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A blue sky walk to Diversifolia

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Set off on a beautiful winter’s day with blue sky over London.  Started near Primrose Hill and walked down Regent’s Canal via Camden towards Kings X.  Took in views of London Zoo, a cow on a balcony, beautiful art deco buildings sandwiching a turquoise cottage, the new flats within the gas works at Kings X and on to the Gagosian Gallery.  There are some pretty extraordinary sculptures by Nancy Rubins on show at the moment; structures made of metal animals held together with wires.  Wolves, turtles, crocodiles, giraffes, deer, horses and more all hanging off each other on gravity defying angles.  They are quite wonderful and the more you look the more you see.

 

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This show is always so eclectic with the weird, the interesting and the wonderful. The wonderful this time Echoes of the Kill by Alexi Williams Wynn, looks like coral but made of wax, and the paintings of Makiko Kudo.  The interesting, the violent paintings by Dale Lewis (I’ve put the non violent one up here) and the weird Corvid by Kate MccGwire, a twisted black shape made up of  crow’s feathers which looked like it could come to life.  On at the Saatchi Gallery until 6th March.

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Looking out of the window it is a sunny blue sky winter’s day, perfect for a stroll through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park to see this exhibition on its last day, 11 February, at the Serpentine Sackler. The paintings are large, colourful, childlike but not childish and full of energy and life.  Wylie paints wartime Kensington Gardens with dogs and ducks with bombers overhead, Arsenal versus Tottenham, footballers, dancers, actors, Elizabeth I and, my favourites, a pink ice skater and two tennis players.

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Gursky at the Hayward

IMG_0770The Andreas Gursky photography exhibition is the first in the newly refurbished Hayward. He specialises in large-scale photos of scenes with huge amounts of detail in them. But they are not all that they seem at first glance. Everything is in focus and detailed because he splices his photos together taken from different angles. It makes for detailed scenes such as stock exchange floor, a container port or an Amazon warehouse. However, there is only so much detail I can take in so after a few it’s difficult to focus in more. Interesting though but book ahead as it was very busy.  But the layout and labelling was pretty poor. Some photos had tiny signs that you had to queue up to read. Others had no detail at all leaving you guessing at what the scene was so room for improvement in the newly refurbished galleries.

IMG_0772The Age of Jazz, Rhythm and Reaction, was a lovely exhibition because Two Temple Place is such a fantastic building, a neo-gothic mansion with beautiful wood, staircase and stunning glass windows.

The exhibition covered the early days of jazz in Britain taking the visitor through the excitement of its arrival, then the bands being banned from visiting Britain and then acceptance.  There are gorgeous paintings, prints, cartoons, films and textiles all accompanied by a great soundtrack.

 

Norton and Northern

IMG_0773Did a couple of things last weekend which you can no longer do as they’ve ended so for my blog record:
North Fashioning Identity at Somerset House: great show with music, clothing, photos, painting and lots of audio. Felt very at home listening to northern voices talking about post punk and the dulcet sounds of colliery bands.
Last night of Belleville at the Donmar with James Norton and Imogen Poots in an Amy Hertzog play about the disintegration of a young couple’s marriage. Arguments, depression, suicide – pretty uplifting evening. Over the top ending but terrific acting; very different to the potential Bond role he is tipped for.

Modigliani is so recognisable and his range of painting narrow which is not surprising due to such a short life.  But he was so good at what he did, exquisite portraits.  There are a few lovely sculptures and some film but then back to the portraits.  Beautiful and relaxing exhibition.   Also popped into Ilya and Emilia Kabakov whom I’d never hear of.  Was blown away by the figures and the angels.

 

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