Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lisson Gallery (Ai Weiwei & Richard Long) and the delights of the area.

Ai Weiwei

Take a seat
Yesterday I was quite excited at the prospect of seeing more off the work of Ai Weiwei I'd been intrigued by the documentary shown on BBC 4 about his run-ins with the Chinese authority and expected great things of him - needless to say I was initially disappointed, a series of photographs of the artists hand - selfies with Ai Weiwei giving various institutions around the world the 'finger ' (for example London's Houses of Parliament) .
Joseph and the bicycles

Also in the exhibition were assemblages of cycle parts, and marble chairs made to look like DFS sofas - perhaps Ai Weiwei's art is himself? (as depicted in a film there- he did study first at the Beijing Film Academy ), I'm not sure an important figure perhaps but maybe not an important artist .

Richard Long 

After Ai we went across the road to 52 Bell Street to look at some of the offerings of the Walker artist  Richard Long - I saw an exhibition related to this genre in Ealing some time back (called Walk On: 40 Years of Art Walking) and it's an area of life that an artistic investigation into  does have some merit but unlike much art it is not easy to monetize.
Long seems to be a part of British tradition allied to the arts and crafts movement about a bygone idyll as was clearly reflected in the crafts approach that could be seen in the work displayed.

The environs

As is my habit I try and arrive early for meetings particularly if it's an area I'm unfamiliar with - so yesterday I
was in good time for our planned meet at the Lisson Gallery in Bell Street near Edgware Road so I went and did a little explore.

Near Edgware Road is an area known as Little Venice and here at  No. 2 Maida Hill West  I came upon the former home of Arthur Lowe- he was the iconic Captain Mainwaring in the ultra successful BBC Comedy Dad's Army - the house is an impressive one overlooking the canal and a long way from another character Arthur played in the long running soap opera Coronation Street  (as the  almost  husband of Emily Bishop).

Not far from  Marylebone flyover I saw the delightfully named Joe Strummer Subway (he of the Clash) - it's a somewhat  odd way to commemorate a posh-boy figure from the punk world - but as they probably would say 'it's what he would of wanted.'

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