Art


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Sorry — The Brain Is Not A Muscle That Grows Stronger With Use

In recent years, I.Q. scores have stopped rising or have even begun to drop in countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Britain. Some researchers suggest that we have pushed our mental equipment as far as it can go. It may be that “our brains are already working at near-optimal capacity.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, Britain, 06.1.21, Finland Norway Denmark Germany France


In recent years, I.Q. scores have stopped rising or have even begun to drop in countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Britain. Some researchers suggest that we have pushed our mental equipment as far as it can go. It may be that “our brains are already working at near-optimal capacity.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, Britain, 06.1.21, Finland Norway Denmark Germany France


‘Cultural appropriation is a two-way thing’: Yinka Shonibare on Picasso, masks and the fashion for black artists

Picasso was so enthralled by African art, he used it to start a revolution. But did it give rise to a fantasy of Africa that still endures? British-Nigerian artist Shonibare tells us why he’s revisiting that seismic moment In 1998, in a hilarious work called Diary of a Victorian Dandy, Yinka Shonibare inserted himself, impeccably attired, into the sitting rooms, drawing rooms, billiards rooms and bedrooms of high society Victorian Britain, invariably causing a sensation in each of the perfectly ...
Tags: Art, Nigeria, Africa, Race, UK News, World news, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Sculpture, Paris, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Hogarth, Picasso, Tate


Masks, monsters and masterpieces: Yinka Shonibare squares up to Picasso

Picasso was so enthralled by African art, he used it to start a revolution. But did it give rise to a fantasy of Africa that still endures? British-Nigerian artist Shonibare tells us why he’s revisiting that seismic moment In 1998, in a hilarious work called Diary of a Victorian Dandy, Yinka Shonibare inserted himself, impeccably attired, into the sitting rooms, drawing rooms, billiards rooms and bedrooms of high society Victorian Britain, invariably causing a sensation in each of the perfectly ...
Tags: Art, Nigeria, Africa, Race, UK News, World news, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Sculpture, Paris, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Hogarth, Picasso, Tate


Brexit May Cause A Royal Mess With Copyright, Authors Warn

Living authors like Kate Mosse and Philip Pullman are worried because as Britain exits the EU, protections have changed. “Authors and publishers fear that changing the rules could mean that cheap international editions of a book would pour into the UK, eroding the money authors could make from a domestic sale.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, UK, Eu, Britain, Words, Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse, 06.10.21


Britain Now Has Its First All-Black-Female Shakespeare Troupe

Says actor Gabrielle Brooks, one of four co-founders of the Mawa Theatre Company, “Shakespeare remains a staple of British theatre. He’s still the most produced playwright in the world and I think if we want to tackle diversity, representation and inclusion, then why not start with the Bard himself? … If we can, as black British women, embed ourselves into the history of classical texts, then I think we can bring about real change.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, Bard, 06.10.21, Gabrielle Brooks, Mawa Theatre Company Shakespeare


Is that a surrealist masterpiece by the draining board? Inside Leonora Carrington’s sculpture-filled home

The great British artist’s home in Mexico has been turned into a wonderful museum, full of her sculptures, books, diaries and unsmoked cigarettes. Our writer, Carrington’s cousin, takes an emotional tourIn October 2010, a few months before her death, I said my last goodbye to my cousin Leonora Carrington. As I left her home in Mexico City, she stood waving on the doorstep. Today, I’m back for the first time – to see Leonora’s house recreated as a visitor attraction. It feels surreal, but the sur...
Tags: Art, New York, Mexico, Painting, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Heritage, Museums, Sculpture, Paris, Mexico City, Moma, Carrington, Leonora, Max Ernst


Tacita Dean on the pandemic: ‘We had all this free time – and I was useless!’

