Posts by Estelle Lovatt

Art Critic, Writer, Lecturer & Broadcaster.

Estelle Lovatt on BBC Radio 4 | Taking a loo break to celebrate Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ Centenary

Is this art?

It is the centenary of Duchamp’s The Fountain, the already-made, or “ready-made”, urinal, which launched the 20th century’s controversial obsession with conceptual art.

Art critic Estelle Lovatt and art historian Glynn Thompson discuss the story behind the piece and whether or not it should be considered a work of art.

(Image: The Fountain. Credit: Getty Images)

Broadcast: Sat 8 Apr 2017 on BBC Radio 4

The Royal Academy in London Marks 100th Anniversary of Russian Revolution | Video

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A momentous period in Russian history is on show in an exhibition at The Royal Academy in London.

The works of a variety of artists remember events 100 years ago and the Russian Revolution which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the eventual rise of the Soviet Union.

The exhibition ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932’ is a journey through that period captured by a variety of artists, photographers and sculptors of the time.

“This encapsulates a certain period in Russia that you just don’t get from textbooks. There’s nothing more powerful than the artist painting what’s going on in the world around him and the fact that artists are seen to be as powerful as soldiers, with their paintbrush using a visual type of propaganda, especially when most of the population were illiterate. It’s through the visual arts that a message is passed,” said Estelle Lovatt, art critic.

The exhibition explores the complex interaction between art and politics and how the state influenced artists.

It’s a unique look at Russian art from a period where new proletarian art for the Soviet state was encouraged until Stalin’s brutal crackdown and suppression in 1932.

The exhibition also features well known avant garde artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Lyubov Popova.

It was a movement which was opposed by artists who were convinced art had to serve the revolution.

“There’s a group called the association of Russian revolutionary artists who were villianously determined to kill off the avant garde, insults, all kinds of fierce, ferocious criticism and they became more powerful as the 20’s went on and became a source of Socialist Realism.

‘And they argued very strongly that people needed to be able to understand the art, ordinary people, people on the bus needed to be able to know what on earth it was all about and they couldn’t do that with Popova or Kandinsky not surprisingly,” opined John Milner, Curator and Professor of Russian art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Also woven through the galleries are original films, photographs and documents. The exhibition runs until mid April.

Source: EuroNews | WATCH VIDEO

David Hockney Retrospective at The Tate Breaks Records | Video

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It is the fastest-selling exhibition in the history of Britain’s Tate Gallery. Over 20,000 advance tickets have been sold for the David Hockney retrospective.

The artist is an innovator whose 60-year career has taken in sketching, painting, printmaking, photography and digital iPad experiments.

His depictions of sun-dappled Los Angeles swimming pools and wooded Yorkshire hills are among the best-known images in contemporary art.

“The exhibition, it has a focus, an emphasis, which is on the way throughout his mature career Hockney has really interrogated what it is to make pictures, why make pictures, how do you capture the real world of time and movement in something flat and static,” said Chris Stephens, curator of the exhibition.

The works in the exhibition begin in 1960 when the artist had just arrived at London’s Royal College of Art and takes in ’50’s abstraction.

From then on it develops and features Hockney through different periods which explore how you engage with the world, how you describe the world in pictures while also sparking a debate about what art is.

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“He just uses the canvas. He uses color, he uses the camera, he uses film in the most exceptional and unimaginable ways and he has this great imagination and this great power to put on 2D what is actually 3D and he confuses us and he plays with us and he cajoles with us,” opined Estelle Lovatt, art critic.

The 79-year-old who once said, “art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus” still paints.

He has always documented the places and people around him, his pictures act almost as a diary for his life. The artist described revisiting his works for the retrospective as like encountering old friends.

The exhibition runs to May 29 after which it will move to the Pompidou Centre in Paris from the end of June to October. It goes across the Atlantic to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art from November to February.

 

Source: Euro News | WATCH VIDEO

The cheek of it: 2016 Turner Prize shortlist revealed

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A giant golden sculpture of buttocks and more than £20,000 in pennies are among artworks in the running for this year’s Turner Prize.

An exhibition of the works by four shortlisted artists will go on display at the Tate Britain on Tuesday.

Video report by ITV News reporter Sally Lockwood, interviewing Estelle Lovat FRSA – Click to watch  video

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  • Anthea Hamilton

Measuring around 16ft high, Hamilton’s Project For A Door (After Gaetano Pesce) is part of a series of “physical realisations” of images taken from the artist’s archive.

It also consists of a “brick suit” – a fabric suit which camouflages with the wall behind.

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A gallery assistant looks nominee Anthea Hamilton’s ‘Brick Suit’. Credit: PA
  • Michael Dean

Michael Dean’s work includes a piece consisting of £20,435.99 in pennies, to represent “one penny below the UK poverty line for a family of four”.

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Thousands of pennies are used to deliver a poverty message. Credit: PA
  • Josephine Pryde

Josephine Pryde’s installation features a train model entitled The New Media Express in a Temporary Siding (Baby Wants To Ride) 2016.

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Josephine Pryde’s train model. Credit: PA
  • Helen Marten

Helen Marten’s work features handmade as well as found objects such as cotton buds and fish skins to create “poetic visual puzzles”.

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Helen Marten’s installations features a various of objects Credit: PA

The winner of the contemporary art prize, which is now in its 32nd year, will be announced in December.

Source: ITV news