Celia Paul

Celia Paul

Celia Paul, Clouds and Foam, 2017. Photo: courtesy of Yale Center for British Art

This exhibition of paintings by Celia Paul is a small show, just six paintings in one gallery plus a seventh hung separately, augmented by a wall of other work that Paul considers to be like-minded. Read more

updated: 1 week ago

Nathan Benn

Nathan Benn

St. Albans, 1973. Photo: Nathan Benn

I drove to Vermont during a cold snap – four below zero, a white skim over the land – to see Nathan Benn’s photographs at the Shelburne Museum. On my way, I passed fields, some barren, others filled with solar panels. I saw grape vines withered on metal trellises, dealerships selling John Deere, stray bales of hay. Much of it looked as it did in 1973 when Benn first arrived in Vermont. Read more

updated: 4 months ago

della Robbio sculpture

della Robbio sculpture

Andrea della Robbia, Prudence (before conservation), c. 1475. Glazed terracotta Photo: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The Victorian art critic John Ruskin once said he disliked della Robbia sculpture: the bright colors were “vulgar.” Later, he changed his mind and proudly displayed one he had acquired. Bright colors were the point, of course, of the glazing technique developed by Luca della Robbia in Florence in 1430. Read more

updated: 4 months ago

National icons

National icons

Lyle Ashton Harris, Miss America, 1987–88. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In this small show, seven contemporary artists explore the complex subject of national identity. Most of the artists are American and their aim is to cast a critical light on a nation’s traditional symbols, objects such as the American flag and Stonehenge. The idea is to prompt viewers to reexamine the relationship between a country’s iconic images and its not-so-reassuring realities. Read more

updated: 4 months ago

Matisse

Henri Matisse Vase of Flower 1924 Photo nbspcourtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Henri Matisse, Vase of Flower, 1924. Photo:  courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In her book Matisse Stories, A. S. Byatt uses paintings by Henri Matisse as stimulus for the volume’s tales. In one, an uppity painter on the verge of career failure lectures the cleaning lady about why she must not move objects in his studio. He has arranged them just so, he tells her, in order to see the cobalt blue candlestick against the buttercup yellow sauceboat. Read more

updated: 4 months ago

Botticelli

Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli, Saint Augustine in his Study, about 1480. Church of All Saints (Ognissanti). Photo: courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

If you go to the Brancacci Chapel in Florence, face the altar and look right, you will see St. Peter being crucified. A crowd of men watches but one, with long hair and a cheeky expression, turns to face the viewer. That’s the artist Sandro Botticelli. Read more

updated: 4 months ago