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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

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...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

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...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

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,...

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Related Press

The Spirit of Painting in an Altered World

Thomas Micchelli Hyperallergic First published on 12 May 2018

A.R. Penck, Skizze (1983) (detail). Acrylic on canvas. 78 3/4 inches x 118 1/4 inches. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy Almine Rech Gallery. Photo: Matt Kroening.

'A faint, beautiful memory' is how curator Norman Rosenthal described A New Spirit Then, A New Spirit Now, 1981-2018, the current show at Almine Rech Gallery on the Upper East Side. What he’s remembering, as spelled out in the exhibition’s title, is the seminal survey, A New Spirit in Painting, which opened, barely, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London on January 15, 1981.

As he explained in our brief conversation on the afternoon of the Almine Rech opening, there was such internal opposition to the show at the Academy (from 'progressive' rather than traditional painters) that a couple of artists nearly pulled their work at the last minute, pushing the entire enterprise to the brink of collapse. In the end, reason prevailed, the show went on, and the rest, more or less, is history.

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