Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Right now the Painted Page exhibition at the new Folio Society Gallery @ the British Library is showing Images of medieval life in the Luttrell Psalter. You can view the original 13th Century illuminated mansuscript in the John Ritblat Gallery also at the BL.

The exhibition uses a mix of facsimile images of the manuscript + technology to make what is usually considered ‘for antiquarian interests only‘ an enjoyable, interactive experience and accessible to the public. There are explanatory notes on what the various icons and imagery might have meant + their social significance: providing insight into the 13th century world and how they may have viewed their reality and their life. Which is what’s interesting about illuminated (i.e. illustrated) manuscripts of course. The metaphorical and allegorical nature of medieval imagery and art is particularly interesting to me. Generally I’m interested in the social aspects of history.
The exhibition is free and runs until 7 January 2007. There is some fantastic technology at work here – the ‘Turning the pages‘ interactive feature is loads of fun and hopefully will soon be out of the ‘innovative’ bracket into ‘usual IT bracket’ : hmm let’s see.
** The John Ritblat Gallery showcases the ‘treasures’ of the British Library drawn from the millions of items they have in their collection: there’s a new room dedicated to the Magna Carta.



Illuminated manuscripts are the most common historical artefacts from the Middle Ages and the best surviving specimens of medieval art. And for some earlier periods of history they often are the only surviving examples of painting.

“An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration or illustration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniatures. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript only refers to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver. However, in both common usage and modern scholarship, the term is now used to refer to any decorated manuscript.”

You can find out more on this fascinating topic on wikipedia and the Koninklijke Bibliotheek – the National Library of the Netherlands

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Love/Death: The Tristan Project


Now showing for free – at two venues: Haunch of Venison Yard and St. Olaf’s College – Tooley St. ( or what used to be the College) [ Adjacent to Tower Bridge Rd, London, SE1 2JR – nearest tube is London Bridge]

The Love/Death: Tristan Project is a twelve piece collaborative project featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The exhibits range from large scale video projections with sound to small, silent flat screen panels.

Considered a pioneer in video art, Viola is represented by the James Cohan Gallery in New York, as well as Haunch of Venison in London.

His video installations at the SF MoMA ( San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) can be still found as online exhibition features here.

“Viola’s work looks at birth and death, time and human experience. He is said to draw elements of religion into his work and has studied mysticism, Sufism, Kabbalah and Zen Buddhism.”

Much of the work in this latest show comes from material produced for a recent production of the Wagner opera Tristan and Isolde.

The Haunch of Venison Group are an international art group representing contemporary art, based in Zurich.

The exhibition is running till the 2nd of September

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Undercover Surrealism explores the ’subversive climate’ of the dark undercurrent within Surrealism in the late 1920’s spearheaded by Georges Bataille. The exhibition draws together work by Picasso, Miro, Masson, Giacometti as well as imagery from the magazine Bataille edited from 1929 to 1930 called DOCUMENTS :

“..a shocking and bizarre juxtaposition of art, ethnography, archaeology and popular culture in such a way that overturned conventional notions of ‘primitive’ and ‘ideal’. Bataille described himself as Surrealism’s ‘enemy from within’… ”

The exhiition is running at the Hayward Gallery till the 30th July.

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“Anything sharp or severe is called a Satyr” : Cocker’s English Dictionary 1704.

“..an exhibition of visual satire produced in and about London over three centuries. In this period the form of satire has changed radically, from popular individual engravings to newspaper cartoons and television.

Some images are produced by amateurs, others by leading artists such as Hogarth, Gillray and Rowlandson. Some are mildly humorous, others vitriolic. What links them is their depiction of the comic and their visual commentary on vice and folly, human foibles and unsociable behaviour.

A rare perspective on life in London from a street level perspective imbued with popular opinion.”

The exhibition runs from 1 April to 3 September 2006 at the Museum of London.

Print Print Two

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Agitated Images: John Heartfield and German Photomontage 1920 – 1938 is currently exhibiting at the Getty Center. An illustration of the power of images and imagery. Heartfield worked in Germany and Czechoslovakia between the World Wars, using his medium to represent the chaos – social and political instability of the time.

The exhibition is running till June 25th.


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Painted in 1866 – Oil on Canvas.

Regina Cordium translates as "Queen of Hearts" and the model – Alice Wilding- was one Rossetti painted frequently. 

From the BBC's Painting Flowers virtual gallery. 

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