Visited The Classical Now exhibition at King’s College London and Somerset House.  It is based around pairing modern art with classical Greek and Roman antiquities and looking at the influence of the classical art the today.  As someone who studied Greek art at university, the pairing was right up my street.  The exhibition includes pieces by Michael Craig-Martin, Derek Jarman, Yves Klein,  Roy Lichtenstein, Grayson Perry, Pablo Picasso, Marc Quinn and Rachel Whiteread.  Over the front door Léo Caillard has dressed to classical statues in t-shirts and shades.  Very enjoyable and always wonderful to see the Yves Klein patented Blue, pretty much my favourite colour.



Found safe and sound in the British Museum.  So 3 months after seeing the heads on Easter Island I’ve now seen the full set.  And magnificent it is too!


Frida Kahlo at the V&A

Back in December 2014 I got to tick one-off the bucket list when I visited Frida Kahlo’s Blue House in Mexico City.  The house itself was wonderful but the costume exhibition was also there, the one that will be shown at the V&A from 16th June 18. The clothes had been in locked bathrooms, trunks and wardrobes which Diego Rivera asked not be opened until 15 years after his death.  The clothes are usually in a wing off the garden and are wonderful as you see how much Frida based her clothes on traditional Mexican clothing.  You also see the torso plaster casts and corsets which she decorated and the prosthetic leg with bright red boot attached.

But you see clearly a person who understood how powerful image could be and used clothing to make a statement and to hide her broken body.  The connections between her clothing and the designers who went on to appropriate parts of it are also interesting: Alexander McQueen, John Paul Gautier (particularly through his clothes for Madonna) and Dolce and Gabbana.  Book your tickets early as it is a really fascinating insight into Frida – and you don’t need to fly to Mexico to see them, although I would highly recommend it!

All Too Human at the Tate Britain is an odd show.  I really appreciated being able to see a room dedicated to  Francis Bacon paintings and a room to Paula Rego.  Their paintings are not easy on the eye, in fact both can be a little bit nightmarish, but I still enjoy the view.  Freud I don’t enjoy; I can appreciate the skill and artistry but to me his paintings are harsh and unattractive.  Souza, I didn’t really know but did find the paintings interesting.  And I always appreciate a random Giacometti statue.  But I couldn’t really work out what tied them all together.  At first I thought it was going to be portraits but then landscapes and other subject matter appeared.  Apparently all the artists were based in London but that is not the focus of the exhibition either.  So, whilst it was great to  see some of my favourite artists in one visit, I don’t really have a sense of what was tying it all together.  And long queues to get in as we left at 3pm.

Prior to that we went into the Impressionists in London exhibition on the ground floor.  Again, the collection seemed a bit random but always like to see a room full of Monet’s Houses of Parliament paintings and fog on the Thames by Whistler.

Two new shows at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery.  Rachel Howard’s work is based on the Stations of the Cross. Howard stands on ladders to pour the paint down the canvas, building layers, finished off with high gloss.  Deceptively simple and striking.  John Copeland’s paintings have a lot going on to really look at in detail.  Particularly liked You should have known how things would end, what looks like a playful water fight but with undertones of menace, just based on the painting’s title alone.  Newport Street always delivers with interesting art worth the journey down there.

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This is a lovely gallery in Islington, with a small but interesting collection.  There is a changing exhibition space, usually in two small galleries.  At the moment it is The Enchanted Room.  It has paintings and sculptures on loan from Milan by Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini,  Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi and Modigliani until 8 April 2018.  This time we revisited the permanent collection as it had been a while and it all been rehung after refurbishment.  If you are in the area I highly recommend popping in.

As it was such a beautiful winter’s day we set off up the old railway track from Crouch End to Finsbury Park for the walk and then took the bus to Broadway Market with the aim of walking back down the canal to Islington, 5.5 miles in total.  The Market was packed but it was too cold to buy the tempting food to eat by the canal.  We walked back  via the canal path at came off at the Victoria Miro Gallery for a wonderful exhibition by Jorge Pardo of laser cut lamps of plastic resin and large paintings with layers of laser-cut birch wood ply and MDF, which change in colour and pattern as you move around them.  On until 24th March.  Then we headed for the Estorick -see next blog post

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