During lockdown, the artist made this dirty postcard and little else. Now back on track, she talks about her upcoming shows – and feeling baffled by this new ‘we’re all in it together’ Britain“One is such a disappointment to oneself, workwise,” says Tacita Dean, sadly. This seems faintly mad – Dean is one of Britain’s most celebrated artists, her work dealing with the drift of time; the play of chance; the decaying of things. Three years ago, she filled three London institutions – the National G...
Tags: Art, London, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Tacita Dean, Dean, Royal Academy, Hepworth Wakefield, Bodmin Moor, National Gallery the National Portrait Gallery


Comparing The Careers Of Mike Nichols And Tom Stoppard

The paths they each followed are telling. If you are even marginally involved in the theater, it is impossible not to envy the state support of the arts that benefited Stoppard in Britain or be angry at how, like most American directors, Nichols spent so much time chasing the dollar. Their biographers, too, take differing approaches to these lives. – The New Republic
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, Mike Nichols, Tom Stoppard, Nichols, Stoppard, 05.19.21


Five thousand years of mystical magnificence: Epic Iran at the V&A – review

V&A, LondonPersepolis and Isfahan are dazzlingly brought to life in a blockbuster show that explores five jaw-dropping millennia of cultural history, from soaring domes to charging horsesTypical. You go for months without any culture, then 5,000 years of it come along at once. That’s what the V&A’s luxury coach tour of a blockbuster promises, and delivers, including quite brilliant recreations of Iran’s two most renowned sites, Persepolis and Isfahan. Epic Iran shows there is a cultural history ...
Tags: Art, Iran, Culture, Britain, Middle East and North Africa, Art and design, Museums, Exhibitions, V&a, Isfahan, Tabriz, Ferdowsi, Isfahan Epic Iran, Ferdowsi Iran


How Jane Rogers Took On Britain’s Very Male Literary Establishment In The 80s

Rogers: “When I started work on Mr Wroe’s Virgins I was 35. I was wildly ambitious, and had a chip on my shoulder. Faber had published my first three novels and all had found critical favour. But I was broke and my sales were poor, and I was spiky about the literary world.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Britain, Words, Rogers, Faber, Jane Rogers, 05.22.21, Wroe


London’s West End Reopens Yet Again, Hoping This Time Will Stick

There were two attempts in the second half of 2020 to start British theatres up after the pandemic lockdown, and both were quickly ended as COVID cases rose. “Monday’s comeback felt like it was actually permanent, 15 audience members said in interviews, many highlighting Britain’s speedy vaccination campaign as the reason for their optimism. (Over 55 percent of the British population has received at least one dose, a higher proportion than in the United States.)” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, London, Theatre, Britain, United States, 05.18.21, Time Will Stick


Britain’s Stages Are Not Reopening With Theatrical Comfort Food

“There has been a fear that the large-scale redundancies during the pandemic – an estimated 40% of theatre workers lost their jobs – could be followed by a reopening packed with ‘safe’ work. Instead, ‘bold’ is the adjective being used to describe much of what is to come. … The National Theatre’s deputy artistic director … says the public want challenging art rather than ‘comforting’ work.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, National Theatre, 05.17.21


Is Drawing In Decline In Britain?

Some of the nation’s top (male) artists are unhappy about the lack of drawing classes, bemoaning the lack of compulsory drawing classes at the Royal College of Art, Slade, and other art schools. Apparently, one says, “You now have people who are more interested in conceptual art – which is actually what you do if you can’t draw.” – The Observer (UK)
Tags: Art, Britain, Visual, 05.09.21, Royal College of Art Slade


Britain’s NHS Tries Prescribing Song Playlists To Alzheimer’s Patients

“A test among people with dementia found an algorithm that ‘prescribes’ songs based on listeners’ personal backgrounds and tastes resulted in reductions in heart rate of up to 22%, lowering agitation and distress in some cases. … The technology operates as a musical ‘drip’, playing songs to patients and monitoring their heart rates as they listen.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, Britain, NHS, 05.05.21


Britain’s Reopening, But A Quarter Of Its Summer Rock Festivals Are Cancelled. Why? Insurance.

