Turner Inspired

Claude (1604/5?˗1682)
Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, 1648
© The National Gallery, London
For over a hundred years now the paintings of William Turner have been inextricably linked to those of Claude Gelee. Not only was Turner inspired by the landscapes of Claude, but is reputed to have burst into tears on his first viewing of Claude's Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, 1648. Something within that painting resonated so strongly with Turner that he embarked on a number of slavish copies of Claude's paintings, sometimes copied from memory, sometimes by revisiting the original site of Claude's work.

Damien Hirst | Tate Modern Retrospective

Damien Hirst, Beautiful, childish, expressive,
tasteless, not art, over simplistic, throw away
This week sees the opening of Damien Hirst's retrospective show at Tate Modern.  The show charts Hirst's works in a timeline, and includes a number of seminal pieces.  However this exhibition is not just about sharks, cows, and the £36,000 limited edition plastic skull you can buy in the gift shop on the way out.  In conversations all week with cabbies, pundits and critics, reactions have centred around Hirst being overrated, overvalued and a charlatan. Brian Sewell wrote one the most vitriolic articles imaginable in the Evening Standard, and so one might imagine I'd have my work cut out to get you along to the Tate to see for yourself. However, in the way that I encouraged you to go to the Hockney exhibition to learn about perspective, I'd encourage you to see Hirst to explore your reactions to Death with a capital D, and to consider the impact of economics, commerciality and desirability on art.

David Hockney | A Bigger Picture

David Hockney's latest exhibition, A Bigger Picture, is the culmination of a life-long obsession with perspective and the art of looking. Hockney has long argued against the “tyranny of a single point of perspective” which has dominated several centuries of Western landscape painting. In response he has sought to distort perspective, or with his photomontages has sought to keep our gaze moving, adopting the Chinese "moving perspective", where the eye is constantly wandering, unable to settle on a single viewpoint.