Archive for the 'culture' Category

Raphael at the National Gallery


It is here! After six years of planning: the great Raphael exhibition that I’ve co-curated with Tom Henry and David Ekserdjian has opened at the National Gallery in London. It presents a comprehensive overview of Raphael’s entire career and charts his creativity across media and art forms, beyond drawing and painting to architecture and to design for tapestry, print, sculpture and the applied arts, as well as his activities as an archaeologist and art theorist. Even his essays in poetry are included. Need I say that the loans we have received from across Europe and the United States are incredible?

Originally planned for 2020, to mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death on 6 April, Good Friday 1520, it was postponed due to the pandemic. I’m relieved that it is finally happening. Raphael feels so urgent today, not least after two years of pandemic and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and with the sometimes crushing awareness of the challenges posed by climate change and environmental destruction. Raphael’s art and whole ethos is the opposite of that — a passionate assertion of human dignity, community and civilisation. Art doesn’t change the world, of course, but it still reflects it.

Do go, often and repeatedly, if you can. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Book here.

The Sistine Chapel In Our Time


I participated in the venerable In Our Time with Melwyn Bragg in an episode on the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo, alongside Catherine Fletcher from Manchester Metropolitan University and Sarah Vowles of the British Museum. It was a lot of fun and, I hope, an informative discussion. The brodcast was yesterday, but you can download the extended podcast version via BBC Sounds and, eventually, on other podcast platforms.

Radio Rackham: Maus


Art Spiegelmans Maus blev bandlyst i skolesystemet i McMinn County i Tennessee, så vi blev nødt til at diskutere censur men — væsentligere — en af verdens bedste tegneserier. Lyt her og læs mere på Nummer9.

New Book out!


I have a new book out! Several years in the making, The Compass and the Mirror — Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo is an anthology of scholary articles on the two great artists and their collaboration and relationship between 1511 and 1547. Inspired by the exhibition Michelangelo & Sebastiano that I curated at the National Gallery in 2017, it gathers a to my mind stellar group of scholars, conservators and scientists in what I hope will be a standard reference volume for anyone researching the field in the years to come. Published by Brepols, you can find more information, including how to order, on their website. Here is the table of contents: Continue reading ‘New Book out!’

Radio Rackham: Frækhedens evangelium


I denne episode af Radio Rackham snakker Frederik, Thomas og jeg med Dennis Meyhoff Brink om religionssatirens europæiske historie. Dennis forsvarede sin PhD om emnet ved IKK på Københavns Universitet i efteråret men har længe markeret sig som uhyre velartikuleret specialist på området. Som det naturligt følger med seriøst historisk arbejde, beriger hans indsigter forståelsen af vor tids debatter om religionskritik, ytringsfrihed, Muhammedtegninger, cancel culture og meget andet. Lyt og læs mere på Nummer9.

Kurt Westergaard at The Comics Journal


Back in July when Kurt Westergaard — the Danish cartoonist behind the most infamous and consequential satirical cartoon in history, the so-called Bomb in the Turban — died, I wrote an obituary and submitted it to The Comics Journal, the great magazine on comics and cartoon art to which I’ve contributed on/off over the years. For various reasons, it appears there only now, but I’m very happy to see it in publication and encourage you to read it! Oh, and if you understand Danish, to listen to the episode of Radio Rackham that we recorded on Westergaard and the Muhammad cartoons back then. It’s good!

Cartoon by Thomas Thorhauge, originally published in Weekendavisen 22 July 2021.

Radio Rackham: Piranesi


Vi afslutter året på Radio Rackham med et afsnit om Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) i anledning af den store udstilling, der pt. kan ses på Statens Museum for Kunst (når der ikke, som lige nu, er corona-lukket). Det er en fornøjelse på den måde at udvide feltet i podcastet til at omfatte anden kunst og andre kulturfænomener end dem, der stringent kan kaldes tegneserier. Det har altid været vores ambition på Rackham at se kunstformen i en større sammenhæng.

Lyt her og læs mere på Nummer9.

On Vasari’s Allegory of Patience

In The National Gallery’s ongoing offering of online ten-minute talks, I’m chipping in with 6 and half minutes on Giorgio Vasari’s great Allegory of Patience, which we have on loan from The Kletsch Collection. Enjoy!

See more ten-minute talks and other video content from the Gallery here.

