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William Davie

William Davie is a writer based in London.

Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker

Lavinia Fontana (1552–1614) is widely considered to be a woman of many firsts in western Europe. She was the first woman to achieve professional success as an artist beyond the confines of a court or a convent. She was the first woman to run her own workshop at a time when women were not allowed to conduct business of their own. She was the first woman to paint large-scale public altarpieces and nudes. All this while giving birth to eleven children, only three of whom survived her.

Dark Laughter

In Barry Schwabsky’s Dark Laughter, Genesis Belanger’s witty sculpture The Options Are Slim, 2019, a facsimile of a plug socket with a kitchen knife jabbed into it, elicits a sardonic laugh no matter how close or far away you stand from it. However, by reducing this and other works by Belanger, Emily Mae Smith, Ellen Berkenblit and June Leaf through an all-too-familiar press release about each artist’s idiosyncratic tact in a world gone haywire—in which their dark sense of humour quietly rebels against a status quo—the individual prowess of each practice is short-changed.

The Aerodrome

Before Ikon Galley’s exhibition The Aerodrome—An exhibition dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley, Stanley’s contributions to the British arts scene were often spoken of in contemplative tones as a result of his suicide at the age of 37.

Carol Rhodes

Comprising domestic-scale, oil-on-board paintings and pencil drawings, this tight, brief overview acts as an appetizer before her first posthumous survey scheduled to take place at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns. Between Paris and Pont-Aven

If curators Jonathan Benington and Brendan Rooney are right and it is time for a re-evaluation of Roderic O’Conor’s oeuvre, then the case they put forward in Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns: Between Paris and Pont-Aven, on view at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, is certainly a captivating one–but not entirely without its pitfalls.

Caroline Coon: The Great Offender

Any initial humor found in the absurdity of these two hyper-sexualized scenes, perhaps especially for straight male audiences, quickly gives way to uneasiness and introspection, resulting in a sudden and powerful realization that the only way systematic change can begin is from within the viewer.

Paula Rego

Paula Rego is one of the finest, most idiosyncratic artists of her generation.


The uniquely compelling factor, which keeps the viewer in front of the works, is their lack of answers. In these paintings, more so than in any previous body of work, Doig directs the oneiric overtones from the present rather than from memory.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues