Fui, Sarò, Non Sono

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Quite by chance I found myself in Golden Square. I’d arrived early for lunch and rather than sit in the restaurant alone I walked around the block to pass the time. I should have known about the Marian Goodman Gallery, but it was a great surprise. It’s usually closed on a Sunday but they had opened specially because of Frieze London with a fantastic exhibition by Giuseppe Penone. The large piece on the wall was made of acacia thorns, like iron filings magnetised into the shape of a fossil leaf, or now that I look again perhaps it’s a pair of giant lips. Read more

Frames of reference

Quercione Delle Checche

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Where is this tree? I’d just bought a photo of it direct from the artist himself. Why hadn’t I asked him? I was kicking myself. It’s a magnificent photograph of a majestic tree, I felt obliged to pay it a visit. All I had to go on was the title – Quercione delle Checche, Val d’Orcia – so I searched online. There were a few references but without Italian or GPS they were not so easy to decipher. I reckoned it must be somewhere south of Pienza in the Orcia valley beside the road to Radicofani. So off we went. Read more

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San Quirico d’Orcia

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We floated westwards, down the highroad from Pienza to San Quirico, overlooking the Val d’Orcia, stopping whenever we could to take in the view and to breathe in the endless sky. Read more

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NJ-2

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A short walk from King’s Cross, down Gray’s Inn Road to Britannia Street, there’s a gigantic new sculpture by Richard Serra, installed at the Gagosian Gallery until the end of February. It’s a terrific piece of work. Awesome! for once is not just hyperbole. It’s coiled in Gallery 1 waiting to pounce. Read more

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Hatfield & The North

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This post is for Hank & Paula, friends from the USA who have visited London so many times I think they know it better than we do. They really should be showing us the sights but instead we go out of town for a change. Last time we went to the Henry Moore Foundation at Much Hadham so it seemed appropriate that this time we should meet by his Large Spindle Piece outside King’s Cross station. Read more

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A September Garden

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Every time I buy a plant I save the label, if there is one. A recent search for a particular label spurred me to lay the entire contents of my label box out on the lawn. Seven years of gardening has furnished the plot with over 170-plus plants – not including the ones that didn’t come with a label, or boxes of seasonal bedding plants. Read more

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Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi

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Ivan Bruschi was an antiquarian and collector and founder in 1968 of the Fiera Antiquaria in Arezzo, the first and still the largest antiques market in Italy. He was inspired by his frequent visits to London’s Portobello Road. After his death in 1996 his home was opened as a museum, but without labels. It’s a treasure-trove of anonymous artefacts, a cabinet of curiosities. Read more

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In Arezzo

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On the first Sunday of each month the streets of Arezzo are lined with stalls filled with antiques and bric-a-brac for the Fiera Antiquaria, one of the best known antiques markets in Italy. Read more

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Between Object And Architecture

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Tate Modern has a new offspring, grown out of the former power station’s oil tanks. It’s called the Switch House, with a similar tweedy brick texture to its parent building – a new London vernacular. It has a utilitarian look with no decorative frills, polished concrete inside, minimal, neo-brutalist, multi-storey car park aesthetic but beautifully tailored. In retrospect it feels a bit like we just visited an enormous new sculpture and discovered inside the seeds of its own germination. Read more

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Livres De Poche

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Barjac brocante, hot day

Dear Chris, I’ve just got back from Le Gard & Ardèche. Here are some sketches from my trip. I bought some old Livres de Poche paperbacks and painted on the pages. I like the quality of the paper. Hoping all is well, good wishes, Chris. Read more

Frames of reference