Aretino in Print Quarterly


In the latest issue of Print Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 1, I review three publications — an exhibition catalogue from the Uffizi and two scholarly anthologies — around the Venetian writer, polemicist and literary activist Pietro Aretino (1492-1556), with a specific view to their treatment of Aretino’s relationship with prints and printmaking.

Aretino was involved in printmaking throughout his career, employing it as a way of self-promotion but also encouraging creative engagement in the medium on the part of his friends, not least Titian. In the review, I reattribute the design of an engraved portrait of Aretino of around 1534 by Jacopo Caraglio, and a woodcut frontispiece based on the same model, to Titian. Consult the issue at your local art library!

Publications reviewed: Anne Bisceglia, Matteo Ceriana and Paolo Procaccioli, eds., Pietro Aretino a l’arte nel Rinascimento, exh. cat. Florence, Uffizi, Florence 2019; Anne Bisceglia, Matteo Ceriana and Paolo Procaccioli, eds., “Pietro Pictore Aretino”: Una parola complice per l’arte del Rinascimento, Venice 2019; and Anne Bisceglia, Matteo Ceriana and Paolo Procaccioli, eds., Inchiostro per colore: arte e artisti in Pietro Aretino, Rome 2019.

Raphael at the National Gallery


It is here! After six years of planning: the great Raphael exhibition that I’ve co-curated with Tom Henry and David Ekserdjian has opened at the National Gallery in London. It presents a comprehensive overview of Raphael’s entire career and charts his creativity across media and art forms, beyond drawing and painting to architecture and to design for tapestry, print, sculpture and the applied arts, as well as his activities as an archaeologist and art theorist. Even his essays in poetry are included. Need I say that the loans we have received from across Europe and the United States are incredible?

Originally planned for 2020, to mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death on 6 April, Good Friday 1520, it was postponed due to the pandemic. I’m relieved that it is finally happening. Raphael feels so urgent today, not least after two years of pandemic and the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and with the sometimes crushing awareness of the challenges posed by climate change and environmental destruction. Raphael’s art and whole ethos is the opposite of that — a passionate assertion of human dignity, community and civilisation. Art doesn’t change the world, of course, but it still reflects it.

Do go, often and repeatedly, if you can. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Book here.

Radio Rackham: Daniel Clowes’ Caricature


Den her blev lang, men det var fantastisk at genforenes over tegneserier med Andreas Gregersen og bare tonser derudaf. Vi valgte på indskydelse Daniel Clowes’ mesterlige tegneserienovelle “Caricature” fra 1995, da den forekom os righolding på tanker, præcision og betydning. Det holdt stik — vi snakkede i godt to timer om de 16 sider, der udgør tegneserien. Et nøgleværk fra midt i en karriere, der hører til blandt de mest markante i nyere tegneseriehistorie.

Lyt med og hæng på — jeg lover dig det er tiden værd! Og, som altid, læs mere på Nummer9 og følg os på Instagram.

Og så læs i øvrigt Andreas’ fantastiske essay fra 2005 om Clowes’ The Death Ray og Ice Haven her på sitet og, på dansk, i Rackhams arkiv.

The Sistine Chapel In Our Time


I participated in the venerable In Our Time with Melwyn Bragg in an episode on the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo, alongside Catherine Fletcher from Manchester Metropolitan University and Sarah Vowles of the British Museum. It was a lot of fun and, I hope, an informative discussion. The brodcast was yesterday, but you can download the extended podcast version via BBC Sounds and, eventually, on other podcast platforms.

Daredevil i Informeren


I dagens bogtillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli og Christie Scheeles klassiker Daredevil: Born Again, der for nylig blev udgivet samlet på dansk for første gang. Hermed et uddrag:

Skildringen af heltens sammenbrud er kropsnært men også metaforisk visualiseret. Kapitelåbningerne følger ham uroligt sovende, set oppefra, først i sin seng, så i et luset hotelværelse og til sidst på et leje af skraldeposer i en gyde i tiltagende fosterstilling. Man lugter sveden under hans lurvede, blå dynejakke. Da han ender i en smadret taxa på bunden af East River, suggereres vandets dunkle grums af fintmaskede rasterark under Christie Scheeles besk tonede fladefarvelægning.

Læs det hele her, hvis du har betalt penge til avisen.

Caza i Information


I dagens bogtillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Cazas lidt oversete klassiker Fantasier fra forstæderne, genudgivet på dansk af Faraos. Hermed et uddrag:

Når Fantasier fra forstæderne skiller sig ud, er det for sin patina af levet, urbaniseret hverdag. Bybilledets teksturer fremelskes ved nærmest altomfattende og omhyggelig kryds- og bølgeskravering, samt meget karakteristisk punkt-tegning. Farverne er de overmættede, grænsende til giftige, komplementærkontraster vi i dag primært forbinder med psykedelia i alt fra plakatkunst til pladecovers. Psykoaktiv realisme af den slags, der antyder fatal men obskur betydning i afbildningen af et biltomt sving på en banal bagvej.

Læs her, hvis abo.