Archive for the 'hype & linkage' Category

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Lorenzo Lotto Portraits

For the past couple of years I’ve been working with Miguel Falomír, director of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and Professor Enrico Maria dal Pozzolo of the University of Verona, to bring you this exquisite exhibition of one of the greatest portraitists of the Western tradition, Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1557). It gives me great pleasure finally to see it open in Madrid tomorrow, where it will remain till 30 September before travelling to London for a more concise showing between 5 November and 10 February. It includes a large, varied selection of his portraits as well as a number of objects of the kind he depicted with such care in them — jewellery, books, sculptures, clothing, carpets… — for what I hope will function as an extension of portraiture and our understanding of it into so-called material culture.

Lotto is one of the great idiosyncratic artists of the Renaissance, painting like nobody else. His religious paintings are full of energy, humour, and a striking down-to-earth pathos, as are his portraits which are amongst the most varied and empathetic of the period. Itinerant for most of his life, he found the greatest success in his early career in Treviso in the first decade and especially Bergamo in the second, though he continued to produce fascinating, personal work through his late, depressed years.

Rarely able to attract the kind of elite clientele that was available to his great contemporary Titian, he distinguished himself for posterity by painting mostly the emerging bourgeoisie, the demographic that would increasingly dominate European politics, economy and culture down to the present day. His portraits seem remarkably frank, warts-and-all without being ostentatious about it, and as mentioned deeply empathetic. His sitters always invariably appear interesting to us, as if the artist is bringing forward their unique qualities for us to contemplate, not just on their behalf but on the behalf of humanity.

Conceived by Miguel and consolidated by Enrico, who is one of the premier Lotto specialists working today, the exhibition is one to which I’ve contributed mostly as a junior partner, but I am proud of the results, also of my own labour on it. The Prado has produced the catalogue, which we hope will stand as a significant contribution to Lotto scholarship, as well as an easy to access introduction to his activities as a portraitist and the historical and social context within which he worked. I’ve contributed the entries on the portrait drawings and the National Gallery’s three Lotto portraits, among other things. Do seek it out if you’re interested, and most importantly go see the exhibition. Please note that the exhibition is significantly larger at the Prado, which is definitely the place to see it for completists and specialists, while it will be more select, but hopefully no less beautiful and poignant at the National Gallery.


Leonardo i Information

I den forgangne weekends bogtillæg til Information har jeg skrevet en anmeldelse af Taschens nyudgivelse af kunsthistoriker Frank Zöllners monografi og oeuvrekatalog over Leonardo da Vincis malerier fra 2003. Den nye udgave udmærker sig ved et nyt forord, der giver en overflyvning af den bemærkelsesværdige udvikling, der er sket i Leonardo-forskningen siden da, først og fremmest med en grundig gennemgang af Verdens Dyreste Kunstværk (TM), Salvator Mundi (ovenfor), der som bekendt blev solgt på auktion sidste år for $450 millioner og efter sigende snart vil blive udstillet på det nyåbnede Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Grundlæggende er bogudgivelsen en opportunistisk, om end en som altid smukt illustreret, lappeløsning fra Taschens side, men den giver anledning til nogle overvejelser netop over hvor vi er i Leonardo-forskningen, samt nogle tanker om hvorfor Leonardo er verdens mest berømte kunstner. Læs bag paywallen her.

Danish Comics of the Year 2017

A little late this year perhaps, but I’ve now contributed my selection of last year’s best Danish comics to Paul Gravett’s annual international year in review feature. Go check out his full list, with the first part here and the second here, or peep my choices right here: Continue reading ‘Danish Comics of the Year 2017′

Picasso 1932 i Weekendavisen

Kvinde i rød lænestol, 1932, Paris, Musée Picasso

Ugen går på hæld, men jeg synes alligevel jeg lige ville gøre opmærksom på at seneste udgave af Weekendavisen indeholder min anmeldelse af den fantastiske Picasso-udstilling der lige nu kan ses på Tate Modern i London. Den er tilmed tilgængelig gratis på nettet her (farverne er helt i skoven, desværre). Læs, og se udstillingen hvis du kan!

Ovenfor har jeg reproduceret et af de billeder, jeg beskriver i detaljer og som redaktøren ikke kunne finde plads til. Supplement!

Fiesta i Informeren

Forside til Fiesta nr. 4 af Peter Kielland efter koncept af Mårdøn Smet

On a roll here! Denne gang i Informations bogtillæg er det tegneserieantologien Fiesta-Magasinet, redigeret af Mårdøn Smet, Peter Kielland og Johan F. Krarup, der tages under kritisk behandling af jeres egen. Hvem skulle have troet at et koncept og format, der hørte halvfemsernes undergrund til skulle gå hen og levere noget af det bedste i dansk tegneserie lige nu? Hop over paywallen og læs.

PS — mere om forsiden ovenfor på Peter Kiellands blog.

Thomas Alsop i Information

I denne weekends krimitillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Fahrenheits danske udgave af Chris Miskiewicz’ og Palle Schmidts fantasy-noir Thomas Alsop. Jeg synes serien har gode takter, samt franchisepotentiale, men den er samtidig lidt upersonlig og ikke tæt nok plottet. Der er plads til forbedring med andre ord. Stadig, værd at kaste et blik. Læs her, bag paywallen.

