Alexis Rockman – Optimist or Pessimist?

Is Alexis Rockman an optimist or a pessimist? Rockman produces large, colorful paintings many of which depict a dysfunctional interaction between the human and the non-human world as well as the transformation in non-human systems that humans are causing. Rockman’s images do not attempt to depict nature in any kind of romanticized fashion. Rather bold in …

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Do Artists Pollute?

Apart from making art that focuses our minds on ‘saving the environment’, artists can, themselves, start making direct contributions by addressing the use of polluting materials and the enormous amounts of waste that contemporary art tends to generate. In an article in today’s Observer – ‘Can art be environmentally friendly?’ – Lucy Siegle addresses this …

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Real and Surreal – The Landscapes of Joan Miro

  I remember when, a few years ago, I visited the Joan Miro museum in Barcelona. There were two large, wall-sized paintings that each consisted just of one single curved line painted in black on white paper. I remember looking at these simple paintings and being overcome by a very strong emotional sense. For me …

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The Magical Landscapes of Eyvind Earle

Today I came across this gallery in the small town of Cambria, on the central Californian coast. The gallery stocks a wonderful range of contemporary artists’ work among them the magical landscapes of Eyvind Earle. Ever since the David Hockney exhibit, the subject of a previous post, I have been on the lookout for interesting …

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David Hockney, the iPad and the joy of landscapes at the Royal Academy

David Hockney is undoubtedly one of the most important of contemporary artists; all the more so because, like that other contemporary great, Gerhardt Richter, he hasn’t been seduced into the ever increasingly ridiculous nonsense that goes under the rubric of contemporary ‘conceptual art’.  His latest exhibit at the Royal Academy in London is focused on …

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Gary Hume – Are the issues to big for any of us?

Gary Hume is a successful British artist who does not usually engage with environmental issues. He became involved with Cape Farewell and created some artworks in an attempt to engage with the issues.  As reported in an article in The Guardian, he found this a challenge: “How do you depict global catastrophe?” he says. “I’m …

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Will Art Ever Meet Science? Images at the London Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in London is making a great attempt at blending an artistic perspective with their main focus of activity – science education. A previously mounted conceptual art exhibit was reviewed in this blog.  The museum has now opened a new gallery entitled Images of Nature focused on showcasing the over half-a-million drawings, …

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Cultural Response To Climate Change – David Buckland and Cape Farewell

The creation, expansion and success of Cape Farewell maybe represents the most ambitious, most far-sighted and most successful effort to date to place the arts front and center in the debate about climate change.  Created by David Buckland in 2001, Cape Farewell brings together artists, scientists, educators and the media in a series of expeditions …

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Henri Rousseau for The Year of the Tiger

Henri Rousseau’s naif art paintings were mercilessly criticized during his lifetime. He struggled, and failed, to achieve acceptance by the art establishment. Within a couple of decades of this condemnation, his art was hanging in the world’s leading museums.  So much for the establishment. Rousseau was fascinated by jungles and the environment they produce.  His …

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