December 2009 Archives

At every year's end there's a rush to nominate and then vote for the UK Critics' Circle Drama Awards, and every year I suffer from the same sudden memory failure. What and whom have I seen in 2009 that merits a gong? Good though my short-term memory is for the details of performances and sets, by a few days after the review has appeared I'm fortunate if I can remember the name of the play or its author. This gives me an opportunity, though not always a welcome one, to try to look through my year's output. This would be easier if only I had had the sense to organise my Wall Street Journal   theatre reviews by their date (which is my easy-to-keep New Year's resolution). 
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December 23, 2009 12:44 PM | | Comments (0)

Tomorrow at the Gagosian Gallery at 17-19 Davies Street, London W1, my close friend Howard Hodgkin has a show of ]Seven New Paintings.  I saw some of them in his studio, small, vigorous, and fresh, and so recognisably, uniquely, by Hodgkin, that I was able to spot what was in the envelope bearing the announcement from seeing the brush-work of one detail of Embrace (below). Another Hodgkin treat is at the newly opened Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, where several of his paintings are on view in one of the contemporary galleries - including a picture he made as a 16 year-old, Tea Party in America, a work of astonishing maturity, which shows how clued up he was, just after the War, about cubism, German expressionism, hard-edge painting, and colour, and which also contains a passage that you would not be surprised to find in one of his current paintings. Another exhibition, the most fun show in London, is on for one more week at the RA, which will stay open till midnight on Friday, 11 December, the last day of Anish Kapoor's spectacular.
Hodgkin Embrace 2008-9.jpg

Howard Hodgkin, Embrace, 2008-2009
December 4, 2009 4:47 PM | | Comments (0)

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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