Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trip The Light Fantastic... is fast turning into one of my favourite websites. I’ve subscribed to its daily newsletter and its always full of interesting articles about exhibitions and general art news from all over the world. While this is all very lovely, it makes me sad that I can’t see most of these exhibitions without taking myself off on some sort of mad tour around the globe. If I were to do such a thing, here are some of the exhibitions I would go see….

First off, I’d go to Paris and check out this 'The Art of Paper' exhibition at the Musée du Louvre. It’s basically a tribute to paper and the role it plays in the creation of art. It’s a collection of works on paper spanning from the 15th century to present day and it’s organized into 5 distinct sections, emphasising the differences between classic and modern day approaches and show the variety of ways in which the paper can be used:
  • Papers and colours
  • Assembled paper, multiplied paper
  • Found paper, selected paper
  • Transfers and transparencies
  • Tortured paper, glorified paper describes each distinct section in its article. I would especially be interested in the ‘assembled paper, multiplied paper’ section having dabbled in the past in the practice of collage, or layering different drawings or fragments of drawings on each other and also the ‘found paper, selected paper’ section as it looks at the idea of the choice of paper itself playing a role in the overall intention of the piece. Plus, both sections look at the work of Picasso so that would be a big draw for me.

From Paris, I would jet over to London to check out the Miró retrospective in the Tate Modern. I'm a big Miró fan - I just find his work so engaging and exciting to look at, especially when you've the opportunity to see several of his paintings in one location - it's intriguing to see how his work develops. The Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona is one of my favourite galleries – the building itself is exciting to experience, but it’s just brilliant to get to see so many of Miró’s works in one location. I have fond memories of visiting it with my sister, and enjoying a drink in the café after hours of poring over his work...

The Tate Modern is showing 150 of his paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints spanning 60 years of his career. Many of his iconic pieces will be on show, adding to an exhibition that will display Miró's strong personal and national identity, the energy of his paintings, the innocence that belies a strong sense of humanity and his ability to capture the mood of a nation beleaguered by a civil war.

Perhaps while I’m in London, I would pay a visit to Bonhams Impressionist & Modern Art sale and buy a couple of Miró pieces for myself….wishful thinking.

While I was in that part of the world, I’d nip over to the Tate Britain (which I’ve never been to sadly), I would check out this exhibition The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World’ which explores the world of the Vorticists (no kidding), the artists behind a brief but important modernist movement  in the years 1914-1918. The Vorticist style is characterised by being thoroughly modern for the time, embracing machine-age forms and energetic geometric imagery. The painter Wyndham Lewis was the guiding light for the movement, and his work is shown as well pieces by others including Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, William Roberts, Frederick Etchells and Edward Wadsworth. The exhibition explores the relationship and exchange of ideas between this British avant-garde movement and the American avant-garde in New York.

I would end my journey in Chicago, Illinois where I would check out the ‘Avant-Garde Art in Everyday Life’ exhibition in the Art Institute of Chicago which showcases the work of 6 European artists - John Heartfield, Gustav Klutsis, El Lissitzky, Ladislav Sutnar, Karel Teige, and Piet Zwart – who believed that they could help restructure society by redesigning common or utilitarian items, from postage stamps to buildings, from about 1910 onwards. This vast exhibition (there’s over 300 pieces) explores the long-lasting influence of this movement as explained in the article:

“Working in the 1920s and 1930s, specifically in central and eastern Europe, they were fully informed about the history of art and the state of the world around them, and they formed networks to circulate ideas for changing that world through creative interventions of all kinds in everyday life. Books, prints, posters, table settings, postage stamps, illustrated magazines, clothing, exhibition installations, building proposals–these artists energetically and zealously reached into every conceivable creative domain. They traded ideas through the mail, sharing published journal essays and original works in photography and graphic design. Across the boundaries of media, disciplines, and nationalities, these avant-garde artists presciently set the stage for today’s modern communications and advertising industries.”

Now if only I had the funds for such a trip....  

1 comment:

  1. Talking of Picasso, just came across this interesting article on a study conducted to see if babies preferred the work of Picasso or Monet... and guess who came out on top...

    (The article mentions 'Guernica' which I'm obsessed with - if you love that painting too and are interested in reading more about it, I'd strongly recommend "Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon" by Gijs van Hensbergen.)