• “Picasso Paint and Sculptor in Clay”

    Royal Academy of Arts | Piccadilly

    As each aspect of Picasso’s work has come to be reexamined, his late ceramic output was bound to have its day. There have been earlier shows devoted to this corner of his maverick output (some pieces were tellingly present in the Tate Gallery’s “Picasso: Sculptor/Painter” in 1994) but the Royal Academy’s “Picasso: Painter and Sculptor in Clay” is the most carefully selected and comprehensive to date; it boasts, as well, an excellent catalogue. Picasso’s pots and plates and small sculptures have not always garnered good press. Derided as inglorious fooling-around or as a commercial spin-off, the

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  • “Speed”

    Whitechapel Art Gallery/Photographers' Gallery

    “Acceleration is the one constant in our experience of modernity. . . . Speed is not so much a product of our culture as our culture is a product of speed,” declares the catalogue for the joint show recently mounted by the Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Photographers’ Gallery, London, aptly entitled “Speed.” Sharing both critical theory’s penchant for disrupting conventional models of cause and effect and its enthusiasm for interdisciplinarity, this curatorial experiment draws together a diverse array of ideas and things: designed objects, wall-mounted texts and ephemera, works of art and

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  • Alexis Harding

    Andrew Mummery Gallery

    For those artists whose concern is with painting itself, certain factors are all but impossible to avoid. One is the privileging of the process of making rather than an end result. Another is the presence—real or notional—of the grid as an index of the relationship between painting and the world, an aid to the task of reconciling support surfaces, frame, and the configuration of the paint matter. Alexis Harding’s work is not, in these terms, disingenuous.The grid is unabashedly present in this show, pulled and distorted, broken and attenuated, both grid and the process of its coherence

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  • Jake and Dinos Chapman

    Chapman (F)Arts

    Neither of the Chapman brothers claims to be an A student, but they do know one thing: Going back to school to retake their GCSE art exams—standard age-sixteen high school tests—is just the type of easily graspable, mildly outrageous stunt to win them the publicity they crave. So they have duly taken the exam again, earning comfortable B grades, making hay with the media, and displaying the fruits of their studies in an abandoned East London butcher’s shop.

    Lined with cracked custard-yellow tiles and many bacteria, the Chapmans’ venue is predictably abject, though in a decrepit, organic,

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