Art News – weekly round-up

  • 8 August 2014

Jake Chapman says keep kids out of galleries, two amazing Centenary commemorations and a pre-Raphelite return – we round up the top art stories of the week.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins, at the Tower of London courtesy Historic Royal Palaces

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins, at the Tower of London

Should children be taken to art galleries?

Jake Chapman caused a stir this week after saying that taking children to art galleries was a ‘total waste of time’. Critics were quick to defend the activity, and champion programmes aimed at children. Rachel Campbell-Johnston writes in The Times that ‘there are all sorts of ways to engage children in great paintings: forget art history and try focusing on one work’ whilst Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar states ‘If you can walk and you can look, you can get something from a work of art’ on BBC Radio 4.

An enlightened installation marks the Centenary…

The latest Artangel project called Spectra, by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, took the form of a stunning column of light in central London, as part of the World War One commemorations. The Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan was given exclusive access to the artist and witnessed the work during a trial run.

…and a field of poppies opens at the Tower of London

Another Centenary commemoration has gained widespread praise. Paul Cummins has installed 888,246 ceramic poppies – one for every British and Commonwealth soldier who died during the conflict – in the dry moat at the Tower of London, in a work called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. The Telegraph’s aerial video shows the extent of this enormous installation.

A pre-Raphaelite return

Ophelia by John Everett Millais and other popular pre-Raphaelite works from the permanent collection are back on Tate Britain's walls after two years away on tour. Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain, told The Guardian ‘It has been fascinating to see how popular the pre-Raphaelites have been in different international contexts and how they resonate with other cultures.’

And finally…

A chipped and cracked bowl that was used as a cat bed has sold for £108,000 at auction. According to The Telegraph the owners put the 12 inch bowl up for auction during a household clean out, only to discover it was 15th century ceramic from the Ming dynasty.