Guardian Unlimited Arts

Guardian Unlimited Arts

Latest art and design news, comment and analysis from the Guardian
  1. Chris Mazeika sits with Steven David in Middlesex hospital, London, March 1993

    Steven and I were neighbours in Deptford, south London; although he was never my partner, he was, in a way, the love of my life. Every time I got home and switched on the lights, my landline would ring: “Why am I being neglected?” he would say, in his strong Belfast accent.

    Related:‘Notting Hill carnival was for the community – and the kids – in those days’

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  2. Do you know your IRL from your AFK? Ever heard of the mercenaries of slime? And what does all this have to do with the gloriously liberated feminist future the web was supposed to deliver? A mind-boggling conference at the ICA had the answers

    You don’t have to wear a hi-tech bodysuit to be a post-cyber feminist, though some did. The ICA’s recent Post-Cyber Feminist International conference drew an arty crowd of intellectuals, feminists and the intellectual, feminist, gender non-conforming. Want to know what self-determined, non-gendered DIY fashion looks like at the gorgeous, bleeding edge? This was the place: with everything from experimental tailoring to rubber face masks, at times the dressed-up vibe verged on Comic-Con for PhD candidates.

    Foul-mouthed, irreverent and sexually liberated, the original Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st centurywas written by the Australian collective VNS Matrix in 1991. Describing themselves as “mercenaries of slime” and proclaiming that “the future will be unmanned”, VNS Matrix evoked an era in which computer interactivity was radically sexualised and gloopily physical. They took the emerging technological paradigm ­– in which software penetrated hardware – and imagined its ultimate evolution. Six years later, the first Cyberfeminist International was held in Kassel, Germany, and the idea of a networked, feminist future was discussed in optimistic terms.

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  3. Photographer Olivia Locher explores US pickle laws, two deranged film-makers hijack the great submarine epic and New York covers its ears as Munch hits town – all in your weekly dispatch

    Rose Wylie
    Deliriously slapdash paintings that defy all notions of convention or respectability from this veteran maverick of British art.
    Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, 30 November to 11 February.

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  4. The Frenchman was more interested in geometry – engaging with nature via the sphere, cylinder and cone, as he put it – than psychological realism

    To say that Paul Cézanne’s paintings of children were unsentimental is an understatement. Here, the son of a hotel gardener becomes a sphinx, with eyes that seem to stare eternally into unknown mysteries. His pale, symmetrical face – with its elegant arcs of eyebrows – might be a painted mask.

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  5. In 1991 the Danish photographer Krass Clement captured a series of images of Dublin during three short visits. The photographs have now been published in a book for the first time, over 25 years after their creation

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  6. Museum plans 2018 exhibition, called The Future Starts Here, exploring how groundbreaking technologies could change the world

    New technology could allow us to clean up devastating damage to the environment, charge a phone with our clothes and create vast factories in space. But it appears to have its limits: the tedium of laundry, a new exhibition suggests, will still be down to us.

    An exhibition next year at the V&A on possibly revolutionary design will include some less successful ideas besides the triumphs – the robot, for instance, programmed to fold towels and taking 15 minutes to do each one. “The robots are coming but they’re not coming that quickly,” admitted the curator, Rory Hyde.

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  7. Daughter of Stanley Spencer who was a talented painter with a powerful imaginative vision

    Unity Spencer, who has died aged 87, was perhaps best known for being the daughter of the artist Stanley Spencer, but she was also a talented painter in her own right, a skilful realist with a powerful imaginative vision. Two of her best and most memorable works, which reveal her father’s influence, are a striking self-portrait from 1954, and a 1957 portrait of Stanley himself.

    She had three solo shows of her paintings in London, and contributed to many mixed exhibitions, from the London Group to the Royal Academy shows. The first of her one-person shows was at Lauderdale House in Highgate, in 1993, the second at the Boundary Gallery in St John’s Wood in 2001, both in north London, but it was the third that really established her reputation. In 2015, the Fine Art Society in Bond Street mounted the first West End exhibition of her work, to coincide with the publication of her autobiography, Lucky to Be an Artist. Fifty of her paintings from all periods were shown along with her etchings, accompanied by a group of pictures by her family: works by her parents, her uncles Gilbert Spencer and Richard Carline, and by her grandfather George Carline.

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  8. My friend Mary Batchelor, who has died aged 73, was one of Scotland’s best- loved artists. Although she began painting professionally in later life, her commitment to the Scottish art scene was then immediate.

    She became an associate member and regular exhibitor with Visual Arts Scotland and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, and artist member of Paisley Art Institute. She was also awarded the Mayfest MacRoberts prize in 1997 and the Mackintosh residency in Collioure, on France’s Mediterranean coast in 2011.

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  9. Art of Violence exhibition in Dulwich to explore depictions of torture and martyrdom by 17th-century Spanish artist

    A stomach-churning exhibition of tortured human bodies will open in London next year. Described by the director of Dulwich Picture Gallery as “akin to witnessing a Quentin Tarantino film”, it will be the first major show in the UK devoted to the 17th-century Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera.

    Titled Ribera: Art of Violence, the gallery currently housing a charming exhibition devoted to the creator of the Moomins will include a room of his nightmare visions of the martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by being flayed alive, and end with a shift from religious art to classical mythology – inexorably the death of Marsyas, excoriated by Apollo for his presumption in challenging the god to a music competition, and losing.

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  10. PoMo architecture, often derided as gaudy and excessive, is having a revival – just in time to save some of its greatest treasures

    A gaggle of architecture enthusiasts are standing on the windswept edge of Greenland Dock in southeast London, shivering on their bikes and straining to see beauty in the 1980s housing development that stands across the water. “If you look closely,” says their guide, Elain Harwood, “you will see it is a combination of Miami Tudor crossed with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with a hint of the docklands warehouse.”

    What had begun as a punk aesthetic became synonymous with the era of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan

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