Tamara De Lempicka's Les Deux Amies

Mantegna and Bellini and modern artistic couples—the best art in October 2018

Plus: Patrick Heron at the Turner Contemporary
September 18, 2018

Mantegna and Bellini National Gallery, 1st October to 27th January

In 1453 a prodigiously talented young painter from Padua, Andrea Mantegna, married into the renowned Bellini family of painters, from Venice. Thus began an intense creative dialogue between the Paduan and his gifted brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini. Bellini was a pioneer in the expressive conjuring of closely observed landscape in sacred painting while Mantegna drew on classical models for his eerily beautiful compositions. Visitors here can trace how their admiration and rivalry transformed Venetian painting.

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, Barbican Art Gallery 10th October to 27th January

This thought-provoking show looks at the creative outputs of over 40 artistic couples. It pinpoints the intimacy and inspiration that spawned modernism, taking in continental couples like Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, Lee Miller and Man Ray, Varvara Stepanova and Alexander Rodchenko, and British partnerships like Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson—as well as the hookings-up of the Bloomsbury group. Also here is Tamara de Lempicka’s 1923 Les deux amies (above).

Patrick Heron, Turner Contemporary, Margate 19th October to 7th January

Patrick Heron was a key figure in the development of post-war abstraction in Britain, reconciling 1950s American Abstract Expressionism with earlier European modernists. In 1962 Heron said, “colour is both the subject and the means; the form and the content; the image and the meaning, in my painting today”—and he deployed it with wit, passion and a mastery of space.