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    Leonardo: Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani

  • Leonardo

    Leonardo: The Virgin of the Rocks

  • Leonardo-x6811_pr

    Leonardo: Portrait of a Young Man

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    Paul Noble: Cathedral Photo by Mike Bruce

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    Paul Noble: Welcome to Nobson (detail) Photo by Mike Bruce

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    Paul Noble: A Wall is a Path Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates

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    Harriet Mead: King Island Emu

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    Ben Newman: Bishop’s ’0’0

  • Lralph-steadman---dodo

    Ralph Steadman: Dodo

Art

What's On: London

Posted by Rob Alderson,

London has gone loco for Leonardo this week – and with good reason – but there’s strong shows on across the city with the return of the magnificent imagination and pencil skill of Paul Noble and a celebration of extinct birds that will capture any imagination – think Ralph Steadman drawing a dodo. Play it cool London, play it cool…

Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at The Court of Milan The National Gallery

So much has been written about this show it’s difficult to know what to add – but when the organisers have to limit ticket sales to avoid gallery-rage then you know something pretty special is happening. Leonardo – often described as the ultimate Renaissance man – is a true artistic titan who excites aficionados and amateur art buffs alike, and this blockbuster show brings together all the surviving works which are allowed to travel, plus many of his drawings. A fabulous chance to see why an artist of whose only 14 confidently-attributed paintings survive is still considered such a game-changing figure, breathing life into his subjects and arguably inventing modern portraiture as we know it. It seems trite to make this the pick of the week – it’s probably the pick of the year, and runs until February.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/leonardo-da-vinci

Paul Noble: Welcome to Nobson Gagosian Britannia Street

In our tweet-and-you’ll-miss it contemporary culture, dedicating years to a single project resonates even more, and Paul Noble’s new show in London (his first here for seven years) is a slow-cooked treat. For 15 years the master draughtsman has been working on bringing to life a fictional city called Nobson Newtown, a response to utopian town planning and the reality of the places it produces. The central piece of this exhibition is Welcome to Nobson , a huge 23ft by 15ft drawing but there’s also other massive pieces and sculptures which allow you to immerse yourself in Noble’s unnatural talent. It runs until December 17.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/paul-noble

The Ghosts of Gone Birds The Rochelle School

An exhibition highlighting the problem of dwindling bird numbers based on extinct species sounds very worthy (which it is) but it also sounds a little, well, dry. Fortunately this exhibition at the Rochelle School is anything but, with a host of stellar names contributing amazing renderings of feathered-friends that have died out. With the likes of Ralph Steadman, Sir Peter Blake and Polly Morgan alongside rising stars like Ben Newman this is a stupendously entertaining show with a moral core to boot. Splendid stuff. It runs until November 23.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/ghosts-of-gone-birds

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

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    Way back in 2011 when we first posted the work of Frank Magnotta It’s Nice That was a very different beast – we’d only give you one image to check out and the rest was up to you. So when I stumbled across Frank’s work again this week it seemed essential that we show you a whole lot more. To be honest there have been few updates to his site in the past three years but the work is breathtaking, pulling together pop culture references, architectural precision and some serious Americana and combining it into stark surrealist landscapes. At times grotesque but always engaging, Frank’s graphite artworks are still some of the finest around.

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    Jean Jullien is many things. Artist. Illustrator. French. Recent emigre to New York. It’s Nice That favourite. So hot right now. He’s also the final artist to have a show at Kemistry Gallery’s current east London home before it closes its doors early next year (although as has been reported it has some excitingly ambitious plans).

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    American artist James Rieck paints models, but not in the way you might expect. In his huge colourful canvases he takes figures from adverts and recreates them four or five feet wide, capturing their clothes, their postures but not their faces.

