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Index: Art & Architecture

Bruno Schulz’s misplaced Messiah.

By H. A. WILLIS. Part one of the Drohobych Diptych. A GENERATION AGO, it was a book with which nobody could be bothered. The sales reps thought it was not worth adding an unknown, foreign writer to their already heavy sample cases. It became an orphan, placed on a special shelf in our warehouse in […]

The Work Programme.

UPLANDS B BUSINESS PARK, BLACKHORSE LANE, SUMMER 2011 By IAN BOURN. TODAY IS BRIGHT and cloudless in the Uplands B Business Park, which overlooks the Lea Valley and its sunlit reservoirs. I lock my bicycle to some railings near the rubbish bins in the car park of Landmark House. I could have come by bus, […]

Imran Qureshi.

David Nowell Smith: ‘Given the assurance with which Qureshi uses these large spaces, the ways in which he continually overspills his canvases, it is perhaps surprising to think his background was in miniature painting. And yet, perhaps there is continuity here, insofar as his larger scale works arose out of a desire to extend the possibilities of the smaller medium.’

Of wisdom and folly in art.

John Ruskin: ‘Over [the] three kingdoms of ima­gination, art, and science, there reigns a virtue or faculty, which from all time, and by all great people, has been recognised as the appointed ruler and guide of every method of labour, or pas­sion of soul; and the most glorious recompense of the toil, and crown of the ambition of man. “She is more precious than rubies, and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Lay fast hold upon her; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life.”‘


Alan Wall: ‘What terrifies about Satan and the demons is intelligent cunning and damnable determination, not the multi-coloured yawns of the possessed. It is that which makes them uncanny and terrifying, and it is that quality of hellishness which connects them with the goings-on in From Hell. This quality of transcendent and merciless intelligence is what intrigues us about infernal agents. ‘

Herbert Palmer.

Mark Jones: ‘IF SAMUEL PALMER is today regarded as an important and compelling artist in his own right rather than merely an acolyte of the elderly William Blake, the process of rediscovery which led to that assessment can be directly traced back to the efforts of Martin Hardie and Herbert Palmer in the 1920s. Their collaboration on the 1926 exhibition, as fraught and troublesome as it often was succeeded in rescuing Palmer from the ranks of formulaic mid-Victorian landscape painters chiefly through the revelation that in his youth he had been capable of producing the portfolio of anomalous wonders that was the Shoreham work.’

Peter Lanyon’s ‘Soaring Flight’.

David Nowell Smith: ‘Lanyon took advantage of a different sensation of speed, a different view of earth and sky, so as to blend the layering and juxtaposition of perspective so prevalent in these early works with a reimmersion in sensual experience. The drama of the gliding paintings lies in the encounter of a finite, frail body with the multiplication of perspectives, of intimacy with power.’

Zoran Music at Dachau.

Seeing into the Life of Things By STEVEN JARON. . Though absent long, These forms of beauty have not been to me, As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, […]

Picturing language.

Jaime Robles: ‘There is a certain point when changing from verbal art to visual art that the artist’s concerns shift. Both poetry and visual art have physical and material presences; poetry in the orthography of letters, the breaks of lines and placement of words on the field of the page. This, however, is not its primary material manifestation, which is instead aural. Rhythm, metre and the pyrotechnics of sound are poetry’s primary physical reality. It is within this aural world – whether spoken out loud or heard in the reader’s interior voice – that poetry’s meaning is given and apprehended. These are the material concerns of poetry and, like those of visual arts, they focus and concentrate in the body. To accept the idea of our world being limited to or by our words is to deny the body’s sensual experience of the world. Language is a slow phenomenon relative to the body’s perception, experience and understanding of the world.’

The mosaic of the Transfiguration at St Catherine’s.

By CYRIL MANGO. THE GREAT APSE mosaic of Christ’s Transfiguration in the Sinai church, today partly hidden from view by the tall sixteenth-century iconostasis, raises a number of questions: Most controversially, what message was it meant to convey? And, when and by whom was it done? In the apse the mosaic illustrates the Transfiguration as […]

The Omega Point.

Nigel Wheale: ‘Does an appetite for what’s ‘real’ ‘confirm the death of postmodernist irony, the infinite play of all that knowingly evasive reference? As in Douglas Coupland’s Girlfriend in a Coma (1998), Adam Gordon ultimately chooses to renounce the conventions by which he was created. Can we read Lerner and Coupland (DeLillo got there first) as voices for the new New movement, the post-ironic, a decisive move beyond the crumbling stockade of the post-, but toward what? Resurgence of a new Naturalism, the return of Realism, even? There is, after all, plenty enough these days to be getting real about.’

How’s the Mood-Board?

Nigel Wheale: ‘Is it best understood as labouring to give birth to the current stage, of global cultural exchange courtesy of the internet, which accelerates and intensifies so much of what was being described as ‘postmodern’, but to the point where there is no point in trying to categorize the infinity of data and the potential that it offers? This will be the mode for the foreseeable future, with ever more integrated transactions between technology and flesh, babes wi-fi-readied, USB implants tucked discretely behind each ear.’

Venice Inside Out.

here is not a building in Venice, raised prior to the sixteenth century, which has not sustained essential change in one or more of its most important features. By far the greater number present examples of three or four different styles…and, in many instances, the restorations or additions have gradually replaced the entire structure of […]

Venice and the theatre of memory.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘Venice teaches us that history is never dead: the humblest portico affords us a proscenium composed of centuries—but not as an album of faded recollections, settled and done. The theatre of memory unveils its meaning only when we behold it as a vital, breathing gospel of the present.’

A Venetian’s view of Venice.

Michele Casagrande: ‘Energetically, many want to change things, yet in everyday life the city’s rhythms would seem to be too slow—extremely light-hearted, but fundamentally lazy. The attitude can be expressed through reactions like the following: Living in such a marvelous city, a center of attention for the entire world, why should anyone want to leave? Why should anyone want to move away from a place that can offer very high earnings to people who are basically manual workers, such as gondoliers and taxi drivers?’