Gemeentemuseum Den Haag || Exhibition: Karel Appel || until 16.05.2016

Internationally, Karel Appel (1921-2006) is perhaps the most renowned Dutch artist of the latter half of the twentieth century. In 2016 it will be ten years since his death: time for a new generation of visitors to look afresh at an oeuvre that many people still associate with Cobra and the 1950s, although it actually extends over a period of more than sixty years. In this major retrospective, therefore, Cobra is just one of the many aspects of Appel’s work that will be reconsidered from a number of (sometimes unexpected) points of view. The show will revisit, for example, the artist’s early interest in psychopathological art, his stylistic experiments and his highly personal – and sometimes almost abstract – interpretation of traditional subjects like the nude, the portrait and the urban or rural landscape. The exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum will be a pivotal part of a wider international reappraisal of Karel Appel’s work, which is also to include exhibitions in Paris, London and Washington.

The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag’s new exhibition of 67 paintings, 12 sculptures and more than 60 drawings demonstrates that Karel Appel was more than just a member of the Cobra movement and more than his flamboyant personal image. The show will revisit, for example, Appel’s early interest in Outsider Art, his wide-ranging stylistic experiments, and his highly individual – sometimes almost abstract – interpretation of traditional genres like the nude, the portrait and the urban or rural landscape. The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag’s relationship with Karel Appel goes back many years. The museum has held a number of major exhibitions and in 1983 and 2002 the artist donated a large number of drawings to the museum. This retrospective is further evidence of that close relationship.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an impressive work of reference on Karel Appel. The book is being published in English and Dutch by publishers Walther König of Cologne. In addition to essays by Rudi Fuchs, Klaus Ottmann and Dr Franz-W. Kaiser, it will contain an interview with art critic Michel Ragon, one of the last remaining first-hand witnesses of Appel’s Cobra period in Paris. In addition, thanks to new research, the publication will include both a detailed chronology and a completely updated version of Karel Appel’s renowned counter-cultural manifesto.

The exhibition is supported by the Karel Appel Foundation.

Source: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag


Tate Britain || Exhibition:Vanilla and Concrete || until 19.06.2016

As part of the Art Now series, Vanilla and Concrete presents new and recent work by emerging artists Marie Lund, Rallou Panagiotou and Mary Ramsden who use painting and sculpture to give new meanings to the everyday.

Marie Lund’s sculptures are inspired by the human impact on common spaces and objects, changing the way in which they are perceived.

Rallou Panagiotou takes interest in life’s non-essential ‘luxury’ items, from make-up and jewellery to a cocktail straw. Considering these objects as artificial extensions of the human body, Panagiotou investigates how they define and express the individual within a wider cultural context.

Mary Ramsden’s paintings hint to the smudges on digital touch-screens. Displaying her works both individually and in groups to emulate multiple windows opened on a computer screen, Ramsden explores how painting operates in today’s digital world.

Source: Tate

Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) || Exhibition: Shoes: Pleasure and Pain || until 31.01.2016

This exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.

It considers the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes and examines the latest developments in footwear technology creating the possibility of ever higher heels and dramatic shapes. Examples from famous shoe wearers and collectors are shown alongside a dazzling range of historic shoes, many of which have not been displayed before.

Source: V&A


Hunterian Museum, London || Exhibition: Designing Bodies: Models of human anatomy from 1945 to now || until 20.02.2016

Since John Hunter’s time, doctors have learned about the body using three-dimensional models – you can see many examples in the museum’s collections.

Anatomists and surgeons use models today for medical education and to develop the latest surgical skills. This exhibition presents how recent models have been devised and made, and how they are used in training.

wooden leg modelAnatomist David Hugh Tompsett made elaborate casts to show surgeons the vessels within organs, which were designed to be carefully viewed. Surgeon John Herbert Hicks designed movable wooden models to demonstrate how joints work. They both worked in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Today, conservator Martyn Cooke builds replica heads for practicing brain surgery.

To design these models their makers worked with living and dead human bodies, and experimented with a range of different materials, from wax to plastics. Through hands-on trial and error, models are made, tested, used and adapted.

Designing is not only about thinking and planning – designing is about doing.

This exhibition has been generously supported by:

 and The Strauss Charitable Trust

Source: Hunterian Museum

The National Gallery || Exhibition: Goya. The Portraits || until 10.01.2016

Striking and often unforgiving, Goya’s portraits demonstrate his daringly unconventional approach and remarkable skill at capturing the psychology of his sitters

Already 37 when he secured his first important portrait commission from Spain’s Prime Minister, Count Floridablanca, Goya’s reputation grew quickly. Ambitious and proud of his status, he gained patrons from the entire breadth of Spanish society: from the royal family and aristocrats, to intellectuals, politicians and military figures, to his own friends and family.

Deeply affected by his deafness, the result of serious illness in his mid-40s, portraiture remained a means by which Goya could communicate. His approach was unhindered; he was unafraid to reveal what he saw.

Providing penetrating insight into the public and private aspects of his life, ‘Goya: The Portraits’ traces the artist’s development, from his first commissions to more intimate later works painted during his ‘self-imposed exile’ in France in the 1820s – a career that spanned revolution and restoration, war with France, and the cultural upheaval of the Spanish Enlightenment.

A boundary-breaker, and highly regarded by Delacroix, Degas, Manet and Picasso, Goya is one of Spain’s most celebrated painters, yet until now, his story as a portraitist has never been told in an exhibition.

‘Goya: The Portraits’ presents 70 of the artist’s most outstanding works from public and private collections around the world, including paintings, drawings, and miniatures never-before-seen in London.

Sponsored by

Sponsored by Credit Suisse

Source: The National Gallery

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto || Exhibition: Manifesto 100 Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe (1915-2015) || until 03.03.2016

When in 1915, Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero signed the Ricostruzione futurista dell’universo (Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe) manifesto, the Futurist movement was moving towards a second phase in which the need for a total art aspired to influence many aspects of life through a radical transformation of the environment: from furniture to fashion, from cinema to theatre, music to dance, and from billboard design to designing everyday items. With his art house, Balla had designed and built all the furnishings for a home while Depero instead, with a production of tapestries and cushions, created a space in which to create art objects, furniture, toys, models marked by a basic structure and dynamic lines.
The idea of self-promotion took hold thanks to publishing and correspondence, as shown in the exhibition with documents and photographs showing the genesis of a poster that forever changed the direction of the Futurist movement, now geared towards a reconstructive, industrious activity far-removed from the destructive approach of the first Futurist phase.


Source: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto