James Franco curates Kusama and Tuymans

The forthcoming London exhibition, Cinematic Visions, examines the dialogue between painting and film
Alice Neel's Ian and Mary (1971)
Alice Neel's Ian and Mary (1971)




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Some think the advent of photography was the death knell for a certain type of painting, yet a new exhibition opening in London next month takes the moving image as its inspiration, looking at the “ongoing dialogue between the two media.”

Cinematic Visions: Painting at the Edge of Reality, is a group show opening at London's Victoria Miro gallery on June 8 and running until August 3. It is curated by the Hollywood actor and artist James Franco, the British artist and film director Isaac Julien, and Victoria Miro's gallery director, Glenn Scott Wright.

The gallery says the show will examine the “enduring influence of film on visual artists and how in an age of the internet and social media painters continue to engage with and redefine their practice in relation to the moving image."

It feels like a fairy broad brief, yet if the theme isn't suitably compelling, the works on show should draw in London's most casual gallery goers. Paintings by Peter Doig, Yayoi Kusama, Luc Tuymans, Eric Fischl (who's new book, Bad Boy, My Life On and Off the Canvas, we can't recommend highly enough), Chris Ofili, Alice Neel,  Chantal Joffe join pieces by the odd showbiz interloper, like Spring Breakers' director, Harmony Korine.


The Trinidad Tobago Film Festival poster featuring Peter Doig's  Lapeyrouse Wall (2004)

The Trinidad Tobago Film Festival poster featuring Peter Doig's Lapeyrouse Wall (2004)

In truth, the curators have interpreted the theme deftly. Their choices include a version of Peter Doig's Lapeyrouse Wall (2004), which was inspired by an audience member walking in front of the screen at one of Doig's regular film screenings, which the artist hosts in his Trinidad studio. Indeed, this cinematic theme was extended, when the Trinidad Tobago Film Festival of 2008 picked the image for their poster.


Chantal Joffe's Jessica (2012)

Chantal Joffe's Jessica (2012)

There's also Chantal Joffe's Jessica (2012) a portrait of the film star Jessica Chastain, commissioned by W Magazine. Chastain, posed for Joffe via Skype, and, while the two may have been thousands of miles apart, the video-phone link allowed for a high degree of intimacy.

Eric Fischl's Victoria Falls (2013), meanwhile, features on the show's preview invitation and looks, like so much of the painter's work, a still from disturbing mumble-core flick; Alice Neel's Ian and Mary (1971), conversely, could serve as some kind of Laurel Canyon home movie still from the Easy Rider era.


Cinematic Visions invitation, featuring Eric Fischl's Victoria Falls (2013)

Cinematic Visions invitation, featuring Eric Fischl's Victoria Falls (2013)

For more on this exhibition, which benefits the philanthropic third-world manufacturing initiative, The Bottletop Foundation, go here. For more on Peter Doig, see our brilliant monograph; for more on Yayoi Kusama take a look at our comprehensive overview of the visionary work of the Japanese artist; and for Luc Tuymans please consider our monograph, the only book to span the entire career of the acclaimed Belgian painter. Meanwhile, we'll be bringing you news of another very exciting James Franco-curated show next week.


  • Painting Today
  • Painting Today
  • Painting Today
  • Painting Today
Painting Today explores the development of the medium, especially through the last forty years, and the diversity of paintings now being made internationally.

Critics have suggested that painting lost its way in the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, the innovations of photography, film, video, installation art and other developments certainly threatened painting's pre-eminence. Yet paintings still command huge prices on the market and artists are using the medium in flourishing numbers. In Painting Today we see how these other art forms have inspired the development of painting techniques and styles, and include hundreds of important works by well-known painters, paintings by artists better known in other media, and very new works by painters just establishing their careers.

Painting Today


Peter Doig
Yayoi Kusama
Luc Tuymans: Is It Safe?
Vitamin P2

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