We came down from Granary Square via the King’s Cross Tunnel. Its multicoloured lightwall appears to be a taste of things to come. This was back in August, school-holiday time, and our grandchildren were staying for a week, so before daytrips to Madame Tussauds, Brighton, Lavenham, the British Museum and Camden Lock, I suggested Tate Modern and we took a train to Blackfriars. Continue reading “In Real Life”
A 12-hour continuous performance of Gavin Bryars’ iconic piece Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet at London’s Tate Modern. Produced by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the event brought together musicians from the Academy, Southbank Sinfonia and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble who performed throughout the night alongside people with experience of homelessness.
The performance was preceded by more than 50 hours of music making workshops at two day centres for homeless people in London.
‘None of us were homeless last night. Instead we were welcomed and royally entertained as special guests of one of the city’s most glamorous and sophisticated palaces of art!’ Gerry Salmon, participant from The Connection at St Martin’s.
‘Last hour spellbinding, moving, uplifting.’ @domcavendish (Theatre Critic, The Telegraph)
‘It was outstanding and, in its own way, astounding. And quite, quite beautiful’ The Afterword
The entrance to the Pierre Bonnard exhibition at Tate Modern is a portal through a giant detail reproduction taken from his painting The Garden of 1936. It’s perhaps his best painting. It’s the one that most draws me in, most like a garden itself with it’s abstract disposition of marks and colours, it reminds me of paintings by Patrick Heron and Gillian Ayres. And there are other paintings here that bring to mind Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Howard Hodgkin, David Hockney. But before all of that, we’re straightaway into a red gallery with ‘hot’ paintings of Bonnard’s mistress, full-frontal nudes and a post-coital bedroom scene. The gardening comes later. Continue reading “The Colour Of Memory”
The Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern begins with a handloom. It is a wooden instrument made of frames and strings and pedals, with a stool for its operator to sit on. Threads pass rhythmically to and fro, writing the score of warp and weft. It might be likened to a piano whose musical offerings are captured for posterity in recordings of woven textiles. Continue reading “Anni Albers”
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. Continue reading “Between Object And Architecture”
This was another camera-shy exhibition. We had to switch off our cameras at the entrance, even though it was full of exhibitionist ‘performing sculptures’, all of them posing and pouting and teasing. Mostly they’re mobiles though none of them moved, their motion implied through poise and balance. Yet despite these contradictions, it’s a fantastic show, elegant and vibrant and fun. Continue reading “Performing Sculpture”
As we learned from the books of our childhood, alien fleets of spacecraft always invade London by flying up the Thames. The aliens know from their knowledge of British popular culture that the public links the threat of enemy action with the image of St Paul’s standing firm and reassuring against the invaders. And strange spaceships were always depicted as smoothly shaped craft, devoid of the oddities and quirks of our own aircraft or rockets. Concorde was the only one we ever built which could be said to have an alien sheen. Continue reading “Alien Spacecraft Strike Terror Into The Hearts Of Art-Loving Londoners!”
Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde was an exhibition last year at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. It then transferred to the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and it will soon arrive at Tate Modern in London. Here are a few photos of its appearance at the Stedelijk. Continue reading “Malevich In Amsterdam”
We finally got to see Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs, the long awaited exhibition at Tate Modern, though perhaps a wet bank holiday Monday during half-term was not the ideal time to visit. Continue reading “Matisse, Scissors, Paper”
To the Tate Modern on the first Saturday of 2014, to see their beautiful exhibition, Paul Klee: Making Visible, the perfect antidote to our cold, dark, damp, grey January daze. It was just before twelfth night, so another midwinter festive celebration of light and warmth and colour. Continue reading “Making Visible”