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Berlin (diary) – and painting – February 2015

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Colour first: grey, of course, but not warm grey – bluish, blackish, Paynes grey with white, p...

Berlin Diary – February 2015

February 7, 2015

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Victoria Miro Gallery – Cinematic Visions – Painting at the Edge of Reality

July 30, 2013

Next door to Merlin James there are a lot of paintings by different artists which shout quite loudly that you ought to look at them. And some of them back up that demand ok. Chantal Joffe’s ‘Jessica’, for instance is biiig, painted in a way that makes it worth it – though with reservations as to how worth it that might be; Celia Paul’s Gwen John/Lucien Freud homage (an interesting combination) is properly arresting and stays with you; Alice Neel’s ‘Ian and Mary’ doesn’t let you go either; Cecily Brown’s ‘Sweetly reminiscent, Something mother used to make’ is as sugary and delicious as the title suggests; Hernan Bas’s ‘Hoax revealed’ might be a bit trite (though that’s presumably part of the point) but has good painting in it and, particularly, Njideka Akunyili’s ‘Something Split and New’. This last one is big and bold in a good way, using transfers, blocks of vivid colour and drawing to tell a moody contemporary story in a way that could only be done in a painting, however filmic it might appear. It demands to be looked at as a static, physical image and that’s where it conveys its delights.

 

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