Saturday, June 15, 2013

Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britian and Idea 145 is Exceptionalism

Yesterday I visited the Tate Britain to  see what all the fuss is about regarding Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005), I was very pleasantly surprised at his paintings - several things I liked about his work, one of which is the scale, the pictures are big and bold, the second thing is the subject matter it is all about contemporary urban Britain/the British and although only one of the pictures in the exhibition could be described (loosely) as portraiture they do have a tangible human warmth to them (in my opinion).

Other things I was fascinated by were the  use of a very limited colour palate and the lack of shade/shading - in some ways this can be 2 dimensional but not always Entrance to me felt like I could almost walk into it.

The pictures are (of course) better when experienced directly but here are a couple of samples my favourites included Stereophonic Record Player (1968) and Entrance (1975).

I was less sure about the exhibition that accompanies it featuring the work of YBA- (Young British Artists)  Gary Hume -very odd work Beautiful (2002) which is Kate Moss with Michael Jackson's nose.  Hume works with aluminium to create some striking images

Idea 145 is Exceptionalism

Exceptionalism  is all about my country is better/different  than yours - largely a North American phenomenon, but also something that's prevalent now in Israel and was seen in the England of  18th and 19th Century Imperialists.
Here's Bill Maher talking on the subject (perhaps rather negatively?)
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