Saturday, December 21, 2013

A time to visit -Locking Piece and Tate Britain

Henry Moore's Locking Piece
One thing I've learnt (amongst a few) in the last year is that  there are good and bad times to visit public institutions such as Galleries and Museums, perhaps somewhat counter intuitively good weather draws in the crowds.
Well the last day of a school term means there could be fewer planned student visits and as we run up to Christmas the first place many people visit is the shops - so I found yesterday was a really good opportunity to take a look at Tate Britain again (and have a cup of slightly luke warm cappuccino with a pleasant  piece of Carrot cake in the Members Room).
Again I was drawn to a painting by enlightenment artist (was there ever a better recipient of the name?) Joseph Wright of Derby titled The Iron Forge
the way that the detail and light is captured is breathtaking and the fact that it was completed nearly 250 years ago is astounding. If you want to see th actual thing visit the Gallery or you can   take a look here but the experience is not the same although you will see an interesting  story unveiled around the subject of the  painting by an expert in Iron Forges.
Airy spaces

The general 'vibe' of the revitalised Tate Britain is great with plenty of room for the works to breathe and loads more sculpture around while there on Friday  I also noted work by Richard Sickert (Brighton Pierotts) Half Box Green by Michael Craig-Martin who as a Tutor at Goldsmith's (London) was the guiding light behind many of the artists who became collectively known as YBAs.
Amazing work

Another interesting display that has been daemonised by some sections of the UK  press that I experienced was by Turner prize winner (2001) Martin Creed, Martin's works are to a great extent thought provoking and on the surface offer few connections to the work of Joseph Wright of Derby.
The work that I saw was The lights going on and off the work is described by  Maurizio Cattelan here and it is interesting to consider how this contemplation is at variance with other ideas on what it means.
Noted too quite a few examples of Eric Gill's sculptures - Eric is famous for the work at BBC Broadcasting House (Prospero and Ariel), as well as being a bit of a Renaissance man in the arts, after his death it was revealed that he was something of a child abuser - which raises the question of how this should be dealt with in hindsight.
A lovely Main Entrance

I also was able to study some of Hogarth's work that was on show particularly the 'knowing' self portrait The Painter and his Pug this has made me realise and appreciate a little more how underrated he is and how much more he than a mere cartoonist he was (I hope that does not offend cartoonists).

Hogarth (always) showing humour

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