“According to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which has been tracking festivals taking place in Britain this year, 26% of all festivals with a capacity of more than 5,000 people have been cancelled by their organisers. The AIF has projected that more than three-quarters of the remaining festivals could be called off imminently if action regarding cancellation insurance policies of large-scale events is not reviewed.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Music, Britain, AIF, Association of Independent Festivals AIF, 05.04.21


Move Over, Thomas Edison And The Lumiere Brothers

Britain may no longer have an empire, but at least it could have this: the title of the “true” father of cinema. “Film director and historian Peter Domankiewicz believes [Bristol inventor William] Friese-Greene will soon be reinstated as one of the great figures in the development of the moving image: the one who got there before Thomas Edison, the Lumière brothers and George Méliès, the Frenchman whose story was told by Martin Scorsese in the hit 2011 film Hugo.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Media, Britain, Bristol, Thomas Edison, Martin Scorsese, George Méliès, Lumiere Brothers, 05.02.21, Peter Domankiewicz, William -RSB- Friese Greene, Thomas Edison the Lumière


Does ‘The King And I’ Need To Be Decolonized? Yes (And It’s Largely Anna’s Fault). Can It Be? Maybe.

Not everything in Anna Leonowens’s memoirs about her time at the Siamese court is a lie, but quite a lot is untrue, especially about Anna’s own mixed-race, plebeian origins. (For instance, she’d never even been to Britain when she went to Bangkok.) Thence come many of the problems in the musical, like the white-savior narrative. David Henry Hwang’s rewrite of the book of Flower Drum Song preserved the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs in a more sensitive context that’s workable for the stage today,...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Britain, Anna, Bangkok, Rodgers, Hammerstein, David Henry Hwang, Anna Leonowens, 04.26.21, Sravya Tadapalli


The International Booker Shortlist Is Out

Ready to read? The shortlist for the international prize, which is for a book translated into English in Britain and Ireland, features a couple of authors who write in French. The list includes science fiction, memoir, and more. Chair of the judges for the shortlist, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, said, “This is a fantastically vigorous and vital aspect of the way fiction is being written at the moment — people are really pushing the boundaries.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Britain, Ireland, Words, Lucy Hughes Hallett, 04.22.21


‘When I paint, all the voices in my head go still’: Juliet Stevenson on how art got her through lockdown

Painting has helped one of Britain’s most revered actors survive Covid restrictions and the loss of a child. We join the actor for an art class that never quite happensIf you go down to the woods today, you may just come across Juliet Stevenson dangling from a branch, fumbling to photograph the light falling through a caterpillar hole on a particularly disobliging leaf, with her partner Hugh chuckling, resigned, as yet another quick stroll turns into a day trip. Upside down Juliet Stevenson has ...
Tags: Art, Culture, Britain, Art and design, Stage, West End, Suffolk, Juliet Stevenson, Hugh, East Anglian


At The RSC, ‘The Winter’s Tale’ Is Finally Coming Together After Two False Starts

The COVID lockdown hit Britain just days before this production was to open and put the company’s entire operations on hold; the show was set to start again last autumn when a second lockdown had to be imposed. Now, by heaven, they’re doing it, at least for broadcast on BBC Four. “What’s curious is that, if you were looking for a drama that distills the emotions so many of us have been through in the past year, it would be hard to find a better candidate than The Winter’s Tale.” – The Guardian ...
Tags: Art, Theatre, Bbc, Britain, 04.18.21


Daniel Kaluuya’s Rise To Movie Stardom Came From Talent, And Britain’s Public Funding For The Arts

Kaluuya grew up on a council estate – the rough equivalent to “the projects” in the United States – the son of Ugandan immigrants to Britain. He took advantage of every possible free arts program, and, at 18, ended up bot a writer and an actor for the program Skins. And, years later, came Get Out. “By the time he won best ‘newcomer’ at the Baftas for Get Out in 2018, Kaluuya had been a professional actor for 10 years. ‘I am a product of UK arts funding,’ he told the audience, before dedicating ...
Tags: Art, UK, People, Britain, United States, Daniel Kaluuya, Kaluuya, 04.18.21


The Pandemic Is Changing City Centers, And Britain’s Fabled Department Store Buildings Are At Risk

