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Archive for the ‘Art Exhibitions’ Category

Great thing about London is that there are groups of galleries in close walking distance.  First stop was the White Cube, Mason’s Yard and From the Vapor of Gasoline.  Post war symbols of America like the American flag, dollar and cowboys.  Then across the road to Royal Academy and Dali/Duchamp.  Interesting show although I’m not a major fan of either.  Then on to Zhongguo 2185 at Sadie Coles, Kingly Street.  Bit bonkers but the inflatable head filling up a corner of the gallery was great.  Finally, Blain/Southern and Jake and Dinos Champan’s The Disasters of Everyday Life.  Favourite of the afternoon by far: Goya’s prints each set reworked in a different way, some are grotesque cartoons, others battle scenes in glitter and another set with cut out images set amongst an unrelated scene, many of which are very funny. There is a lot of detail in them so you need to take your time looking closely at them.

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Visited the Matisse in the Studio exhibition at the Royal Academy last week which was much more interesting expected.  You can see from photographs of his studio that objects were everywhere, collected from all over; chairs, textiles, chocolate pots, statues, African masks and much more.  These objects appear in the paintings, sometimes like the chocolate pot, over many years and in many different guises eg as a chocolate pot or as a vase.  Or they act as an influence eg the masks and statues on his paintings.  This is most obvious in the room Language of Signs where a Chinese panel influenced the cut-outs he produced towards the end of his life.  Worth visiting – on until 12th November.

Walking to the RA, through Burlington Arcade, we came across 300 delicate paper birds, created by Mathilde Nivet hung across the glass ceiling.  Worth a look.

 

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The London Design Festival 2017 started on Saturday for one week.  As with last year, the V&A had exhibits scattered around the galleries and as per last year, I made a note to myself to come back and visit the permanent exhibitions in more detail.  Best piece was the folded mattress like serpent Transmission by Ross Lovegrove in the Tapestries Room.

Next was Uwe Henneken at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery The teachings of the Transhistorical Flamingo – who could miss an exhibition with that title – not a Flamingo in sight as far as I could see but did not know Henneken and loved his work.   On until 21st October.

Last stop Pace London and Jean Dubuffet’s Théâtres de mémoire, graffiti like paintings with thought-provoking quotes.  On until 21st October.

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In the long gallery outside of the main exhibit are the casts of the space under chairs and they look amazing, like blocks of glycerine soap, shimmering away.  Who knew that empty space could look so good; they in fact look like rows of boxes. The gallery itself looks great as Whiteread has taken down all the dividing walls leaving a large, white space.  There is a constant chatter in the gallery as visitors discuss what they are seeing and the alarms constantly beeping as they lean in to get a closer look.

Whiteread casts large objects such as rooms and staircases and much smaller objects such as hot water bottles, from a wide range of materials.  Some of them are just beautiful pieces such as the doll’s house in glass and the newer windows and doors with the light shining on them.  The amber mattress is wonderful.  But you sometimes forget that you are looking at negative space and have to remind yourself that you are looking at the space between the book shelves, rather than book shelves themselves.  The pieces make you work hard to see the space but it is space worth seeing.

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Not as interactive or eye-catching as other years.  If you didn’t know it was an annual exhibit, you might just think “nice cafe”.  The stucture is by Francis Kere and represents a tree with its canopy.  I suspect it looks best from above.

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Saatchi Selfies

Visited from Selfie to Self Expressionism at Saatchi (on until 6th September) for a wander about.  It covers the first ever selfies from the old masters to present day.   Found it more entertaining than I expected as several were interactive, with mirrors giving you devil eyes with smoke pouring out and a great surveillance room.  There was a really weird one with black and cream fur that moved to form the silhouette of the person in front of it with motion censors – it look like lots of small animals moving about.  On the back of having a selfie beamed across the stadium at the World Athletics last week, maybe I will become the Kim Kardashian of Crouch End.

 

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This is a show about the influence of Surrealism.  50 female artists are represented including Leonora Carrington, Lee Miller, Eileen Agar, Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas and it includes painting, sculpture and photography.  Not really for me and the experience was not enhanced by the lack of a guide given out at the front desk and no signs on the wall.  So unless you could recognise style or signature eg Tracey Emin, you had no idea who or what you were looking at.  On until 17th September.

 

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