• Dinos and Jake Chapman

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

    Way back in 1967, the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana held a seminar on erotic art, to which I contributed a paper on Picasso. Behind its very closed doors, barred to all but a few scholars who, presumably, were so soberly academic that nothing at all could shock or titillate them, I was thrilled to have a chance to explore what then seemed my daringly candid, if quasi-scientific, descriptions of the master’s scrambled anatomies: “the mouth is aligned vertically to produce a vulva shape,” “a yawn permits the female sitter’s mouth to open in sphincteral forms,” “the heads often

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  • Leon Kossoff

    Tate Modern

    The vision of London and Londoners in Leon Kossoff’s paintings stems from no identifiable reality. That this vision has, nonetheless, a certain credibility says much for Kossoff’s imaginative transformation of his chosen material. Every recorder of London since William Hogarth has transmitted depictions of the city over his own particular wavelength. Hogarth trained his eye on the urban corruption of innocence, on social arrivisme and the congress of the streets; Gustave Doré showed us Victorian poverty dwelling “in rags and tears”; and Walter Sickert made the darkness of London gleam with the

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  • Edward Lipski

    Entwistle Gallery

    The first work I ever saw by Edward Lipski consisted of two orange chairs placed on either side of an orange table, itself surmounted by a circular orange light. This could have been the setting for a romantic tryst, were it not for the fact that the elements in the tableau had been reduced to childlike scale. As in Howard Hodgkin’s tiny erotic tondos, emotion had been heralded, only to be contained and compressed.

    This compartmentalization of the senses continued in Lipski’s first solo show in London. Crying Child, 1996, was a brown-haired mannequin of uncertain gender, standing naked and at

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