On the Road


I recently had the pleasure of sitting down (online) with Howard Burton of Ideas Roadshow podcast to discuss my life and work, particularly at The National Gallery in London. The resulting podcast is now online! Clocking it at over two hours, it’s rather wide-ranging covering in particularly how my life in comics intersects with that in art and how hip hop changed my life. Check it out here:

Radio Rackham: Dansk Tegneserieråds nye bestyrelse


Jeg er denne gang gæst i mit eget medie, Radio Rackham, nemlig i egenskab af ny formand i Dansk Tegneserieråd. Og jeg har tre andre bestyrelsesmedlemmer med: Marie Raasthøj Hansen, Anders Brønserud og Andreas Nordkild Poulsen. Thomas og Frederik udspørger os om vores planer og ambitioner, samt konkret om håbet om at etablere et tegneseriemuseum, samt om Nummer9 og Pingprisens fremtid. Dertil kommer vi kort omkring problemerne med flare hatte og nepotisme i det danske tegneseriemiljø. Lyt her og læs mere på Nummer9.

Radio Rackham: Dansk tegneserie i krise?


Det her er akut: Dansk Tegneserieråd er truet af opløsning, fordi den nuværende bestyrelse har besluttet sig at gå af i flok. Det betyder overhængende fare for de projekter, rådet trods alt har dannet bagkant for i en årrække: Pingprisen, Nummer9, Tegneseriemuseet i Danmark og meget mere. OK, disse var allerede plaget af problemer, men uden Dansk Tegneserieråd, står de uden en officiel instans til at bakke dem op og forhandle på deres vegne.

Vi opridser situationen på Radio Rackham i en episode, hvor jeg i øvrigt annoncerer mit kandidatur til den ny bestyrelse, der forhåbentlig vil blive valgt ind til Rådets generalforsamling nu på torsdag d. 2 september i Litteraturhaus i København. Meld dig ind i Rådet, mød op, stil op og stem! Jeg har forhørt mig og er blevet forsikret om, at man kan deltage over nettet, så check med arrangørerne, hvis du ønsker det.

Det har alt sammen været lidt trist, men jeg håber vi sammen kan være med til at skabe noget smukt fremover!

Hør mere her og læs også på Nummer9.

Titian in Boston


The exhibition of Titian’s six great so-called poesie for King Philip II (c. 1551-1562) that I helped organise at the National Gallery in London, and which showed in modified form at the Prado earlier this year, has now opened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston under the title Titian: Women, Myth & Power.

From what I’ve seen in the press and online, I’m greatly impressed with their installation and didactic material they’ve put together, and it pleases me greatly to see these great Titians united in my American home away from home in Boston. I can’t wait hopefully to see it later in the autumn.

If you’re anyway near it, do go see it. It is truely and without hyperbole a once-in-a-lifetime chance. These are some of the great paintings of the Western tradition and they haven’t been seen together since the 1570s.

Radio Rackham: Kurt Westergaard


I sidste uge måtte vi sige farvel til Kurt Westergaard, manden der tegnede Profeten Muhammed med en bombe i turbanen og dermed var med til på godt og ondt at ændre verdens gang. Thomas, Frederik og jeg diskuterer tegningen, manden og krisen i den seneste episode fra Radio Rackham og jeg synes vi kommer både godt og vidt omkring.

Karikaturkrisen har påvirket os Rackhamitter meget, så det var en episode vi længe har haft i os. Og ligesom de fleste andre danskere, er det stensikkert ikke gjort med det: de tegninger er på sin vis mareridtet, der aldrig går væk. En torn i siden, der aftvinger stillingtagen og sjælekvaler. Læs mere på Nummer9 og lyt her!

The Shape of Time in Milan


Postponed by Covid, the exhibition La forma del tempo (‘The Shape of Time’) at the Poldi Pezzoli in Milan finally opened last month and runs till 27 September. Centred around the museum’s extraodinary collection of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century clocks, it examines conceptions of time in the renaissance as expressed in the visual arts. The National Gallery has lent Titian’s Allegory of Prudence, a picture that grapples with issues of family, succession, memory and time through a creative interpretation of a traditional iconography that represents time in the form of three heads, either human or animal. Anyway, I wrote the entry for the painting and would encourage readers who are in MIlan or find themselves there to go see the show. It looks fascinating. Check our Works section for info on the catalogue.

Ruppert, Mulot, Vivès and Museum Comics


Over at Apollo, I’ve reviewed Florent Ruppert, Jérôme Mulot and Bastien Vivès’ comic The Grande Odalisque, which mobilises the art heist subgenre as a commentary on shallow elitism. The glamour of the old masters and commodification of art themtised in a modern action comic. The review also gives me the occasion to formulate a few thoughts on the emerging subgenre of museum comics and didactiic artist’s biographies in comics form.

Here, by the way, is the Laurent de la Hyre painting that gets confused with a Titian in the comic, after which it is machine-gunned:

(It’s from 1647 and can be seen at the Louvre)

Originally relesed in 2012, La grande odalisque is now available in English translation from Fantagraphics. See also my 2011 interview with Ruppert and Mulot. If you read Danish and subscribe to Information, I also discuss museum comics in this review of Peter Wandel and Rasmus Meislers Den magiske spinel.