Ashurbanipal,  King of the World at the British Museum

Ashurbanipal, King of the World at the British Museum

I am Ashurbanipal, King of the World, King of Assyria.                          ” Forget Death and feed life”            ( Ancient Mesopotamian Inscription from Nineveh)   ” I am Ashurbanipal, King of the World, King of Assyria”, claimed Ashurbanipal himself in a cuneiform inscription. It would appear from archaeological  evidence and...

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Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918 at the National Army Museum

Alfred Munnings: War Artist, 1918 at the National Army Museum

  Alfred Munnings had more than his share of drama in his long and colourful life, regarded by Augustus John as ‘greater than Stubbs. He made it move, had greater narrative quality and his groupings are better.’ He certainly had colossal painterly skills, a unique palette and, as a rider...

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Shrouds of the Somme at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Shrouds of the Somme at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The artist Rob Heard has devised possibly the most graphic way of commemorating the dead in the First World War. His astonishing Shrouds of the Somme comprises a staggering 72,396 miniature corpses, each one wrapped in a calico shroud and strapped head and toe, and each one representing a body...

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Paula Rego: From Mind to Hand

Paula Rego: From Mind to Hand

  Paula Rego grew up under the anti-communist Catholic dictatorship of Salazar’s corporatism Estado Novo in Portugal, with shadows of the secret police around every corner. It is hardly surprising that her images resonate with menace, ambiguity and the threat or actuality of violence. The Maids is a painting based...

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Christian Marclay: The Clock at the Tate Modern

Christian Marclay: The Clock at the Tate Modern

Christian Marclay: The Clock Tate Modern Until 20 January 2019 Free admission   Fictional time is nothing but trickery. Bending the realities of time is at the heart of any good narrative, not least in cinema, where days, weeks, months – even years – are neatly condensed into palatable 90-minute...

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Vote and Voice: Women’s Place in Parliament

Vote and Voice: Women’s Place in Parliament

  “However benevolent men may be in their intentions, they cannot know what women want and what suits the necessities of women’s lives as well as women know these things themselves.”   Millicent Fawcett 1847 – 1929 100 years on from the seminal Representation of the People Act 1918, the...

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Killed Negatives: Unseen Images of 1930s America

Killed Negatives: Unseen Images of 1930s America

An odd title, you may think, for an exhibition of photography, but not as odd as the reasons behind it. In the 1930s, the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA), commissioned photographers to record and document life in rural America during the Great Depression years, but to a...

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Royal Academy Summer Show

Royal Academy Summer Show

Grayson Perry is everywhere. He is in the Summer Exhibition with two pieces, a glazed ceramic piece entitled Stupid White Thing and a woodcut called Selfie with political causes, in an edition of 12 and priced at £51,600 each. He was hosting a tour of the exhibition at the press view, flouncing through the galleries in...

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Victorian Giants: The Art of Photography

Victorian Giants: The Art of Photography

The NPG have selected four pioneering photographers, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Lady Clementina Hawarden and the Swede, under whom they all studied, Oscar Rejlander. In the middle of the nineteenth century, photography was no longer such a novelty, but the prints that were being produced were rather staid, and...

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America’s Cool Modernism

America’s Cool Modernism

If your penchant is for figures in a landscape, or even just figures, then steer clear of Oxford for the next five months, or, at least the exhibition currently showing at the Ashmolean. Hard-edged, geometric cityscapes fight with hard-edged rural scenes of barns, silos and grain elevators. There are some...

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