Hogarth comes to the Tate

The most comprehensive exhibition "in living memory" of Hogarth’s works is coming to the Tate Britain on 7 February.  From the catalogue:

"The exhibition demonstrates that Hogarth wasn’t only a brilliant satirist as it showcases every aspect of his multi-faceted career: his remarkable paintings, ranging from elegant conversation pieces to salacious brothel scenes; his vibrant drawings and sketches; and the numerous engraved works for which he is most famous today, including Gin Lane and Beer Street . His society portraits easily rival those of Gainsborough or Reynolds, and the variety and energy of his output is outstanding.

No other artist’s work has come to define a period of British history as powerfully and enduringly as Hogarth’s. The exhibition explores an artist who was strikingly modern in character, confronting subjects and themes – the city, sexuality, manners, social integration, crime, political corruption, charity and patriotism– that continue to preoccupy us today. The exhibition makes the case that Hogarth was in fact Britain’s first truly modern artist, and shows the relevance of his work to British art now."

The exhibition runs to 9 April and then moves to Madrid.

A book called Hogarth, France and British Art by Robin Simon (editor and publisher of the British Art Journal) has just been published, in time to coincide with the show. The book claims to be a radical reappraisal of Hogarth’s art and achievements, including more than 300 colour and black-and-white illustrations. 

Victoria Beckham is blogging

Link: Bloggers Blog: Victoria Beckham is Blogging.

I can’t bear to write any more on the subject, but the full horror, including links, is available at the Bloggers Blog post above.

Book Aid is having a party

Book Aid International, the organisation that operates the reverse book club, is having a party. On 22 February, it is holding a "be inspired" auction, hosted by Jeremy Paxton, at Bloomsbury Auctions (London).

"Literary figures, politicians and celebrities" have written a few words inside a copy of their favourite book(s) to convey why the title is special to them. These books will be auctioned after a champagne reception. A previous "celebrity" who famously sent a signed book was J K Rowling, but this time it seems as if partygoers will have to make do with David Jason (Inspector Frost), Joanna Lumley, D B C Pierre, David Cameron and Cherie Booth.

If you are interested in attending (it costs £40, or £60 for a pair of tickets), you can email Julia Baxter for details. If you are not a party animal or otherwise unable to attend, please go to the Book Aid website (link at start of this post) and consider contributing to this worthy organisation, which carefully selects and sends appropriate books to children and adults in regions where access to useful or inspiring reading is limited or non-existent. Book Aid’s website details how it chooses the books and to whom it sends them.

I have previously posted about Book Aid international here (April 2006) and here (November 2006).