• Pierre Bonnard

    Tate Britain

    Among my feelings after first seeing this Bonnard retrospective was an undercurrent of disappointment. The painter had always worked for me before, with past exhibitions and single canvases becoming trophies in the mind awarded to oneself as much as to the artist. What was to blame? Was it the sludge color on some of the walls, the indifferent light of a dull March morning, the crowds? Or was it the chronological gaps (why only four works between 1901 and 1912?) and the presence of certain paintings that seemed otiose or below par? Was it some distaste for the later paintings’ relentless embrace

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  • Piero Manzoni

    Serpentine Galleries

    It’s hard to believe that, juvenilia aside, Piero Manzoni’s career was so brief. It’s always the wide-eyed, chubby face of a precocious, overgrown, mischievous kid that appears to us in photographs. But Manzoni covered more territory—not without false steps—in six years than most do in sixty, and artists are still sorting out the implications of his work. In his catalogue essay to the Serpentine show, which includes 186 works by the Italian artist, art historian Jon Thompson only begins to survey the sweep of his influence.

    Manzoni never wanted to address any but the most fundamental questions

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  • Marc Quinn

    South London Gallery

    Self-portrait sculpture is conspicuous for its relative absence from art history. Though casting from life flourished as a genre during the Italian quattrocento, only in this century has self-portrait sculpture been given serious consideration. Until the early 1900s, for example, the celebrated collection of artists’ self-portraits in the Uffizi consisted entirely of paintings. The great Neoclassical sculptors Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen both carved self-portrait busts, but only Canova made it into the Uffizi collection, because he depicted himself on canvas.

    British artists have been

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