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The Perfect Place to Grow

This is a post from the weareoca.com archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.   In 1837, the year that Queen Victoria came to the throne, The Government School of Design was opened in Somerset House. Over the years The Royal College of Art as it became known, has played an […]

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A Transport of Delight

Frank Pick, Harry Beck and Edward Johnston are names to conjure with, their efforts held in high regard by Graphic Designers and Illustrators. Their work can be found in the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden which celebrates the technology of transport and all it’s design aspects: from architecture and corporate identity to promotions and […]

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Intensity and truth

OCA tutor Jim Cowan reports back on the Victorian Avant-Garde blockbuster. The Pre- Raphaelites have always been massively popular among the gallery going public and this exhibition, the first for a number of years, is no exception. It attempts to explain how the Brotherhood saw themselves as modern reformers who adopted a realist approach in […]

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Authentic and powerful: drawing and watercolour

Authentic artists engage with their subject matter with intensity and none more so than Kathe Kollwitz and Emil Nolde. Both these artists have museums dedicated to their work in Berlin. In a city with numerous art galleries ranging from the sublime Pergamonmuseum to the mostly banal contemporary offerings of the Hamburger Bahnhof, the galleries devoted […]

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Who loves the Turner Prize?

Jim Cowan weighs in on the Turner Prize, with enthusiastic scepticism. What do you think? Having left Tate Britain, last year for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, the Turner Prize competition disappeared from the mindset of the average Tate Gallery visitor. Notorious for disregarding anything that happens north of Potters Bar, when […]

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Leighton's $140 low point ….

As an artist, if you want to be remembered after you’ve gone, a good strategy is to leave your house and studio to the general public. It helps of course if you were once a famous and important artist in your time and Fredrick Lord Leighton (1830-1896) certainly was. President of the Royal Academy and […]

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Sculptors' Drawings at Kings Place

Just when you thought that it was difficult to find exhibitions of drawings and watercolours, a number have appeared on the scene. Following on from the Courtauld’s excellent Mantenga to Matisse exhibition we now have Sculptors’ Drawings at Kings Place. In addition there is the Jerwood Drawing Prize at Jerwood Visual Arts London on until […]

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An intimate view of Ensor

In the list of famous Belgian artists, James Ensor (1860-1949) is one of the most well known along with Rubens, Breughal, Bosch, van Eyck and a host of Flemish primitives. In the 20th Century there was Rene Magritte, Paul Delvaux, Luc Tuymans and of course Hergé, creator of the comic book character Tintin the boy […]

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Mantegna to Matisse

Jim Cowan reports on an exhibition that’s up his street. ‘For OCA drawing and watercolour students, finding an exhibition that shows examples of work can often be a difficult undertaking. Galleries that show paintings are more prone to show oil or acrylics, and it is especially hard to find a major gallery that exhibits watercolours […]

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Things Peter Blake loves

The Fine Art Society is a gallery situated in London’s fashionable Bond Street and it is here that Peter Blake, the Grandfather of British Pop Art, has put together a selection of paintings and prints that reflect his tastes and influences. Famous for his part in the design of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper Album, Blake […]

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