Throughout his prolific career, Pablo Picasso made literally thousands of drawings. Some were sketches of ideas that would later evolve into paintings, others were complete in themselves and then there were those dedications - scribbles really - that were handed out to lucky recipients.
Actually, it's less of a taster, more of a "smack" to the RA, as Bernard Jacobson tells me. He feels Motherwell is under-rated by the art establishment. He has been doing his best over many years to redress this notion. Certainly, Motherwell's work today fetches very high prices.
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has earned a worldwide reputation for his spectacular, large-form aerial pictures that depict the impact man has made on our natural and urban landscapes around the world.
Benjamin Loyauté is a designer, artist, author, academic, filmmaker (not easy to pigeonhole) who has visited Syria both before and during the current conflict. Looking for a project that could in some way unite Syrians, he was struck by that country's fondness for sweets evident in the colourful mountains of confectionery that were once abundant on street candy carts and souk stalls.
His new show, Body Politic, is so charged with political references that even the most blinkered could not fail to spot some of the allegories and symbols. As if in reaction, figures galore now populate and activate his large canvases (all 5 foot by 4) made in oil, charcoal and pastel, as he seeks to extract some meaning to the chaos and complexity of our modern world.
One of the biggest piles denotes the number of refugees in the world, defined by the UNHCR as those who have crossed borders. Stan's Cafe would have liked to have made a pile representing the world's internally displaced people i.e. those who have not crossed a border. But as associate artist Jack Trow explained, "at 65 million people it was too much rice for the load limit of the Inner Temple Hall". A chilling thought.
Alfredo Volpi (1896-1988) has earned a reputation as one of the most influential figures in 20th century Brazilian art. His work fetches seven-figure sums and has featured in numerous retrospectives and books.
When world-renowned Swiss sculptor, Not Vital (pronounced Veetahl) was 15-years-old, he asked his father, a timber merchant, to cut down a number of trees to isolate one tree in particular. He then stood behind it and moved to remain in its shadow throughout the rest of the day with his father photographing him every 15 minutes to document the work.