Of course, online shopping has done the most damage to physical stores. But do they need to be demolished? “Gems facing the wrecking ball include Birmingham’s mid-century Rackhams, which is currently home to House of Fraser, Debenhams in Taunton, which was built in 1938 and extended in the 1960s, and Marks & Spencer’s store near Marble Arch in London, which was completed in 1930. There are also concerns about the future of Aberdeen’s brutalist John Lewis, and Browns of Chester – most recently p...
Tags: Art, John Lewis, London, Aberdeen, Britain, Debenhams, Birmingham, Chester, Taunton, Visual, Marks Spencer, Marble Arch, House of Fraser Debenhams, 04.17.21


Statues Are Living The High Life In Boris Johnson’s Britain

Lucky statues! “Without themselves needing to organise, these historically neglected members of the inanimate community have within the last few months secured privileges, protections and high-level advocacy that, in addition to their existing plinth status, falls only narrowly short of full suffrage – and even that cannot confidently be ruled out.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Britain, Boris Johnson, Visual, 04.11.21


Right-Wing Populists In Europe Are Going After Public Broadcasters

“In some countries, such as Hungary and Poland, illiberal governments are turning them into mouthpieces for the ruling party. In others, such as Germany and Sweden, populist movements accuse them of bias in favour of the establishment and the left. Modelled on Britain’s BBC (now facing political pressures of its own), Europe’s public media were set up to anchor democracy by providing citizens with objective reporting. But in an age of polarisation and disinformation, that is getting harder to d...
Tags: Art, Europe, Sweden, Media, Germany, Bbc, Hungary, Britain, Poland, 04.06.21


Sold for just £2,500, is this lost Gainsborough actually worth £1m?

Previously unknown portrait depicting a little-known composer surfaced in France last yearA completely unknown portrait by Thomas Gainsborough has been discovered, to the excitement of scholars of art and music as it is thought to depict an unjustly forgotten musician who was well known in 18th-century Britain.A painting of a man holding a scroll of manuscript music was described only as “British School” when it surfaced in France in December, selling in a Paris auction for around £2,500. Contin...
Tags: Art, France, Painting, UK News, Culture, Britain, Paris, Thomas Gainsborough, Gainsborough


The Perfect Summer To Visit UK Museums?

“The visitor experience this year will be phenomenal. It will be culture without crowds. You will be up close and personal with animals or art in a way you would never have experienced before and possibly won’t in the future. If you were ever going to have a holiday in Britain, this is the time to do it.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, UK, Britain, Visual, 03.31.21


Wrecking The V&A Museum?

“The conceptual restructure, if it goes ahead as planned, will make the museum itself look curiously out of time, out of touch with the world and with its own history. If the planned changes to the V&A are a harbinger of what ‘Global Britain’ will look like, then a parochial, nostalgic future – marked by redundancies of vision as well as personnel – lies ahead.” – London Review of Books
Tags: Art, Britain, Visual, 03.16.21


Hey Amazon, What’s Your Problem Admitting That Leonardo Was Gay?

Amazon Prime Studio’s use of a fictional woman (“a complete piece of tosh, invented by a 19th century Romantic”) to bring Leonardo and his life to the small screen isn’t just fiction, it’s flat-out wrong. Suggestion: “Why not go to the National Gallery when it reopens and look at Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks. The most hypnotic figure in it is an angel whose long curly hair matches Vasari’s description of Salaì and whose tender pale face is magically androgynous. This angel is the most beautif...
Tags: Amazon, Art, Media, Britain, National Gallery, Leonardo, Vasari, Salai, 03.26.21, Leonardo Was Gay


March linkfest

On March 13, 2020, Merriam-Webster editor Peter Sokolowski noticed that all of the dictionary’s lookups were pandemic related: coronavirus, quarantine, draconian, lockdown, cancel. For the somber one-year anniversary this month, WGBH looked at how the pandemic has transformed the English language, and whether its impact will endure: Will people five years from now still say they are “zooming” when they conduct a video meeting online? Will slang terms like “doomscrolling” and “covidiot” make ...
Tags: Books, Maps, Wtf, Design, Washington, New York City, America, History, Britain, Italy, Linguistics, Words, Oxford University, Contests, Los Angeles Times, Donald Duck



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