• Frank Auerbach, Camden Palace, Winter, 1999, oil on canvas, 50 1/4 x 50 1/2".

    Frank Auerbach, Camden Palace, Winter, 1999, oil on canvas, 50 1/4 x 50 1/2".

    Frank Auerbach

    Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens

    A startling feature of the otherwise straightforward catalogue that accompanies Frank Auerbach’s recent show is its frontispiece. A double-page, black-and-white photo spread shows the painter in his studio last year: his head in close-up, a defiant anxiety in his eyes made more striking by the presence behind him of what appears to be a hangman’s noose. Does this grim object allude to the artist’s state of mind on the eve of his first full retrospective since 1978? Is it a ghoulish joke, perhaps, by the photographer, the late Bruce Bernard? Or simply some necessary if unusual element of Auerbach’s

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  • Bill Viola

    Anthony d'Offay Gallery

    It's been suggested that moving pictures represent an advance over still images insofar as the latter are unable to depict movement, to do any more than suggest its absence. Bill Viola's new video works (all 2001) are about movement, but they evidence a kind of nostalgia for the stillness of paintings and photographs—as though the dependence on motion were symptomatic of a deficiency of memory, a lack of monumentality. Viola proposes a compromise: Slow movement down so radically that it seems to approach stillness asymptotically. The best way to see the motion in these pictures was not to

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  • Juan Cruz

    Matt's Gallery

    Born in Spain in 1970, Juan Cruz has lived in the United Kingdom since he was eight, and his work so far has been a painstaking rumination on Spanish culture. Yet as a cultural ambassador he would have to be counted a distinct failure. In 1996, he sat for ten days at a small desk in the basement of the Instituto Cervantes in London (the Spanish Cultural Institute), reading aloud for three hours each day from Don Quixote, simultaneously translating the original text into English and thereby slowing the novel down to a donkey's pace. Subsequently, Cruz went to Spain to make a documentary, Sancti

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