Weekend Reading

Dayanita Singh is interviewed here discussing her Pocket Museum publication, a miniature version of the Museum Bhavan exhibition published by Steidl.

Some listening for a change. Last month 95bFM broadcast an interview with Erika Balsom as part of their Artbank programme. Balsom is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London and was visiting New Zealand as part of the Govett-Brewster At Gallery’s International Film Curator in residence programme. Balsom covers her visit to New Zealand (and Australia) in this month’s Art Monthly magazine (unavailable online).

There’s a lot of talk around Alexander Calder lately, principally around he Whitney Museum’s exhibition, Calder: Hypermobility. This piece from Hyperallergic covers the performative aspect of Calder’s motor driven works in the Whitney show. The article includes several videos from the Whitney’s channel which lead me on the Calder Foundation’s own videos. Here’s Calder Foundation chairman and grandson of Calder, Alexander S. C. Rower, demonstrating motion in Calder’s work.

The other exciting news in the Calder world is Jed Perl’s new biography, an excerpt  published here by the Smithsonian.

A-battery-shelled-_2837979b.jpg
WYNDHAM LEWIS: A BATTERY SHELLED (1919)

The Imperial War Museum North’s Wyndham Lewis exhibition gets a review in the London Review of Books, reviewer Jon Day observing Lewis’ best work was his war paintings:

In fact, the pictures are still shocking: war gave Lewis a subject which was equal to his anger. He pays as much attention to the angle of a rack of shells as he does to the bodies of the men around them. Unlike some of his peers, he wasn’t interested in the dynamism of war – there are no explosions, his war paintings are strangely static. Nor did the war do much to strip him of the schoolboyish contrarianism of Blast. But it did give him a way of applying Vorticism to the real world, providing a context for what Read called ‘the geometry of fear’. Lewis’s work can still feel more modernist than any of his peers’.

Weekend Reading

20170517_123550.jpg
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A, London

A fair bit of talk lately of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band celebrating its 50th Birthday. Likewise, plenty of interest in Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains the blockbuster exhibition at the V&A. The TLS covers both in this review of related books. While a fan of the Beatles, I don’t have any great fondness for Sgt. Pepper’s, similarly with Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Both arguably the greatest of albums by anyone, but both far from the best by either band. On the matter of Their Mortal Remains, the consensus seems to be that it’s a stunning success. I didn’t see the Bowie Is or Bjork exhibitions that started this trend but I found the Floyd exhibition to be politically limp  and technologically flawed. Which reminded me to reread an older review from the New Yorker regarding the Bjork exhibition fiasco.

‘Curating is undemocratic, authoritarian, opaque and corruptible.’ Stefan Heidenreich produces this week’s talking point for curators.

The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester has opened its new Wyndham Lewis exhibition Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War, the largest since the 1950s. The Telegraph reviews, noting the exhibitions is sadly not definitive but conveys Lewis’ promising but ultimately pitiful career.

This piece is a few weeks old and something I forgot to include in last week’s list – Joseph Fronczak at Jacobin on A Hobsbawm’s Long Century, a lengthy study of the historian, his commitment to communism and his place now, at the beginning of a new long century.