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Results tagged “Leamington Art Gallery and Museum” from Coventry Telegraph - Private View

So, time to raise a Private View glass of probably-questionable wine to the last days of 2013, and look back at another year.

To those who complain about Coventry in particular being a cultural desert it's worth pointing out again that I've filled 52 weeks' worth of columns with reviews of art exhibitions, plus short bits about art-related activities, and longer pieces and interviews on this blog. Yes, not all the exhibitions may have been world class but there's a lot going on around here and new quality artists keep emerging.

One of the best bits about doing the column is going to many of the private views, or opening nights, and also experiencing some other whacky one-offs.

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Begging near Covent Garden car park in Leamington by Josh King

For those prone to a bout of post-Christmas depression, the subject matter of several new exhibitions in Coventry and Warwickshire may not seem like the best antidote. However don't be put off - the standard of work on show might actually cheer you up.

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Douglas Gordon & Philippe Parreno Zidane, A 21st-Century Portrait Courtesy Anne Lena Films and Naflastrengir 2006

I must be going soft in my old age, three more exhibitions seen in three days, and I liked all three.

They will be reviewed at a later date in the Coventry Telegraph, but I wanted to give you early notice they're there and worth seeing.

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Paula Rego, The Bride's Secret Diary, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby Borough Council © Paula Rego

THIS spring the London art world features a host of big-name exhibitions - but you can avoid the crowds and still see some excellent works in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

In London, you can be sure to be in a big crowd seeing exhibitions of works by David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and shortly the Bauhaus design exhibition.

But at Compton Verney there's lesser-known Gainsborough landscapes on show, plus in Into the Light great works by Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley, Monet, Whistler, Pisarro and lots more great artists. And although you pay to get in, there's also the great permanent collection, with the naïve art on the top floor offering lots of treats.

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has all the fantastic Rugby Collection on show for the first time, 175 items, including a good selection of women artists - Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Prunella Clough, Maggi Hambling - and other well-known names such as Leon Kossoff, Bryan Wynter, Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. It would be mad to miss it. (see a full review in the Coventry Telegraph on May 4)

A year ago Private View began, and before we launch ourselves into 2012 I want to look back at a year of the Coventry and Warwickshire art world, of Georges, and of galleries coming and going.

One of the early pieces I wrote on Private View focused on the find in an auction house catalogue by Coventry's now former Conservation Officer George Demidowicz of a fantastic set of early 19th century watercolours of the city by William H Brooke, and The Herbert launched a £12,000 public appeal to buy them. Luckily it was a success. Sadly George is no longer with the council so one wonders if a similar set of works would be missed in future.

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At the end of 2011, I've spent a lot of time writing about another George, George Shaw, who also paints Coventry, but in Humbrol paints and watercolours. His works focusing on Tile Hill featured in a major exhibition at the Baltic early in the year, and gained him a nomination for the Turner Prize. Staff at The Herbert must have been jumping for joy when they learned about this, as five years of work to stage an exhibition of his work at the gallery coincided with the prize announcement, which unfortunately he wasn't successful in.

I make no apologies for writing so much about him when his work stands out so much, has gained national acclaim - and the opportunity to write about a local, internationally-recognised artist does not occur all that often!
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