Penny Slinger ‘Tantric Transformations’ at Richard Saltoun

  Penny Slinger is memorable both as a person and as an artist. She left this country in 1979 but quite a lot of people, myself included, remember her and her work quite well. She has a powerful personality, plus charm, and both were in evidence when she appeared at a showing of a film…

Michael Rakowitz at the Whitechapel Gallery

  ‘The destruction is nothing special. Wars have always done this. It’s the way they present it to the world that’s shocking’ Margaret van Ess, quoted in the exhibition. Rubble, both actual and implicit, is a leitmotif in the work of Michael Rakowitz.. It is generally agreed that his piece for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar…

Senga Nengudi at Sprüth Magers is

  Walking into this exhibition your first impression is that it is hieratic African Sculpture  made of wood (image 1). Move closer and you find that it consists predominantly of stretched fabric, usually stockings, which have sometimes been filled with sand, and large vinyl sachets, filled with viscous bright coloured gloop. The effect is highly…

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu at the Venice Biennale

  Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are alarming artists. Their work seems to be fuelled by a constant stream of rage which impacts directly on the spectator. For example they placed a tiger in a cage which was contingent with the gallery space. Those who ventured into the space were isolated in a kind of…

Lee Krasner at the Barbican

    ‘I was a woman, Jewish, a damn good painter, thank you, and a little too independent’.   Forty odd years ago I saw a painting by Lee Krasner in somebody’s house. It was a time when few people in this country had heard of her but I have never forgotten it. This is…

Kate Cooper ‘Symptom Machine’ at the Hayward Gallery

Kate Cooper ‘Symptom Machine’ at the Hayward Gallery A woman’s body is a site that has been much contested over the last fifty years or so. At the same time it is clear that a lot of women have more power and status than they used to have. It seems a little out of kilter…

Elizabeth Peyton at Sadie Coles

    For someone of my generation the first encounter with Elizabeth Peyton’s wispy little portraits of celebrities provoked a sense of outrage: how could this possibly be serious art? I should have learnt by then that any new work which stops you in your tracks is more than likely to prove important.   Her…