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    These painted scenes from Paige Jiyoung Moon are so wonderfully intricate, a new detail pops out each time you see them. Capturing domestic scenes like people drinking coffee, friends watching a film or a family eating lunch together, it’s the mundanity of what Paige paints that makes her miniature worlds so inviting as the viewer tries to pick out some sort of irregularity.

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    It’s been a whole two years since we last posted about the marvellous work of Lynnie Zulu and we’re happy to have the illustrator’s vibrant world colouring our dull Monday once again. Her latest body of work is on show now at No Walls Gallery in Brighton and is a fantastically lively exploration of the female in all her glorious forms.

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    We’re no ballet aficionados, but we wouldn’t usually associate drunkards, typists and factory workers with the grace and poise of the discipline. However, as these beautiful gouache painting by Tatiana Bruni show, there’s much more to ballet than tutus and swan lake, with her angular figures, bold colours and sometimes grotesquely postured characters. The paintings show costume designs for Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt, and are going on show at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design alongside a series of period photographs. The ballet itself was bold and striking in its use of real hammers, machine-inspired choreography, aerobics and acrobatics, and the costume images are equally as dynamic, inspired by “the aesthetics of agit-theatre and artist-designed propaganda posters”, according to the gallery. The sense of movement is palpable, whether in the graceful billowing dresses or the staggering legs of our brightly-coloured drunkard, working against the geometric rigidity of the style to beautiful effect.

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    The announcement that David Lynch is to release new episodes of Twin Peaks in 2016 was, unsurprisingly, met with internet-breaking levels of excitement. Soon, every Tommy, Dale and Henry Spencer was walking around their independent coffee shop knowingly harping on about their “damn fine cup of coffee” and popping that heartbreaking Angelo Badalamenti theme on the office stereo like they’d actually watched every episode back in 1990, when they were five.

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    Not since we saw the Doge meme IRL on a street in Hackney have we been this excited by the face of a strange dog. Now, we’re excited by many strange dog faces, thanks to what looks set to be a brilliant show by Wilfrid Wood. Wilfrid’s work has long been a favourite at It’s Nice That, and has over the years included sculptures of Tom Daley and Paul McCartney and numerous bottoms for Levis.

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    Man of many talents Will Edmonds has some great new work on his site in the geometric shape of these colourful framed pieces and paintings on wood. There’s a childlike simplicity against a more grown-up restraint in the works, which draw you in with colour and keep you there with the deceptively intricate layers. The works were created for an exhibition entitled A Watery Line at The Tetley in Leeds in summer 2014, where he was also showing sculptures and ceramics.

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    London is a brilliant city, but in the winter months it can be a grey and grizzly place to live. That’s why artists like Steve Wheen, aka The Pothole Gardner, are so important in bringing a little colour and joy to our day-to-day lives. To promote Uniqlo’s new HEATTECH range, which has been specially developed with leading textile manufacturer Toray, the clothing brand is showcasing creative types who take on the urban outdoors come rain or shine, from foodies and cyclists to graffiti artists.

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    I can’t quite believe that it’s two years since we last featured Alex Roulette’s work on the site because he’s undoubtedly one of our favourite artists working today. The New York based painter creates scenes which “explore the blurred sense of time and place within memories” and he’s a master of the atmospheric. Looking at his paintings feels like beginning a dream when you’re pitched into a situation conjured up by your subconscious and yet instinctively know broadly where you are and what’s going on.

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    I’m sticking by my claim that the beach is one of the most fascinatingly liminal places going; you arrive, you take off (almost) all your clothes and you lie down, play volleyball and splash next to strangers with the same idea, and nobody thinks anything of it.

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    These painted shapes from Berlin-based Frau Grau are just wonderful with their rich, vivid tones and excellent composition. I really like the organic and uneven shapes, with each one refusing to tesselate neatly with its neighbour. The formation and assembly works fantastically, laid out like a detailed study of jewel-like pebbles and rocks found on an imagined coastline. It’s this ambiguity about what the artist is actually depicting that interests me so much.