Coming soon: Crafts make a comeback

By stagingmini-shows of the work of craftsmen such as the potter Lucy Rie, alongside that of über-trendy artist Carol Bove, the Tate’s Cornish outhouse quietly makes the case for the crafts in art. In London, the Courtauld Gallery’s Beyond Bloomsbury (020-7872 0220, 18 June-20 September) reminds us that there was a time, not so long ago, when that case didn’t need making – when artists in Roger Fry’s Omega Workshop, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant among them, thought nothing of sitting down for a quiet evening at the wheel or the loom. And, following this crafty left-and-right, the Camden Arts Centre’s Michael Raedeckershow (020- 7472 5500, 1 May-28 June) delivers a knock-out blow with the Turner Prizeshortlistee’s deeply fashionable embroideries.

Of course, the taste in art for things found and ready made is even older than Hirst. Tate Liverpool’s Colour Chart (0151-702 7400, 29 May-13 September) looks at the role played by house hold paints and Pantone charts in shaping the art of such modernist giants as Ellsworth Kelly, Dan Flavin and Frank Stella. (Oh, and Damien Hirst. That would be his Spot Paintings, made, needless to say, by a team of assistants.)

To be modern in the 1860s was to make art about everyday life.To be modern in the 1960s was to make art from everyday life, including eggshell emulsion, gaffer tape and fluorescent tubes. You can trace this tendency back to the scary-geeky aesthetic of Futurism, whose 100th birthday is celebrated at Tate Modern (020- 7887 8888, 12 June-20 September). “A racing motor car … is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace,” hissed Filippo Marinetti in 1909. If you’re inclined to disagree, then cross the river to dally among the Venetian palazzi, purring kitties and vases of honesty in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition (020-7300 8000, 8 June-16 August). Avant-garde they may not be, but boy are they well made.

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