I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Exhibition view: Group show, Jacob's Ladder (2018), Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Courtesy: Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. Image via Frieze.
Edinburgh is a city whose historic architecture has long played host every August – more or less willingly – to a plethora of different festivities: the flagship Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, but also the Book Festival, and even the Book Fringe (a collaboration between indie bookstores Lighthouse and the Golden Hare).
Francis Archibald Wentworth Walter, self-styled 7th Prince of the West Indies, Lord of Follies and the Ding-a-Ding Nook, was born in Antigua in 1926. He was prodigiously talented as both a writer and artist, but his undeniable genius was flawed by delusions of aristocratic grandeur, namely a belief that the white slave owners in his ancestry linked him to the noble houses of Europe, from Charles II to Franz Joseph of Austria and the Dukes of Buccleuch. As a young man, aged just 22 in 1948, Walter tasted success as the first man of colour to manage an Antiguan sugar plantation, but although hugely revered on the island for his intellect and achievements he left it all behind to tour Europe in pursuit of new skills and his own increasingly convoluted genealogical meanderings. A visit to Scotland in the early 1950s marked the beginnings of a life-long affection for a country to which he repeatedly returned in his imagination and in his paintings.
Walter's remarkable gifts were the product of a fertile, but fragile, mind and having returned to the Caribbean he spent the last twenty five years of his life in an isolated shack on an Antiguan hillside, surrounded by his writings, some 25,000 closely-typed pages of history, philosophy and autobiography, and by the extraordinary paintings and carvings that speak with such an unmistakable and visionary voice. These paintings range in subject from miniature landscapes, many of them Scottish; to abstract explorations of nuclear energy; to portraits, both real and imagined, including Hitler playing cricket and Charles and Diana as Adam and Eve. Painted with a rare immediacy, on whatever material came to hand, they announce the discovery of one of the most intriguing and distinctive Caribbean artists of the last 50 years.
Walter's work was exhibited alongside paintings by Alfred Wallis and Forrest Bess in the exhibition Songs of Innocence and Experience at Ingleby Gallery in Spring 2013. A solo exhibition of his work was presented by The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin in Summer 2013 and later that year, Ingleby Gallery presented a solo display of Walter's paintings and his hillside shack at Art Basel Miami Beach. A major solo exhibition followed at Ingleby Gallery in spring 2015. In 2017, Frank Walter represented Antigua and Barbuda at the Venice Bienniale, in a show called Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man 1926-2009. A solo presentation of Walter's work also took place at Harewood House, Leeds, UK in the summer of 2017.
'Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.' – Arthur C. Clarke
It is fifty years since the release of Stanley Kubrick's epic science fiction adventure 2001 A Space Odyssey. Based on a story by Arthur C. Clarke, it came to define the space race generation's imaginative approach to the possibilities of a shared universe.
2018 is also the fiftieth anniversary of a small photograph taken by Apollo 8 crewman William Anders, sometimes regarded as the most influential photograph of all time. It appeared ubiquitously on the front page of newspapers around the world in December 1968, depicting Earthrise, a small blue planet - 'our home planet', as Anders described it, 'rising up above the stark and battered lunar horizon... the only colour against the deep blackness of space, beautiful and clearly delicate'.
Celebrating these half-century anniversaries (and in doing so stealing a march on the inevitable moon-landing celebrations of next year) Ingleby Gallery has brought together a stellar line up of historical and contemporary artists and thinkers exploring the rich territory of mankind's relationship with the cosmos.
The exhibition includes a series of vintage NASA photographs, including Ander's Earthrise, alongside selected historical works, such as pages from the 1639 edition of Johann Bayer's Uranometria, and the 1902 film A Trip to the Moon directed by Georges Méliès. These will be shown with works by international contemporary artists considering the relationship between the Earth and other planets. Artists featured will include David Austen, Ben Cauchi, Vija Celmins, Susan Derges, Richard Forster, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Marine Hugonnier, Alicja Kwade, Peter Liversidge, Jonny Lyons, Garry Fabian Miller, Cornelia Parker, Katie Paterson and Frank Walter.
Jacob's Ladder is presented in partnership with the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Research Collections with the exhibition Astronomy Victorious; a parallel display of rare books and objects spanning five centuries that begins with Galileo and Copernicus and moves into the present day with works by contemporary artists including Katie Paterson's Timepieces (2014) – a series of nine clocks that tell the time on the planets in our solar system - and Exposure (7 Hours of Light) July 2 by cameraless photographer Garry Fabian Miller. The two exhibitions consider the changing nature of humankind's understanding of the universe.
When I became an art critic in 1981 one of the first artists I met and wrote about was Sean Scully. At that time I was teaching philosophy in Pittsburgh and he, having recently moved to New York, was as yet without a dealer. We are almost the same age, and to some extent we grew up together. When we first met, he had just made the transition from...
The Ingleby Gallery in the former Glasite meeting hall in Edinburgh is, in contrast, a brilliant adaptation of what at first must have seemed an unpromising space. It was a church with pews and pulpit, but is now a tall, square hall, perfectly plain and beautifully lit form an enormous central skylight. It is ideally suited to the display of...
COPENHAGEN — Outside Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on a recent late-summer morning, a few sunstruck visitors were sprawling on the turf of the sculpture garden, between monumental outdoor works by Alexander Calder and Richard Serra.
August: the month Edinburgh is aflame with comedians and spoken word performers vying to out-taboo one another. Amid such faux courage comes a reminder of the real danger of speaking freely: in the cause of love and beauty as well as politics.
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