Tag Archives: art

saul leiter – paintings.

Saul Leiter has documented the world around him, capturing New York mid-century, with his beautiful colour and black-and-white photographs (see my previous post, here). But throughout his life he painted, too, and both media are on show at Hackelbury Fine Art in London (now until 27 July 2013).

His paintings are vibrant and full of life, with vivacious, playful brush strokes and pools of  intense colour. As with his photographs, the asymmetrical composition is exquisite. In both media, his influences are evident: the paintings of Renoir, Matisse and Bonnard. There is a lovely quotation in Nigel Warburton’s interview (more, here), which gives a clear indication of his regard for Bonnard:

‘Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I reach over to one of my 30 books on Bonnard… if I can’t find the one I want, I go out and buy another copy’.

SL 12310 © Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

© Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

SL 12298 © Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

© Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

SL 12306 © Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

© Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

The documentary ‘In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter’ is being shown at Open City Docs Fest in London on 21st June, and at the ICA on the 27th June. The film is an absolute delight, with Saul Leiter as the reluctant, but utterly beguiling, protagonist.

More in the gallery, here.

All images © Saul Leiter HackelBury Fine Art courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

the wonderful world of oliver jeffers.

If you haven’t read the stories of Oliver Jeffers then you should begin at once. He is a children’s book writer, and his stories are sweet, poignant and hilarious (my favourite, Stuck, is laugh-out-loud funny, and my three-year-old doesn’t mind it, either..). The illustrations are just beautiful, too – spare in detail, rich in context.

Now I have discovered (via the always wonderful French by Design blog), his dipped paintings. And now I’m crazy about them, too.

WITHOUT A DOUBT PART 2 (CUTOUT) LORESWITHOUT A DOUBT PART 1 LORESWithout a Doubt Part 3/Without a Doubt Part 2 (cutout)/Without a Doubt Part 1 all courtesy Oliver Jeffers studio

What do you think of these dipped paintings? More dipped things, here.

More in the gallery, here, and more fabulous children’s stories, here.

happy weekend.


Rachel Whiteread, Detached
Installation view, photo by Mike Bruce

Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread’s works, rendered from concrete and steel, are hugely impressive in scale and form.

Detached, Rachel Whiteread, April 11 – May 25, 2013. Gagosian Gallery, Brittania Street, London

More in the gallery, here

happy (easter) weekend.


private moon in kaohsiung, taiwan – tianliao
photo © po-I chen


‘under broken bridge’ in kaohsiung, taiwan
photo © po-I chen


‘at the straw store’ in kaohsiung, taiwan
photo © po-I chen

Avant-garde artist Leonid Tishkov has been travelling around the world with his mobile art installation ‘private moon’. The project captures a series of photographs of himself with a large illuminated crescent moon, taken at various locations across China, New Zealand, Taiwan, the Arctic and France.

Via designboom; more, here

happy weekend.


Ninety meters high, the inflatable, 5 ton form fills the interior of a former gas tank, amplifying the ethereal quality of the space with diffused light.

Big Air Package by Christo. Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, now through 30 December 2013


happy weekend.


This mirrored street facade art turns pedestrians into acrobats.

The ‘Bâtiment (Building) was a mirrored installation by artist Leandro Erlich on display at Le 104 in Paris as part of their In_Perceptions exhibition. The piece is clever in its simplicity: a massive building facade is constructed on the floor near a towering mirror giving anyone reflected the uncanny appearance of being weightless’.

from Sustainable Cities Collective; more, here

black maria.


King’s Cross in London has been undergoing a metamorphosis over the last 10 years, from red light district to transitory train hub to destination in its own right. One of its latest reincarnations is as a major international contemporary arts destination.

The second installation in the newly created space is Black Maria, a commission by the British artist Richard Wentworth working in collaboration with GRUPPE, a young Swiss architectural practice. For four weeks the timber structure will inhabit the concourse, a top lit atrium space which forms a street connecting the historic Granary Building with the new Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Named after Thomas Edison’s 1893 timber film studio in New Jersey – the world’s first cinema and film production studio – Black Maria is an auditorium where passers-by are invited to find their own uses and purposes. The theatrical structure with its proscenium arch and broad terraced steps is merely a backdrop: the audience will become the players. During the day, Black Maria acts as a public space, into which one can freely walk, work, pause. At night, doors become screens, stairs become seating, and Black Maria turns into a space for discussions and screenings. It is a space where, thrillingly, anything can happen.


