Like Gander's art itself, the eyes don't give much away. Sometimes it is hard to know what we are looking at, too. Spoofs, mysteries and incomprehensible objects fill the rooms. There's always a back-story to Gander's work, and very often we need a clue or a key to what's going on. Do I detect a look of pity in the eyes on the wall? There are gags here about Hergé's last unfinished Tin Tin book, top-shelf porn mags, TV art documentaries, coins that people glue to the floor for the pleasure of watching others bend to pick them up. Down on all fours, close inspection of the silver coin proves that it is an American "Quarter Centi-Dollar" minted in 2032. There's a story here, but I guess we must wait for years to find it out. … [Read more...] about Use your imagineering: Ryan Gander’s art world of pranks and puzzles
Art and design
In lockdown, holidays seem like some kind of fantasy - so looking at a Slim Aarons photograph is sort of appropriate. Aarons has, after all, always been about armchair travelling. It never rains in his pictures. They are not of people grinning through the downpour staycations, or of hard-fought sweaty adventures. Instead, Aarons concentrated on the holiday where the weather is perfect, cocktails at 11am are the norm, and sunglasses are always massive. The kind of holiday we’re all dreaming of right now, really. … [Read more...] about Dive in: how Slim Aarons art directed the poolside summer
Today, our questions are set by Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. The Ferens Art Gallery has one of the finest regional art collections in the country. Opened in 1927, the Ferens is one of eight sites that comprise Hull Museums, operated by Hull Culture and Leisure Limited since 2014. Collection strengths include European old masters from the 14th century onwards – especially Netherlandish 17th century, maritime painting and 20th century British art. … [Read more...] about How long did it take Ulysses to get home? The great British art quiz
Images of sex abound in Renaissance and baroque art, usually in mythic couplings of woman and cloud, boy and eagle. Rembrandt here shows the thing itself, stripped of mythology or metaphor. A couple – probably Rembrandt and his lover Hendrickje Stoffels – are going for it in spite of the cold that keeps them semi-clothed in their bed. … [Read more...] about The 10 best works of erotic art
There are some mysteries about the Turner Prize, some more mysterious than others. It's not a genuine popular vote. It is genuinely an exclusive institution. It's an exclusive prize that pretends to be an open one. But that's an acceptable bit of hypocrisy. As to genuine mysteries - how much power over the judges does the head judge, Nicholas Serota, really have? A few years ago, he was the big supporter of painter Sean Scully when it was Scully against sculptor Rachel Whiteread - but Whiteread won. So we don't know. And is a statement being made each year by the choice of winner - women are in, photography is it, painting is back, shocks are in, shocks are out? If Serota has the power, is he making the statement? If he doesn't, who does? We don't know this either. … [Read more...] about Is the Turner good for art?