Matthew Sperling on art:
5 October 2013
I’ve become an art critic this summer. The cover story of the October issue of Apollo, the international art magazine founded in 1925, is a piece I wrote on the relation between art and alcohol. The cover features this picture of Francis Bacon stumbling with high dignity into a Soho lamp-post, and as well as Bacon, my article discusses a wide range of heavy-drinking artists and paintings concerned with drink, from Frans Hals and Jan Steen in the Dutch golden age, to Velázquez, Hogarth, the absinthe-drinking Parisians of the nineteenth century, and the beer-swilling brawlers of the New York School.
Before that, I reviewed the major retrospective Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester for the September issue of Apollo (Paolozzi is a fascinating figure, and I’m keen to look more at his association with Ambit magazine and J.G. Ballard), and I wrote a blog piece for Apollo’s website on the current popularity of British pop art. And while I was in New York in September I paid a visit to the Museum of Modern Art to see the exhibition American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe, about which I’m trying to set down some thoughts right now…