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April Arts Newsletter

Beverley Brook seeks the Thames, 110x90cm framedOne of my paintings to be exhibited at Fresh Air in AdLib Gallery in Wimbledon village next month, 12-19th May. Private view on 12th May, details here.There has been much in the news recently about questionable funding for galleries and museums (also see football clubs). The Sackler family have come into focus after being sued by victims affected by the opioid crisis in the US, where an estimated 500,000 lives have been lost to addiction to the painkiller OxyContin. The Sacklers donated, over the years, vast sums to cultural institutions around the world many of whom are now distancing themselves from the Sackler name. The Tate has become the latest to remove any mention of the Sacklers and will no longer accept any gifts from the family (although haven’t pledged to return any funds, I note). 
I am currently reading Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe, a jaw-dropping history of the Sacklers. They make the Roys (Succession) look like the Waltons.

New exhibitions to see this month
Louise Bourgeois: The Woven Child is not for the faint-hearted. If you have seen the Francis Bacon recently, I would recommend you leave several weeks before seeing this. It is the stuff nightmares are made of, via old tights and rusty cages. The overall themes of the show are generally positive: reparation and the artist late in life coming to terms with various traumas. How she does it though goes head first into the trauma. The show opens with nighties and dresses hanging from animal bones, eek. This show has had excellent reviews. Hayward Gallery until 15MayPostwar Modern: New Art in Britain 1945-1965 is another heaving, dark exhibition full of important artwork by celebrated painters. The first part of the exhibition represents war-ravaged Britain with bombed-out husks painted by Bert Hardy and explosive sculptures from Chadwick and Paolozzi. The wider trends in painting are also explored later in the show through intense work from Kossoff and Auerbach. This is a timely show given the atrocities happening in the Ukraine right now and is a must see for any ‘mid-century’ fans. Barbican until 26 JuneInspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts is an antidote to the above exhibitions. Walt Disney was a big francophile and this exhibition shows hand-drawn animations alongside fine porcelain, paintings and furniture from Rococo France. This would be lovely to see in the Easter holidays and if you haven’t been to the Wallace Collection before, I heartily recommend it. It is in a beautiful house just near Marylebone (infinite lunch options).  Wallace Collection 6 April-16 OctoberFashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear is the new blockbuster show from the V&A. There are 3 galleries: Undressed, Overdressed and Redressed and 100 outfits with many artworks showing their inspiration. The show starts with the 18th century fashion of the Grand Tour when young wealthy men would travel to Europe educating themselves in Classic antiquities and buy rich, flamboyant European clothing. Through various turns it goes through to modern day gender fluid dressing a la Harry Styles. Is your man stuck in a fashion rut? Get him to the V&A! V&A until 6NovRiver Culture is an exhibition I am showing in with artists in the Merton area for the Wandle heritage charity. The theme is the river and it takes place in the fascinating and historical Merton Priory Chapter House. Merton Abbey was the largest in the country before Henry VIII demolished it in 1538 with his Dissolution of the Monasteries. He didn’t manage to totally flatten the Chapter House, however, and there is a small but fascinating museum and exhibition space to be found under a big flyover. It is open at weekends and is really worth going to see. Park at the big M&S and walk through the underpass. River Culture tickets to tonight’s private view
Thank you to those who got in touch about my Daffodils for Ukraine last month. I am delighted to report that I painted and sold three so have transferred £375, to Choose Love , a charity that supports refugees. 

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