Jonathan Keates

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March 29, 2018
Sometimes there is a positively frightening aspect to the dogged fecundity of Pablo Picasso. A single month in the artist’s long life might produce a dozen large canvases, a host of preparatory drawings, a scattering of oil sketches and the odd sculpture or two. Was this compulsiveness now and then in the nature of a
January 18, 2018
Amedeo Modigliani has suffered from being turned into the classic one-trick pony of 20th-century art. During the 1970s era of Athena posters, myriad student rooms were adorned with his recumbent nudes, their geometrical faces echoing the African masks which helped to inspire his brief foray into sculpture. The signature impact of these figures has since
August 17, 2017
When dealing with the lives of creative personalities, cinema nearly always gets things spectacularly wrong. Hollywood has been notorious in this respect. Remember Song Without End, in which Dirk Bogarde mugged his way hopelessly through the career of Franz Liszt, or Lust For Life, with Kirk Douglas as somebody called “Vincent Van Go” painting sunflowers
June 22, 2017
Grayson Perry Serpentine Gallery, London, until Sept 10 Who’s a clever boy then? Grayson Perry, it seems, to his many admirers. Hitherto I’ve tended to be heretical, a sceptic as regards the performance, suspecting that the whole “Claire” shtick, complete with blobby lipstick, box-pleat party frocks and girly accessories, is too obviously a case of
June 01, 2017
Giacometti Tate Modern, London, until September 10 In one important sense Alberto Giacometti was his own worst enemy. The stick-thin human forms he created during his post-war years in Paris, with titles such as Walking Man, Man Pointing and Tall Woman, have since become such signature works for the Swiss sculptor as to obscure practically
April 27, 2017
Most of our encounters with the religious art of Renaissance Italy are made in either churches or galleries. All too easily we ignore the broader spiritual context in which a Botticelli Madonna, a Luca della Robbia Annunciation or a Donatello John the Baptist was originally created. Artefacts as superb as these spring from a world
June 02, 2016
Giorgione – or Zorzi da Castelfranco, as he was known in Venice – was the phantom genius of Italian painting during the early 16th century, contemporary with an elderly Giovanni Bellini and a youthful Titian. During his brief existence (he died of plague in 1510, aged 33) almost nothing was known of him beyond the
October 11, 2013
The National's exhibition of Viennese portraits offers a coherent narrative and striking cultural perspectives