Tag Archives: Art and Design

“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

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Anselm Kiefer: scholar of van Gogh, reader of Heidegger

The themes of myth and German history have been prominent in all of Anselm Kiefer’s lonely, beautiful and dehumanized work. Kiefer, now the subject of a major retrospective at London’s Royal Academy, took up the challenge to post-war German artists … Continue reading

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Food Saw the Future Eighty Years Ago

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s take on modern food was astonishingly prescient in 1932. He came to it late, after the pioneering Futurist manifestos on art and music two decades earlier, but the thrust was the same: to infuse life with art, … Continue reading

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Russian Misery at the Saatchi Gallery

The irony is a bit heavy by Western standards. To call this show ‘Gaiety is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union’ is redundant. On the other hand what name can you put on human suffering which is a … Continue reading

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A Conference on the Russian Avant-Garde

The actual topic of a conference at London’s Courtauld Institute 2-3 November, 2012, was Russian Culture in Exile (1921-1953) but we found ourselves talking about poets, painters and critics mostly in their formative years before the Bolshevik Revolution: big names … Continue reading

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A Modernist Woman

Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) is for me the artist who invented Modernist Woman. This fabulous image is taken from his sketchbooks c.1920. What’s the difference between a modern woman and a Modernist woman? See the protagonist of my novel Anyone’s Game. … Continue reading

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Germany’s William Morris

The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner had the clever idea that European Modernism in architecture and design began in England half a century earlier with William Morris. It was the thesis of his first book, Pioneers of the Modern Movement From … Continue reading

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