Tag Archives: Art and Design

Wolfgang Tillmans and his Fragile alter ego

Though reviewers speak blithely of its beauty and the curators wax lyrical over the artist’s sense of the social and the communal, none of these qualities appear to the fore in Wolfgang Tillmans’s 2017 exhibition at Tate Modern. It’s not … Continue reading

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The Royal Academy’s show Revolution and the historic meaning of the 1932 Russian Artists’ exhibition

The Russian Revolution as seen through the history of its paintings and artefacts has delighted and confused visitors to London’s Royal Academy this early Spring. Despite many works by the much loved and admired Kazimir Malevich, and magnificent photographs by … Continue reading

Posted in Art History, Russia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Siegfried Kracauer’s idea of ‘Mass Ornament’

Mass society as its own ornament was how the German social critic Siegfried Kracauer understood the street life of the dying years of the Weimar Republic. You can find this clever idea which brings us right to the present day … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Britain Today, Current Affairs, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Art, Wealth and Contemporary London: On a Film by Joanna Hogg

Exhibition is a fierce exposé of art and wealth in contemporary London. It’s the third film by British photographer turned director Joanna Hogg and it might be described as puzzling, minimalist and arthouse by turns. Hogg works repeatedly, like the … Continue reading

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The German 1930s and the Future of Art: more from A Shoe Story

When Heidegger commented on van Gogh’s painting ‘The Shoes’ (aka ‘Boots with Laces’) fifty years, from 1886 to 1936, had passed, and what fifty years, in Europe! Van Gogh himself had expected the nineteenth century to go out with a … Continue reading

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From the Life of a van Gogh critic: the debate over Diamat and the Run-in with Heidegger

The leading mid-20th century art critic Meyer Schapiro (1904-1996) was a funnel for the European ideas that rapidly modernized the American art scene between the wars. He was a superb commentator on van Gogh and Cézanne, and it was his … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Current Affairs, New York Intellectuals, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“America” shouldn’t dominate our view of art: a view from the Shoe Story

Jacques Derrida put his finger on something when in 1977 he looked into an ‘American’ element in the Heidegger/van Gogh controversy. He found that when America’s then top art critic Meyer Schapiro attacked Heidegger for a ‘wrong’ reading of the … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment