Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Two new great Exhibitions at Serpentine London

Yesterday was a busy and hectic day (by me standards) and after Picture framing at RACC and a meeting with one of local councillors (more about that later) I was in two minds on whether or not to use my invitation to the preview of two new Serpentine Exhibitions in London's Kensington Gardens.
The throng outside the main gallery

I'm a fan of the Serpentine not only from the amazing history it has of showing some of London's finest contemporary art shows (including of course Last Year's knock-out, 512 Hours) but also because the new-ish Sackler Gallery offers such a great setting for quirky presentations of three dimensional pieces.

So at the end (or near anyway) of the day it seemed like too good an offer to refuse- so I jumped on the tube and made the short journey to Lancaster Gate and it was first to the main gallery where the artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye had an impressive display of work.

The works were on the whole, large dramatic canvases many exhibiting a skill in conveying movement and to my mind were somewhat  (to me anyway) 'painterly'. The palette used by Lynette is a muted one and differentiates her from many other artists working in a largely figurative field - for a fairly young artist (late 30's) I felt the work was mature, atmospheric and skilled.

Example of the striking works on display - An Education (2010) by Lynettte Yiadom-Boakye

And on to Sackler

After the main gallery it was a short walk to The Sackler Gallery - which to my mind has set itself a pretty high goal for the way modern works are displayed, I was I should admit slightly excited to see works by the late Duane Hanson who I'd heard about from OPEN Ealing's Nick Pearson near the end of his series of talks on Modern Art from a couple of years ago.
An early less figurative work

Actually seeing the works up close and personal and being able to get my face into them (and take pictures) was an absolute  revelation - the late US artist Duane had been able to achieve with his Hyper-real sculptures far more than Madame Tussauds finest.

What Duane's work does too is it presents to us people who we don't always give the time of day to and forces us to look at them and interact - it doesn't feel that it's being 'superior' but there's certainly irony amongst the affection.

Early work by Hanson had more of an 'edge' than the latter  and included work that showed  the artist's reaction to abortion (left).

What I noticed too on leaving the exhibition that I was drawn to the real life Hyper-real who surround us and I had to put in check my urge to stare at passengers as I went home, wondering how the detail in them too was achieved.

Old Couple on a Bench (1994) one of the Artist's signature works
Man with Handcart (1975) one of many that had be 'double - taking'
The figure in the check shirt is a 3D  'selfie' of the artist -showing incredible skill

It was almost impossible for visitors to not engage with the works: This one  was Queenie II

So many potential 'favourites' on show - this captured a moment
I was tempted by much of what was on display at this 'Garage Sale'

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