• André Derain, Woman in a Chemise, 1906, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 31 7/8".

    André Derain, Woman in a Chemise, 1906, oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 31 7/8".

    “Paris: Capital of the Arts 1900–1968”

    Royal Academy | Burlington Gardens

    Rarely does such a “major” historical exhibition fail so lamentably to account for why its many works were included and why they were ordered in such a way. It is equally rare for a show of such size and ambition, covering a period of extraordinary achievement, to contain so many duds. There were moments here when you had to pinch yourself to make sure you were in the Royal Academy and not at a secondary modern sale at Christie’s. But no, you really were in one of the premier exhibition spaces in Britain looking at a show that purported to examine painting and sculpture in Paris during seven

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  • Hamish Fulton

    Tate Britain

    Hamish Fulton has sometimes been regarded as the poor man’s Richard Long. Both artists attended St. Martin’s School of Art in the late ’60s, where they became friends. They simultaneously developed a new form of landscape art in which country walks and treks were documented using combinations of photographic image and printed text. But whereas Long made deft interventions in the landscape—most famously, making circles and lines of stones, which he subsequently recreated in the gallery—Fulton merely photographed what he saw and brought back no sculptural residue.

    The impressive retrospective

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  • Nigel Cooke

    Stuart Shave Modern Art

    As painting’s capacity to produce credible representations of reality became increasingly questionable, artists engaged with landscape tended to turn to mediums that seemed more immediately connected to the real (photography, Land Art), leaving the painters to their visions of an unspecified sublime, as in certain manifestations of the monochrome. Nigel Cooke feels the pull of this seductive sublimity—more to the point, he knows how to make the viewer feel it—but he distrusts it; he wants his paintings to contradict their own grandeur. Typical results of these mixed intentions can be

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  • Phillip Allen

    The Approach

    There’s a shape—long, thin, and tapering to a rounded summit—that extends up the center of one of Phillip Allen’s paintings, Beezerspline (Dark Version), 2002. Actually it’s not so much a shape as an area defined by the many overlapping blobs that fringe it. While in Beezerspline and Beezerspline (Extended Version), both 2001, the patches are brightly colored, the blobs here are predominantly browns and blacks, a fact that may in part account for this painting’s subtitle. As for the title, The Beezer was a large-format children’s comic first published by the Glasgow-based firm DC

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