The Beauty Of Mbuti

These beautiful Mbuti barkcloth paintings are part of an exhibition at Raven Row called The Stuff That Matters. I was surprised and delighted by them, and taken back to 1980 when I saw an advertisement in Art In America for an exhibition of Pygmy Drawings at the Linda Einfeld Gallery in Chicago. The illustration struck a chord with me then and I wrote off for a catalogue. Read more

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The Stuff That Matters

Raven Row is a new gallery in Spitalfields. It is presently home to a wonderful exhibition of textile fragments, courtesy of the Centre for Social Research on Old Textiles. With little prior knowledge of the subject the beauty of the undertaking for me was initially its presentation and framing, which is just breathtaking. This is a beautifully renovated building and the exhibits are respectfully displayed. The delicate hand-wrought artefacts in their vitrines and the elegantly proportioned rooms combine to make this a place of pilgrimage. Read more

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A Room For London

A miniature houseboat on the roof of the QEH designed by Artangel for Living Architecture, an organisation set up by the philosopher Alain de Botton to build innovative holiday homes around the shores of Britain. It sounds intriguing and fun, maybe crazy and very exclusive, though guests seem expected to sing for their supper. A little like Big Brother’s little brother house. Read more here.

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Get It Away

David Byrne was in town recently staying at Artangel’s A Room For London, in a boat perched on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank. Whilst he was there he made some field recordings, the result of which can be seen here, along with lots more on this extraordinary website.

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At Le Poisson Rouge

Dear Chris, Here are some drawings for the blog of Sam Amidon and Bill Frisell last Wednesday, March 21st, at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. They played a selection of old American folk songs and two by Charles Ives, songs about love, death, murder and working with the steel driving crew, and a short life of troubles. Le Poisson Rouge is a small club ‘Serving Art & Alcohol’, good food and sublime music. I hope all’s well at the Rowley Gallery. It’s sunny but chilly here today. Warmest wishes, Chris. Read more

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For Terry Frost

We just started selling a greetings card with this image, Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries, by Terry Frost. I was touched when I saw it, it was his catch phrase, he was always saying it. Sometimes he even sang it. He was a great enthusiast. Click here for a joyous photo of Terry, and for some sweet paintings, and for a few nice words.

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1937 (painting)

This was my favourite from the Mondrian & Nicholson exhibition. It is from the Courtauld Gallery’s permanent collection and very likely the inspiration for the In Parallel exhibition. There is a gentle spiralling movement to the forms in this hard-edged but soft-toned painting by Ben Nicholson. It brings to mind The Snail by Henri Matisse, though that came 16 years later. Read more

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In Parallel

This is a lovely exhibition. Two artists working side by side, each intent on being unique, but inevitably enjoying each other’s echoes. Mondrian||Nicholson:In Parallel at the Courtauld Gallery. Read more

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In Regents Park

We put the clocks forward last weekend for British Summer Time and it worked. Suddenly it’s summer, in March. Today the temperature was as high as 23 Centigrade in London, that’s about 75 Fahrenheit. There are no leaves on the trees yet, but there is blossom everywhere. Here are two paintings by Mary Kuper of cherry blossom in Regents Park. Read more

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Elgin Blossoms

Seeing Paul Finn’s Spring Blossoms Umbria reminded me of this painting, Elgin Crescent, Spring, Cherry by Isobel Johnstone, painted from her window down by Ladbroke Grove. Something similar is happening here with the interrupted view through the branches, and the tangle of foreground and background. The streets hereabouts are bursting with blossom now; I can see magnolia and cherry and forsythia. In this little painting I can also see Pollock and Tobey and Mondrian.

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