David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 (Royal Academy of Arts, 23 May–26 September 2021)
You have to admire Hockney for his prolificness and his ability to reinvent himself in a sixty-odd year career. The Tate retrospective was great but, the 1960s rooms aside, you could imagine at least two surveys of his work that didn’t overlap with that one. Having made art with paint, pencil, charcoal, various kinds of prints and Polaroids, it was hardly surprising that he’d embrace iPads and for some years he has been using them to make landscape images.
Here we have 116 works drawn on iPads around his newish home in Normandy during the early Covid weeks of 2020, printed above their created size on paper and on the walls of three of the rooms in the Main Galleries (and they will move in August to the slightly smaller Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries). But are they any good?
Some point last year, high on the giddy delights of being in another postcode and in a secondhand bookshop, I bought a catalogue for the 1992-93 Edvard Munch exhibition at the London National Gallery. I had no idea that there had been one — and you simply can’t have enough catalogues about him, even if sometimes they come with bonus Tracey Emin. This one had a clipping from the Daily Torygraph review by Richard Dorment tucked inside (spoiler: he “loathed it”):
There’s reason for this. Munch used to leave his pictures outside. In the elements.
This might explain the birdshit or white paint splashed on one of the versions of The Scream.
I got my money’s worth out of my Art Fund card, just about, and Tate membership and the RAA card make life a little easier, but you need to be fast to catch the members’ previews. I have a suspicion that my listing below is a little inaccurate for February — for example, and I think a saw a couple more things in St James/Mayfair.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn has all the makings of a tragic hero — with perhaps his fatal flaw of pride. He seems to have a meteoric rise — but as with the tulip bulb market, the bottom fell out and he, overstretched, crashed. He gets up to a couple of nasties — but that is a tale for another day.
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma, 2019)
Some point after 1725, the artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by a Milan-born countess (Valeria Golino) to paint the portrait of her daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), whom she intends to marry off to a Milanese nobleman after the death of her elder daughter. Héloïse, formerly a novice at a nunnery, has other ideas and has already worn out a (male) painter. Marianne must pretend to be a companion, and paint in secret. Continue reading →
Tangerine Dream: Zeitraffer (Barbican Music Library, 16 January-2 May 2020) Trevor Paglen: From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (The Curve, Barbican, 26 Sep 2019—Sun 16 Feb 2020)
So, the Barbican – aka the alcohol-free concert hall – was heaving and so the slightly complicated but with good sight lines for a rendezvous foyer turned out not to be a smart move. Especially when Dennis was playing havoc with the trains. But that didn’t dissuade the thousands of people who had descended for a wellness fête (and who were queueing in their hundreds for the ladies loos hidden in the bowels of the building). Continue reading →
I used as various times to maintain a Googlesheet of exhibitions I might possibly interested in going to — then life intervened repeatedly, and it got out of date. Over the past few months I’ve been updating it and there are still a few venues missing, but it’s a l-o-n-g list and I need to work out a decent format still. I have a list sorted by closing date and by venue, and below is opening soon.
Information presented in good faith — a lot of mistakes came to light in this update — and check website before travelling. There’s a south eastern bias, plus major cities in Wales, Scotland and Ireland (I still haven’t been to Northern Ireland). Additions welcome.Continue reading →
I’m scrambling down a granite and grass hillside, increasingly realising that whilst this is path, it isn’t the path. I’m wary of checking the phone, because I’m at 70% of battery life and the cable is dying. Frankly the phone is dying. Somewhere to my right is a music festival, and I see cars and people passing by on the road I’m aiming for.