Black Maria is part of Relay, a nine – year arts programme. A list of Black Maria Events can be seen here.

All images via Dezeen

More happenings, here

holly frean.


Na Na Na Na Na, after Sir William Nicholson’s Portrait of Gertrude Jekyll of 1920, 2012

“Intimate in scale, richly coloured, playfully serious, seriously playful…”

Rather aptly named, Before and After is an exhibition of the work of Holly Frean at Rebecca  Hossack Gallery in London. Apt, because there is something reassuring and familiar about the contorted faces – these are paintings we have seen before. Their formats, too, are traditional – oval shaped, like portraiture of the past.

But these paintings are thoroughly modern. Layered thickly and jewel-coloured, they feel intimate, like they have been painted for you, the viewer. I want to peer into them rather than stand back from them. The wonderful titles just add to the playfulness…

cat womanmonaandy warhol

What do you think? Do you feel a sense of familiarity and fondness when you view these paintings? 

Before and After, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, until 19 January 2013.

More in the gallery series, here

maisie broadhead.

I first saw Maisie Broadhead’s work at her debut solo exhibition out of art school at Sarah Myerscough Gallery in Mayfair. An exhibition at the same gallery is now taking place, and her work is also being exhibited at the National Gallery and the Design Museum in London.

Exquisitely photographed, the lighting, composition, and attention to detail are superb.  She has recreated the works of old masters – Vermeer, Valasquez, Hogarth – given the models a gender twist and dressed them in contemporary clothes. The richness of the imagery is the first thing one sees; a second look reveals the rather outrageous humour of a coke bottle with a brightly coloured straw, or the plucked eyebrow of a man where a voluptuous maiden would otherwise have been. The trick is played further as one initially perceives a painting; a much closer inspection reveals a beautifully orchestrated photograph.

Maisie Broadhead, Which Weigh to Go, 2009. Digital C-Type Print, Edition of 10, 42.5 x 38 cm

Which Weigh to Go, 2009. Digital C-Type Print, Edition of 10, 42.5 x 38 cm

Maisie Broadhead, She Pulled my Heir, 2008. Digital C-Type Print, Edition of 10, 62 x 75 cm

She Pulled my Heir, 2008. Digital C-Type Print, Edition of 10, 62 x 75 cm

Maisie Broadhead, Nipple Pinch, 2009-1.  C-Type Print, 125 x 96 cm

Nipple Pinch, 2009. C-Type Print, 125 x 96 cm


Keep Them  Sweet, 2010. Digital C-Type Print, 145cm x 106cm and 75cm x 55cm

I adore these works, but I can’t help feeling that the titles could be a little more provocative, seductive even, and add to the game of charades.

I would be happy with any one of these photographs on my wall. What do you think, could you live with a Maisie Broadhead?

Rose Tinted Monocle, 15 Nov 2012 – 19 Jan 2013 Sarah Myerscough Gallery

black dahlia.

Lena Wolff is an artist based in San Francisco. I came across her work on the internet and loved the geometric pattern, simplicity and rich tones. Lena is formally trained in fine art, however she describes her work as coming from a ‘realm where art, design and craft intersect’. She attributes her early influences and interest in craft to the beautiful things made by hand by her forebears.

Her work is dynamic in its rhythm and geometric pattern, but there is a quiet stillness also. I like the flatness – the art sits on the surface rather than emanating from hidden depths. The richness for me lies in the tonal colour and composition.

Her work, which is mainly collage, incorporates geometric abstractions, revealing pattern and form. Much of her iconic imagery is derived from early American quilt making from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She describes her work as grounded in ‘tradition and democracy’. The Black Dahlia, for example, is a variation on a pattern – Golden Dahlia – which was popular in the United States in the 1930s. There are clear links from then to now: ‘historical connections across time and between disciplines of artistic practice’.

Find out more about Lena’s work here and her online shop here

Found, 2010

paper collage with powdered graphite watercolor, gouache, hole-punched and hand-cut paper, 12 x 30 inches

Vine with Moons and Red Sun, 2011

paper collage with watercolor, gouache, hole punch and hand-cut paper, 39 x 30 inches

Black Dahlia, 2012

letterpress relief print, edition of 40, 13 x 12.5 inches, made at Kala Art Institute on a Vanercook Letterpress

White Owl Branch, 2007

paper collage with powdered graphite, pinpricks, watercolor, gouache, hole punch and hand-cut paper, 30 x 22 inches

All images Lena Wolff