ART REVIEW * t *
Pulling No Punches
Gazing down lrom their imry towct'. art snobs might sCUlT at the idea that cartoons and caricatures are worthy oi serious artistic appraisal. They are. ol' course. wrong.
I’ll/[lug Nu Pour/H's tll Rogues‘ Gallery. features two of Britain's top newspaper cartoonists. Trog and Chris Riddell. The meticulous illustration of Riddell's cartoons contrast sharply with the pristine economy- of Trog‘s linear
A dull majority: a Riddell cartoon
caricatures of celebrities. yet both men exhibit top le\el draughtsmanship. Trog‘s cl'l‘ot'tless caricature ol’ l.i/ Hurley radiates chic and is so pcrl'ectly rendered that it works in rexerse as Trog‘s backwards signature rc\ cals. Ridtlell's eattoons carry a more ob\ iotts political weight. referring to topical CVCltls on the international and domestic scene. but are equally el‘l‘ectiye. Beatttil‘ully presented. the show also l'L‘\Ctlls how such subtlety ol' drawing sul'l'ers in newsprint. l‘rce lrom sell-conscious cool and tree ol' cliches. this show is all and politics without the politics ol‘ art. (Colin Montgomery) I Pulling llo Punches lung and (‘lu-is Riddelll. Rogues‘ (iallery (Venue H3) 225 5558. until 3| Aug. Tue-Sun llam—7pm.
Pride And Passion
In July 1796, a 37-year-old Ayrshire man died of a heart attack. On his deathbed he told his wile, ‘l’ll be more thought at a hundred years alter this than I am now.’ Two hundred years on, Robert Burns’ acquaintance has never been more remembered.
Pride And Passion pays homage to the man, the poet and his passion. A walk through his lite, portraits hang on the wall like pictorial lootprints into the past. There’s his writing desk complete with a dralt ol Auld tang Sync and a wee timorous beastie cowering behind one ot its legs.
From rural Ayrshire to the drawing rooms at Edinburgh, Burns travelled the country to become Caledonia’s bard. lie may have been an exciseman, but he enjoyed drinking, so we are told, and the audio commentary also cheertully notes that drink and sex
A young passion: Robert Burns
were two social pleasures. Thankfully only one was taxed. Burns’ women
could vouch lor that, as can his many love letters. lie was linked with treemasonry and he was a supporter at George Washington, who he regarded as America’s equivalent at William Wallace. Portraits show Washington and Burns wearing matching Masonic pinnies. Perhaps an auld transatlantic alliance? (Paul Smith)
Pride And Passion, Royal Museum of Scotland, 225 7534, until Sat 15 Sept Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm, £2.56 (£1).
DAVID llVINGSTDNE AND THE VICTORIAN ENCOUNTER WITH AFRICA IGEDRCE RDDGER
’llr Livingstone, I presume?’ is perhaps the greatest testimony totight-Iipped properness. littered by American reporter, Henry Morton Stanley, dispatched by the New York Herald in 1869 to find the eminent Victorian explorer, presumed missing somewhere in Atrica, it was a journalistic coup tor Stanley - apparently he rehearsed the line for weeks - and a legend-making encounter tor Livingstone.
David Livingstone And The Victorian Encounter With Africa charts the rise and tall at Livingstone. Through mud huts, mounted spears, a host ol Livingstone memorablia and even a mock-up ol Victoria Falls (originally Mosioatunya but renamed by Livingstone) the exhibition unravels: lite made legend. Born near GIasgov in 1813, Livingstone went lrom working in the cotton mills, to become the century’s most famous explorer. Hitting a time when Britain believed she was everyone’s tavoured panacea, Livingstone’s banner slogan ol ‘Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation’ tired the home lront’s popular imagination. (in his death in 1873 Livingstone’s heart was buried
J The Champion: a photograph by George Rodger
near Lake Bangweulu (in present day Zambia) and his body transported to Britain for burial at Westminster Abbey.
Moving into the 20th century, are George Rodger’s ’Alrican Photographs’. A lounder member of the photography agency, Magnum, Rodger was at the loretront ot wartime photo journalism. These photographs, taken lrom the 405 until his death last year, are coolly-styled and striking black and white portraits at daily lite in southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. (Susanna Beaumont)
David Livingstone And The Victorian Encounter With Africa/George Rodgers, Royal Scottish Academy
( Venue 64) 225 6671 until Sun 1 Sept, Mon-Sat 10am—5pm, Sun 2—5pm, £4 (£2.50).
(iiacometti is a commanding ligurc. He appears. at least in the blownup photographs at work and walking the Paris streets. to be what an artist is expected to be: disheyellcd and engagineg intense. He also seems to have been suitably obsessed with work. “It’s l‘orccd labour" was how Ciiacomctti described it.
This lirst tttaiot'exhibition ol' (‘iiacometti‘s work in Britain since the Tate I'L‘Il'tlspL‘CIlVC of [06.5 brings together the lamiliar (iiacomctti: his solitary. enigmatic and slender ligures with attenuated limbs and tiny heads. Repeatedly pared and pinched. their thin. lleslilc-ss l'orms resemble a craggy and rough terrain made of bron/e. There are his shrunken mini-l'igures - they hark back to Egyptian l‘unerary statuettes -- and his portraits. llerc lone laces described by a frenzied network ol‘ painted lines inhabit a dense. near- clattstrophobic space
But there is also the less l'amiliar. Though dismissing his surrealist works as masturbatory perhaps more to do with his dislike ol' the dictatorial way s ol' surrealist gang-leader. Andre Breton - they are staggering to behold. llighly charged with brooding or over! violent and sesual imagery. they are resoundineg conl'idcnt. Likewise. the plaque sculptures ol' tlie late Ills (annoyingly displayed in cabinets .sct
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Out on a limb: Giacometti’s Three Men Walking
against walls at the gallery) are sensual distillations ol' l‘orm. This is a most of an exhibition. tSusanna Beaumont) I Giacometti Scottish National Gallery ()l‘ Modern Art (Venue ()6) until Stilt 22 Sept. Mon—Sat ltlam- 5pm. Sun 3-5pm. £3.80 t£2.5()l.
tlnmlssable Very good Worth seeing
Below average You’ve been warned
86 The List 9- I 5 Aug I996