• “Narrative Paintings”

    Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, and I.C.A., London

    “It is the idea that painting might again bear more subject-matter, might accommodate more of human life, that this exhibition sets out partly to explore,” writes Timothy Hyman in the catalogue for “Narrative Paintings,” an exhibition of figurative paintings by 21 artists which he has selected, and which attempts to identify a particular strain in current British figurative painting. The show spans two decades, from the Pop paintings of David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj to the present, including works by well-known painters like Howard Hodgkin and Anthony Green as well as many virtual unknowns. The

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  • John Hoyland

    Serpentine Gallery

    John Hoyland’s paintings are as much physical confrontations as they are images. Given that he has said he wants to “blow people’s minds” with his paintings, and that they attest, through their often jarring dissonances to an affection for art which “overwhelms and mystifies,” his retrospective runs the risk of canceling itself out in a kind of theatrical overkill. It is a danger worth courting, even though the viewer might end up feeling like a Wagner fan who has sat through one too many Bayreuth Festivals.

    The show charts Hoyland’s course from 1967 to the present. It is a largely unwavering

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