Richard Shone

  • Henri Rousseau

    Although born in 1844, Henri “le Douanier” Rousseau very much belongs to the history of modernism. It is thus fitting that Tate Modern should mount a show primarily of his jungle paintings, with their mixture of animal violence, impossible flora, and dreamlike fantasy. The first substantial presentation of Rousseau’s work to be held in Britain in eighty years, it benefits from considerable new research into the “exotic” in Paris by the Courtauld’s Christopher Green and should be a revelation to a new public of this astonishing,

  • “Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec: London and Paris 1870–1910”

    Another “modern life” exhibition from the well-fished lake of the fin-de-siècle places two of France’s most French artists alongside Britain’s most international. Degas’s prescient and controversial L’Absinthe, 1875–76, sets the pace for an exploration of cafés, dance halls, cabarets, and scenes of sexual congress by twenty artists of the period. Alert British artists in Paris are, unusually, given equal emphasis, and Degas’s friendship with Sickert will surely be seen as crucial for the later revitalization of British art.

  • Manet and the Sea

    The sea is not the most obvious theme in Manet’s varied oeuvre (“flowers” has already been done), but in fact it appears both in early history paintings and in later, more Impressionistic works.

    The sea is not the most obvious theme in Manet’s varied oeuvre (“flowers” has already been done), but in fact it appears both in early history paintings and in later, more Impressionistic works. This selection is one of those classy themed exhibitions that involve top-brass curatorial skills (Joseph Rishel and John Zarobell of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Douglas Druick and Gloria Groom of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Manet expert Juliet Wilson-Bareau) and that combine popular appeal and scholarly clout. About one hundred paintings and works on paper by Manet as well as his forerunners

  • Jean Cocteau

    Though often dismissed as an erratic flibbertigibbet, Jean Cocteau was one of the twentieth century’s great agents provocateurs.

    Though often dismissed as an erratic flibbertigibbet, Jean Cocteau was one of the twentieth century’s great agents provocateurs. He spanned the worlds of Proust and Picasso, Diaghilev and Warhol, Stravinsky and Piaf, animating them all with his imaginative, insatiably inventive spirit. The ardent avant-gardist who was also a leading proponent of neoclassicism, the onetime revolutionary–cum–Catholic reactionary, Cocteau was the embodiment of the contradictions inherent in French modernism. This retrospective, organized by Pompidou curators Dominique Païni, Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, and François

  • Francis Bacon and the Tradition of Images

    Francis Bacon’s work is riddled with references to the old masters, from Duccio to Degas. He was also very good at talking about them, as we know from his interviews with David Sylvester.

    Francis Bacon’s work is riddled with references to the old masters, from Duccio to Degas. He was also very good at talking about them, as we know from his interviews with David Sylvester. This exhibition, organized by freelance curator Barbara Steffens, brings together a sizable group of Bacon’s paintings, particularly his triptychs, and juxtaposes them with pertinent works by Velázquez, Titian, Ingres, Degas, and Picasso. Relying on the archive held by the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery in Dublin, the show in turn looks at the other side of the coin of Bacon’s high-art tastes and examines his

  • Manet and the Sea

    The sea is not the most obvious theme in Manet’s varied oeuvre (“flowers” has already been done), but in fact it appears both in early history paintings and in later, more Impressionistic works. This selection is one of those classy themed exhibitions that involve top-brass curatorial skills (Joseph Rishel and John Zarobell of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Douglas Druick and Gloria Groom of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Manet expert Juliet Wilson-Bareau) and that combine popular appeal and scholarly clout. About one hundred paintings and works on paper by Manet as well as his forerunners

  • Marsden Hartley

    It’s too bad this retrospective of Hartley’s paintings is confined to US venues. Like other early-twentieth-century Americans (Sheeler, Demuth), he should be better known beyond his own shores. A restless, brooding, but also childlike sensibility informs all of his stylistic wanderings, culminating in the late grand paintings of mountainous landscapes and of the fishermen of Nova Scotia (portraits tense with Hartley’s sexual longing). Curated by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser of the Atheneum, the show brings together eighty-five paintings and twenty drawings and features a multiauthor scholarly

  • Edouard Vuillard

    In 1954 Fairfield Porter wrote of Edouard Vuillard, “We have not yet caught up with the extreme sophistication of his successes.” This exhibition of some 200 works, coupled with the simultaneous publication of a catalogue raisonné by Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval of the Montreal Musée des Beaux-Arts, should at the very least aid us in gaining ground on the great intimiste (Cogeval, along with a team of National Gallery curators, is responsible for the selection here). In addition to paintings and mural decorations, there are prints, drawings, and photographs (as museumgoers will discover,

  • Anya Gallaccio

    Ice, flowers, chocolate, candles, oranges, whistling kettles, glass beads—no one can accuse Anya Gallaccio of a narrow repertoire of means. The variety of materials gives pace and unpredictability to her Ikon installations, which run from the late ’80s (when she attracted attention in London’s YBA scene–making exhibition “Freeze”) to brand-new commissions involving local schools and an off-site project growing vegetables with children. Sometimes stunning, sometimes fey, Gallaccio’s work is notable for its quotidian approach to age-old themes of growth, decay, mortality, and transformation. Her

  • René Magritte

    Magritte (1898–1967) does not lack for major exhibitions, but this retrospective attempts new approaches to the ever-popular and influential Belgian prankster (the last big show was held as recently as 1998, in Brussels). The selection of 110 paintings and fifty watercolors moves from the artist’s first Surrealist period of the mid-’20s through the so-called impressionist and vache moments of the ’40s to his late works of coffins and petrification. The curatorial team, headed by Jeu de Paume director Daniel Abadie, throws a French intellectual lasso around the neck of this poet of enigma and

  • Kasimir Malevich

    The Guggenheim’s delayed survey of the career of Kasimir Malevich, curated by Matthew Drutt (late of the Guggenheim and now with the Menil Collection, Houston), is probably the most revealing show to date of the wizard of the Russian avant-garde. Some 120 paintings, drawings, and objects, from breakthrough works like Black Square and Black Cross to the portraits of the ’30s, illustrate the evolution, achievements, and disintegration of the founder of Suprematism. If some of Malevich’s sociopolitical aspirations for his Soviet-period abstraction seem headily ambitious, there’s no doubting his

  • The Photography of Charles Sheeler

    Photography by no means played second fiddle to Charles Sheeler’s work as a Precisionist painter. He was a true professional, earning his living from commissions (for Vanity Fair and Vogue, for example), and memorably recorded many disappearing aspects of American rural life as well as contemporary industrial architecture. This ambitious exhibition of more than 120 photographs (selected by Harvard University Art Museums curator Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. and French critic Gilles Mora) confirms his reputation as a master of the medium, a standing