The all-star cast of Kunsthaus Zurich

Nov 6, 2014

The all-star cast of Kunsthaus Zurich

Switzerland is an “island” in a “sea” of Europe. From its elevated Alpine position in the heart of Western Europe, it figuratively looks down on the main European cultural heartlands of Italy, France and Germany, the perfect place for a wide-ranging, cosmopolitan collection of ...

Beneath the disarray lies a struggle

Nov 6, 2014

Beneath the disarray lies a struggle

One of the joys of covering a Willem de Kooning exhibition, such as the one at the Bridgestone Museum of Art, is catching up with the jargon that surrounds his work. As he was a leading light of New York’s postwar abstract expressionist movement, ...

Less meant more to Shunso Hishida

Oct 16, 2014

Less meant more to Shunso Hishida

It’s no secret that the Japanese art world was going through major changes at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, there was a flood of Western art styles, called yōga, offering exciting new possibilities, while, on the other, there was ...

The Royal Academy gazed beyond its shores

Sep 25, 2014

The Royal Academy gazed beyond its shores

If last week’s Scottish independence referendum achieved anything, it raised awareness of Britain and Britishness. But for a few hundred thousand votes, here is a nation that could have ceased to be. But just what is Britishness? A visit to “Genius and Ambition: The ...

Taking a pictorial trip to Normandy

Sep 18, 2014

Taking a pictorial trip to Normandy

“Normandie — L’Estuaire de la Seine: L’Invention d’Un Paysage” (“Normandy — The Seine Estuary: The invention of a Landscape” is an exhibition at the Sompo Japan Museum of Art that recently changed its name to Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art. Just as the ...

The back story to Taiwan's treasures

Aug 7, 2014

The back story to Taiwan's treasures

The artworks and objects on display at the Tokyo National Museum’s latest show, “Treasured Masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei,” have had something of checkered history. A large part of this was due to the efforts of the Japanese Imperial Army to get ...

It's time to wise up to academic art

Jul 24, 2014

It's time to wise up to academic art

For too long the fine academic art of the 19th-century has lingered in the shadow of the Impressionist movement. The French Academy, with its rules and standards, has often been cast as the villain in the story of the period, standing in opposition to ...

To perceive is to see Felix Vallotton's genius at work

Jul 17, 2014

To perceive is to see Felix Vallotton's genius at work

The art of the Swiss painter Felix Vallotton is both deceptive and loaded with revelation. On the surface it has the knowing sophistication and social references of other fin-de-siècle art — Vallotton was active from the 1880s until his death in 1925 — but ...

Raoul Dufy's true colors outshone many of his peers

Jun 18, 2014

Raoul Dufy's true colors outshone many of his peers

No painter's works look as good in a newspaper or advertising poster as they do when seen directly. Some painters works, however, suffer more from the process of being transferred to print than others. Raoul Dufy is one.

How Japan crafted its modernization

Jun 4, 2014

How Japan crafted its modernization

When Japan ended its isolation in the mid-to-late-19th-century, it had lots of disadvantages compared to the other major powers. But one distinct advantage that its isolation had preserved was its craft industries and the skills of its craftsmen.