REVIEW: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

By Esme Wright Walking into the exhibition is how I imagine Cinderella would have felt had she gone to the ball without the help of her fairy godmother. You cannot help but feel awkwardly underdressed as you brush shoulders with the most exquisitely adorned mannequins.  The further into the forest of dresses you walk the more the feeling of self-consciousness is superceded by appreciation for not only Christian Dior and his successors but also the art of the gallery space, as curated by Oriole Cullen. It is not only the delicate classical music which surrounds every spectator but the beautiful…

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The Truth of Photography

Photography is a conflicting medium. With it’s detailed and accurate depictions of almost any subject, all instantly captured at the click of a button, the skillset of photographers sets them aside, creatively, from the world of fine art, painting and sculpture. This hyper-realism removes, in many ways, the feeling depicted through the textures of paint, the chosen colours, the artist’s view. Photography cannot be ‘impressionist’, or ‘surrealist’ or ‘classical’ in the way art – specifically painting – can be. In this case, it becomes the subject of the photograph, rather than the style of the medium, that tends to draw…

The Artifice of a Still Life

The current exhibition at York Art Gallery, Making a Masterpiece: Bouts & Beyond, showcases artworks from the ‘Golden Age’ of Dutch and Flemish art. The still lifes raise interesting questions about reality and artifice.

Involving the Public with the Private Life of Art

Manchester Art Gallery’s recent attempt to bring the public into the gallery space and explore their collection of publicly owned sculpture is the first step in the right direction of making art more accessible to everyone. MAG owns over 500 sculptures, with less than 3% on display until now, with the opening of their stored collection and archival material in their Out of the Crate exhibition. They have now put over 25% of their extensive collection into a free exhibition, opening a wealth of art up to the community. MAG is a publicly owned gallery, meaning that it is part…

Janet Sobel and the Milky Way

By Rose Mckean When Janet Sobel is discussed – granted this doesn’t happen often – you can almost guarantee that the name Jackson Pollock is lurking somewhere nearby. Indeed, I have immediately fallen into this trap myself. Although Sobel precedes Pollock in many ways, her influence on Pollock being well-documented in the accounts of Clemence Greenberg,…

Minding the Gaps: Imagism in Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’

In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals on a wet, black bough.                                                                                                                                    Ezra Pound (1913) It is almost one hundred years since Ezra Pound used the phrase ‘Make it New’ (1928), and although current writers and critics may seem more concerned with what it means to write…

Looking through glass

Maya Ahuja-Hofheiz   Dale Chihuly, hailed the ‘worlds most celebrated’ contemporary glass artist recently held an exhibition of his work in Kew Gardens, called “Reflections on Nature”. The exhibition was comprised of a series of works scattered through the gardens themselves in an ‘artworks trail’ (a classic exhibition format for Kew, but a departure for…

Why the tiny nips? A rumination on a lack of areolas.

“Why the tiny nips?” I thought to myself as I gazed upon the painting of The Virgin and Child by Dieric Bouts. I was attending the current exhibition at the York art Gallery, which features some of the most prominent Netherlandish painters of the last 500 years. The Virgin herself seemed suitably beatific and was depicted gazing adoringly at her son whom she is about to breastfeed. There is nothing particularly unusual about this, however in this painting the Virgin has both very small nipples and a lack of areolas. Having visible nipples and areolas is an essential part of…

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

By Isabella George   The Passing Winter is a strange beast. Standing at around two metres in height, its scale should make it something of an imposing presence in a gallery space. But its four sides of glass mirror condemn the piece to a reflective, somewhat half present state. It only exists when it reflects the person that looks at it, that is, you. Step towards the glassy monolith and you will notice a variety of holes punched into the smooth and glassy exterior. These polka dots are something of a signature for Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese artist behind the…