Mark Sheerin

Post image for Between the Mystic and the Mundane: Charles Thomson Defends Stuckism

LONDON — Eighteen short months ago, Charles Thomson, the world’s most vocal champion of figurative painting, nearly hung up his brush. After some 30 years painting thick black lines and flat planes of color (“I called it Cloisonism, which was a 19th century practice which Van Gogh was involved with for a time”) the artist considered himself stuck. But this was only what the art world elite had always said about him.

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Artwork by Simon Faithfull

LONDON — For those not already aware of its existence, Middle England is, in its way, as mythical as Middle Earth. But copies of the Daily Mail outnumber the elvish runes.

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Post image for Despite Dementia, a Life of Art Continues to Thrive

BIRMINGHAM, UK — Britain’s second city is arguably its most ethnically diverse. In a recent search for Birmingham’s most archetypal family, led by Turner-Prize winner Gillian Wearing, the winners were two mixed-race, single parent sisters.

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Post image for The Unbearable Lightness of Frances Stark

LONDON — In a 21st-century take on the artist and his model, Frances Stark has performed a gender swap and had her wicked way with up to ten male muses.

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Post image for Interwoven Histories: Exploring Britain and Haiti

BRIGHTON, UK — If the thought of a white artist from Britain making work about race in Haiti causes your hackles to rise, please bear with us. What Leah Gordon has to say about history concerns us all.

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Post image for Inside the World’s Largest Loan Collection of British Art

NOTTINGHAM, UK — A cultural mission to enlighten and educate the public is, it might be said, as British as the BBC. This mindset has been called Reithian, after Lord Reith, first general manager of the broadcasting organisation. For a good example of Reithianism, look no further than the 13-part documentary Civilisation, presented on the BBC in 1969 by art historian Kenneth Clark.

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Articles

Real Live Painting in Britain

by Mark Sheerin on April 3, 2014

Post image for Real Live Painting in Britain

BEXHILL-ON-SEA, England — Liveness is a difficult quality to prescribe in a work of art. But to borrow a phrase from an obscenity trial, you will know it when you see it. This is especially true when the medium is painting. It is alive, yes, but it is not always so vital as in the current show, I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart, at De La Warr Pavilion.

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Museums

Counting Up With Martin Creed

by Mark Sheerin on March 21, 2014

Post image for Counting Up With Martin Creed

LONDON — The fact he gives each work a number is the first thing anyone learns about Martin Creed. His website lists “Work No. 3″ up to “Work No. 1674″ and counting. Pointing out the UK artist likes seriality is like pointing out that Pollock liked drips or that Duchamp liked plumbing or even the fact that Michelangelo could paint upside down.

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Post image for Helicopter Funship? Alexander Ponomarev at the Marrakech Biennale

MARRAKESH, Morocco — A coach full of journalists and Biennale folk gets lost, but it is not yet cause for panic. All we know is we are somewhere between Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains.

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Museums

Mean Green Performance Machine

by Mark Sheerin on February 24, 2014

Post image for Mean Green Performance Machine

NOTTINGHAM, U.K. — Seeing both notebook and pen, a fellow spectator says with some disbelief: “Are you reviewing this? Well, good luck!” My challenges are well apparent, thanks to the inexplicable outbreaks of dance, song and puppetry.

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