © RMN –
Grand Palais (Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyen Âge) / Frank Raux

One of the most exciting treasures on view is a fragment from Thomas Becket’s cope, a relic which exemplifies the astonishing survival of these finely worked pieces. Apart from embroidery, a display of sculpture, metalwork, manuscripts and painting also bring context to the period.

83-1864 The Syon Cope; embroidered in coloured silks & silver-gilt thread with the Figures of Christ, The Virgin Mary & The Apostles; detail; English (Opus Anglitareum); Early 14th century.The Syon Cope (detail) 1310-1320. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

by Miranda Charalambous

Opus Anglicanum, Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery is curated by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies and consultant curator Prof MA Michael and opens October 1 and runs until  February 5, 2017 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.