Fred Wiseman in the National Gallery

The other day I caught up with Frederick Wiseman’s epic documentary about the National Gallery, shown recently on BBC 4.  In characteristic fly-on-the-wall style, Wiseman spent much of 2012 prowling the corridors, boardrooms and backrooms of the National Gallery, having been given exclusive access to film anything that took his fancy. Myself and Fred Wiseman and I … Continue reading Fred Wiseman in the National Gallery

Visions of the Valleys: Kim Howells on art from South Wales

In an excellent film on BBC 4 last night, Visions of the Valleys, Kim Howells looked at how artists have responded to the natural splendour and industrial landscape of the Welsh valleys, and to the lives of those who have lived and worked in their mining communities. Kim Howells was a familiar figure on the left to those … Continue reading Visions of the Valleys: Kim Howells on art from South Wales

John Knapp-Fisher: poet of Pembrokeshire landscape painting

John Knapp-Fisher I was saddened to read of the death this week of the poet of Pembrokeshire landscape painting, John Knapp-Fisher.  He was one of the few artists I have shaken by the hand, the result of having sought him out at his small roadside studio and gallery at Croesgoch on the road to St David’s in 2011. Then, … Continue reading John Knapp-Fisher: poet of Pembrokeshire landscape painting

Whistler’s falling-out with the shipping magnate from Speke Hall

Detail of the reconstruction of the Peacock Room at the Bluecoat Ruskin famously put down Whistler with his sneer on seeing his painting Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket that the painter was ‘a coxcomb asking two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face’.  Whistler promptly sued him for libel.  At … Continue reading Whistler’s falling-out with the shipping magnate from Speke Hall

Cezanne in Oxford: glorious paintings from the collection of the man who sold fridges

Cezanne, Forest Interior (Sous Bois), c 1890, watercolour and graphite (view full screen at Pearlman Collection here) Last week we made a trip to Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum to see Cezanne and the Modern, an exhibition of matchless paintings and watercolours, mainly by Cézanne, but with works, too, by Van Gogh, Sisley, Gauguin, and Degas – all of them … Continue reading Cezanne in Oxford: glorious paintings from the collection of the man who sold fridges