The idea of art and design as an agent for social change is vital if we relate it to contemporary debates and approaches that artists are adopting in these effervescent times.
I have always thought of Modigliani as the sort of artist that can get you into trouble. Remembering the raised eyebrows with which my tutors greeted my proposal that I write my first long essay as a student about the relationship between his sculptures and his nudes, I was half-expecting there to be a warning sign at the entrance of his exhibition at Tate Modern. Instead the visitor is met by four galleries of sensational portraits – not to mention a film about his life in Paris and a queue for a virtual tour of his studio – before being treated to even a glimpse of an ankle. Join Gerald on the 3 February.
I usually start working with paper as a medium for drawing and painting, to create collages, folding it to make 3D models… We may live in a digital world, but for creatives using paper has by no means diminished. Folded into origami and kirigami, laser-cut, layered and made into sculptures, artists can transform a humble sheet of old tree into a spectacular artwork.
Some of Bronzino’s coldly classical canvases have not helped his reputation, and his famous Allegory of Venus and Cupid, with its over-the-top eroticism and cryptic symbolism, certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (check out the bemused visitors in room 8 of the National Gallery where the work hangs!). But drawing is the best place to start with Bronzino. A quick look at his sketches, studies, modelli (demonstration drawings) and cartoons done in black and red chalk and brown ink will leave you hooked!
Sarah’s response to materials: wood, metal, cardboard, is intuitive and honest. Pieces are made by hand, instinctively responding to the tactile qualities and structure of the materials creating forms that please her. Choosing not to add texture, embellishment or decoration the surfaces are left in their simple state.