The women of the Surrealist movement have suffered a curious case of the feminine shadow, what could be termed Muse Syndrome. Often, their biographical and artistic legacies have been dogged by their associations to prominent male surrealists; the result, an awkward and myopic epitaph.
The Royal Academy’s current exhibition, Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits, is a bold and singular response to this century’s fascination with self-image. Lucian Freud’s artistic career predates the selfie-saturated 2010s, yet his work captures the obsession and volume with which we display ourselves today.
The mere mention of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art can make us feel uneasy. Such distinctions are often branded as pretentious and as the work of the elitist in their desperate attempts to preserve tradition and exclude diversity within the literary canon.
The art historian and presenter on restoration, vanity and Old Masters
It is effectively government policy that the science student is fundamentally more socially valuable than the artist. Resistance to this mode of thinking...
Picture a circle of people holding hands, dancing around. Nothing particularly remarkable about that, right? Now imagine half of them as skeletons.
The thing about self-consciously revolutionary art, however, is that it rarely has a particularly long shelf-life. Perhaps this remains most obvious in pieces that are pragmatically revolutionary; demonstration posters, graffiti, propaganda. Things like Guerrilla Girls and posters of Johnson and Trump’s lovechild are destined – designed, even – to become quickly dated.
William Blake was never the artist he wanted to be, nor the one we want him to be. As with all the great Romantics,...
A new-born baby is lying naked on the ground in the crisp September air. Some stride nonchalantly past her, while others stop and instinctively stroke her smooth body, as though trying to shield her from the elements.
Synesthesia is a hugely rare cross-sensory condition - and yet features in some of our most famous canonical works. How can we ever understand the experience of a synesthete?