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David Hockney

Yesterday to some confusion we studied in our course on British Twentieth Century Art, pop art in Britain. I say confusion as our teacher had clearly scheduled Bacon, Freud and the Colony Club and I brought along my copy of Martin Gayford’s Mavericks and Modernists which I displayed [...]

February 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

Pierre Bonnard/ The Colour of Memory- Tate Britain

There are some artists who do not justify their reputation, others who merit a greater one, but Pierre Bonnard is in a class of his own- no one can agree on his reputation. Picasso was scornful of him, Matisse regarded him as one of the greatest. The modern day critic Waldemar Januszcak – [...]

February 3, 2019 // 0 Comments

He’s the Man

Administrators in the world of art and museums often spend a greater proportion of their time under fire for their apparent lack of acumen, ingenuity and inspiration than perhaps they should. Good intentions are fine, but in the modern world of political correctness, challenging economic [...]

February 1, 2019 // 0 Comments

The subjectivity and sincerity of different views

For my sins, yesterday I happened to watch a segment of Good Morning Britain, ITV’s early morning show anchored by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid in which some advance relish Morgan took on an elected member of the Scottish Parliament – and the Scottish Greens spokesman on Europe – named Ross [...]

January 30, 2019 // 0 Comments

Sporting broadcasting standards

A discussion we often have amongst our sporting Rusters is whether we grew up in a golden age of sporting commentators with the likes of Peter O’Sullivan, Bill MacLaren, David Coleman, Brian Johnston and Jonn Arlott, wordsmiths with mellifluous voices who knew their sport. It’s a difficult one [...]

January 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

Hugh McIlvanney – The Master – RIP

The news came overnight that Hugh McIlvanney had died at the age of 84. Without doubt he ranks among the all-time great sport journalists, not just those produced in the UK but anywhere in the world. Like many others I shall wait for the obituaries that will record, sum up and assess his career [...]

January 25, 2019 // 0 Comments

Richard Wagner

Yesterday and for the next three weeks we are studying the life and works of Richard Wagner in our opera class. As our tutor correctly opined no one divides people more than Wagner. The class was asked to give its views, some admired his operatic prowess, others were intimidated by it. I said I was [...]

January 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

A storm in a tea cup? Possibly yes and no …

Today, with an admitted smidgeon of nervousness, I step into the recent row that has blown up in the media and elsewhere over the BBC’s alleged biased and unfair treatment of Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, upon the BBC’s staple Question Time programme, which was recently hosted [...]

January 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

Back to term, part two

I too went back to the same learning centre as Alice for an opera course. Of all the musical arts I came to opera the latest. I was put off by its rich corporate image – an opera bore is the worst bore of all – and there seemed little ground between those that are passionate and those [...]

January 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

Back to school

This week spring term began in our local adult learning centre and I signed up for the art course on British modernism. I like our teacher immensely. She has become a friend, coming over for dinner with her husband, a jazz drummer. I could scarcely believe she was 76. With her blonde hair, [...]

January 17, 2019 // 0 Comments

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