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Archive for the ‘Art Exhibitions’ Category

Visited the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum.  As per usual they let too many people in at once and so it is a very slow shuffle and difficult to get near to the paintings.  Not really my cup of tea.  The famous painting is small but lovely and there are some great paintings of Mt Fuji.  But not keen on flowers and birds so it was a relief to get to some unexpected ghosts.  But if you like Japanese painting you will love it.

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It is not often that strangers start talking to you in a gallery and pointing out some wording on a pot that they think you’ve missed.  Nor commenting on how they think Grayson’s humour doesn’t come across as well on TV as it does in his art.  The show certainly has people smiling as they read the detail on the pots and are faced with pink bicycles.  There are serious themes with Trump, May and Brexit but they are still fun.  Most popular ever – maybe not but pretty good even so.

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Around 30 years living in London and I’ve never visited the free Sir John Soames Museum – and I used to work around the corner and could have visiteIMG_2361d in a lunch hour.  But now I’ve discovered that Fields Bar and Kitchen (Benugo) in Lincoln’s Inn is a great place to go for lunch/coffee at the weekend as it has lots of outdoor seating as well as a pizza oven.  So this weekend we finally visited, pulled in the the Marc Quinn exhibition, Drawn from Life.  He has 12 sculptures scattered around, casts of himself and partner in a series of embraces.  They fit in well with the vast array of classical objects and antiquities collected by Soames, including a sarcophagus.  It is a lovely museum – just keep your arms by your sides and no sudden moves as there is always something ready to be knocked off the wall!  And an added bonus, Fields Bar and Kitchen donate a % of every purchase to the Museum so you can feel righteous whilst eating pizza.  This Saturday we also had the added entertainment factor of the World Naked Bike Ride Day riding around the perimeter of Lincoln’s Inn – yes it does exist and yes it looked painful but fun.

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Look forward to this every year, attending the Friends Weekend and wandering around with a glass of gin in hand.  Eileen Cooper, one of my favourite artists, was the chief curator for the show this year.  And as usual lots of colourful and interesting works on the walls.  My favourite – number 910 Watching by Wendy Freestone – it is one of the photos, bit too pricey for me at £4,950!  However, I did come away having put a deposit down on a Cathy Pilkington print after a couple of years saying I would (not in the photos).  This felt like the year.

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Larry Bell’s show, Smoke on the Bottom, is on until 18th June at the White Cube.  Interesting glass wall sculptures.  There are “vapour drawings” using aluminium and quartz vaporised on the surface of the painting.  These are beautiful creations, semi reflective shapes which seem to float on the wall.  Worth a visit

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A well trodden route of galleries within blocks of each other.  First, into Blain Southern and Mat Collishaw who, amongst other things, has installed a zoetrope, which gives the illusion of motion though rapid rotation under a strobe light.  It shows us flowers and mating birds and gives us a headache watching it.  Difficult to photograph though.  On to the Gagosian for Picasso: Minotaurs and Matadors and over 120 items mainly from private collections, based on his fascination with bullfighting, ranging from a drawing aged 8 to his final years.  Next, Sadie Coles Gallery (Davies Street) for Jordan Wolfson with his red, leering house and vicious puppet boy.  My kind of thing so I thought; but upstairs I put a virtual reality headset and earphones to watch a 2 minute video and lasted all of 30 seconds before ripping the headset off in shock.  Don’t want to give it away but it was pretty gruesome.  Then, the White Cube (Mason’s Yard) and Fred Tomaselli’s subversions of well-known front-pages.  And, finally, a gentle stroll around the Royal Academy’s Print Fair, very tame after Wolfson.

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Great exhibition.  Over 50 portraits by the artist, including his first ever portrait in 1949, aged 17, and his last ever portrait, aged 84, created specially for this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery 3 months before he died.  As you move through the exhibition the people in the paintings become less recognisable, and the colours start to spill out onto the frames themselves, a style for which Hodgkin became known.  The exhibition is called Absent Friends as many of the subjects were dead at the time of the show, as the artist himself.  A fitting celebration of his life.

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