The Renaissance in Six Pictures

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434

A bit late here with this, but still thought I’d post it: as part of the BBC Civilisations Festival, which is approaching the end of its run, I wrote this piece on the European Renaissance, in which I try to convey as sense of its meaning and significance through close looking at six pictures from the National Gallery’s collection (the Gallery is a partner in the festival). 200 words each. Not easy, especially considering that, whether you like it or not, any such endeavour will be made in the ghostly shade of Kenneth Clark, whose original 1969 documentary series is still at high watermark in television about art, ideological criticisms be damned. Oh yeah, this all is of course prompted by the current revival of the concept at the BBC with their Civilisations, which so far I’ve found more admirable than inspiring, but still well worth watching for the many insights and the passion of its three hosts and its occasionally inspired editing.

Nina Hemmingsson i Information

Så er jeg her igen. Endnu en tegneserieanmeldelse i Informations bogtillæg. Denne gang omhandler det Nina Hemmingssons Du vil ha’ mig, hendes danske debut her, godt et dusin år efter hun brændte igennem i Sverige. Jeg gør mig lidt tanker om hvorfor det har taget så lang tid, men bruger mere tid på at forsæge at indkredse hendes fandenivoldske humor. Læs her, men der er som sædvanlig paywall.

Fuglemanden, en McGraphic Novel

Så kører det. Denne uge er der i Informations (nydesignede) bogtillæg endnu en af mine tegneserienameldelser, af Sarah Engell og Lillian Brøggers Fuglemanden. Den er er jeg ikke vild med. Hermed et kort uddrag af anmeldelsen:

Tegneserieformen konsoliderer sig for tiden i litteraturverdenen. Etablerede forlag, der mestendels gør sig i bøger uden billeder, har med fremkomsten af den såkaldte ’graphic novel’ fået færten af en form, som kan noget nyt og andet og samtidig trives i et litterært register. Forfattere, filmfolk, illustratorer og andet godtfolk prøver kræfter med tegninger og talebobler. Resultatet er det fremvoksende fænomen, man kunne kalde en McGraphic Novel.

… nu har ungdomsforfatter Sarah Engell og illustrator Lillian Brøgger – kendte og respekterede skikkelser på deres respektive felter – signeret en vaskeægte tegneserie med titlen Fuglemanden. Den er nærmest indbegrebet af en McGraphic Novel. En tegneserie i bogform, der behandler et ’alvorligt’ emne og fastholder litterær dekorum. Der er hak i alle de rigtige kasser.

Læs den her, ed abonnement.

Signe Parkins i Information

Efter laaang tid er jeg tilbage i Information med en tegneserieanmeldelse. Det gælder Signe Parkins’ helstøbte tegneserielyrik Tusindfryd. Læs her, men beware the paywall.

Michelangelo in the Burlington

This month’s issue of The Burlington Magazine (vol. 60, #1378) includes my lengthy review of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, still on for another week at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (until 12 February). Here’s a short, summary excerpt:

A curatorial triumph, with individual exhibits
selected with confidence and intelligence, the exhibition
offers an exceptional opportunity to understand and appreciate
Michelangelo’s art and creative mind at the most intimate level.
However, while this well suits those ready to devote a long
time to it, one wonders whether, for the more casual visitor, so
comprehensive an approach through sheer accumulation might
flatten the impact of individual objects – many of which would
be centrepieces in other displays.

In it, I also discuss the very forceful attribution to Michelangelo that curator Carmen C. Bambach advances for the picture illustrated above, from the Kimbell. Ostensibly Michelangelo’s first painting — executed in when he was a pre-teen or in his early teens — it is a compelling work that could be by him, but about which I am not alone in habouring certain doubts.

Anyway, read the Burlington at your local art library!

Claveloux på Nummer9

Fra mesterværket "La main verte"/"The Green Hand"

På tegneseriesitet Nummer9 har jeg netop brudt med lang tids stener og publiceret en anmeldelse! OK, det er en slags genoptryk af en tekst, jeg skrev til The Comics Journal sidste år, men alligevel — hop over på Nieren og check mit take på den nyligt udkomne amerkanske udgave af Nicole Claveloux’ (og Edith Zhas) fantastiske — på enhver måde — tegneserier fra sidst i halvfjerdserne/begyndelsen af firserne. Nogle af de mest overrumplende og naturligt originale tegneserier, jeg længe har læst.

Michelangelo i Weekendavisen

Siddende mandling model, ca. 1510+12, Wien, Albertina

I dennes uges udgave af Weekendavisen anmelder jeg den store Michelangelo-udstilling på The Metropolitan Museum of Art i New York og gør mig i den forbindelse nogle tanker om Michelangelos næsten eksklusive fokus på kroppen i sin kunst. Læs avisen, hvis I har mulighed for det!

The Green Hand at The Comics Journal

So, I already have another Common Currency column up at The Comics Journal. I know, crazy right? Anyway, it’s basically a standard review of French artist and writer Nicole Claveloux’ The Green Hand, just now reissued in a handsome English-language edition by New York Review Comics. I make the case that especially the tile story is a largely forgotten masterpiece, representing a road not really taken in the form until perhaps recently. In part because comics have been so bad at accomodating woman creators, again until recently. Things are changing. Go, read.

Common Currency – The Return!

Finally, after I don’t even want to think about how long, I’m back at The Comics Journal with an installment of my column on European Comics. While I’ve been writing other things there, I have been neglecting that particular commitment. And no, my last one didn’t really count, as it was about the very non-European Chester Brown.

So, click over to read my piece on how the newfound freedom occasioned by the international New Wave of comics in the nineties and early naughts is causing some confusion among even very talented cartoonists today, resulting in a lot of spectacular-looking, ambitious-seeming comics that don’t amount to all that much. Includes reviews of work by Olivier Josso Hamel, Yannis la Macchia and Antoine Marchalot. Go go go!

Above: from Yannis la Macchia’s Des batisseurs.