This was, to me, a surprisingly enjoyable exhibition at the British Museum. I didn’t think I was interested in either witches or wicked bodies! However, the exhibition was very well curated and there were some marvellous prints. As always, I was drawn to the Goya and Paula Rego aquatints, which were stunning (though the subject matter could give you nightmares!).
I loved James Naughtie’s interview of David Hockney on Radio 4 on December 27th. Hockney spoke of the importance of drawing and his dismay that it had been abandoned by many art schools in recent years (not at City Lit!). He talked about having his portrait painted by Lucian Freud (and painting his). When he was asked what his mother thought of LA, he said she wondered why no-one had their washing out because it was such good drying weather in all that sunshine. A good Yorkshirewoman who had her priorities right!
Remarkable exhibition of some of Schiele’s drawings and prints of nudes, entitled ‘The Radical Nude’. The drawings in the first room were produced when he was just 20. They are striking and impressive. I liked the colour and confidence and freshness of the prints. Sad to learn that he died, aged only 28, of Spanish flu.
There is a very good exhibition at Tate Modern of ‘works on paper’ by Louise Bourgeois . It includes some very large soft ground etchings, which must have been extremely challenging to undertake. She produced them in 2008, just a couple of years before she died.
There are some interesting photographs in this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The winner is beautifully lit and looks quite biblical.
There will be lots of interesting events in Clerkenwell this weekend (November 27th-30th) when Cockpit Arts have their annual open event and many of the galleries around Clerkenwell Green take part in Made in Clerkenwell. The crafts on display are usually of excellent quality and it is an opportunity to meet the makers and see a great range of work; it is especially good if you like jewellery. The Goldsmiths’ Centre on Britton Street will also be open to visitors.
There was a really interesting interview on the Radio 4 Today programme yesterday BBC News – David Hockney ‘The suburbs have taken over Bohemia’, in which Hockney says that, at 77, he is working harder than ever. He continues to try out different techniques, embracing new technology.
This to be followed up by a film, which will be released on November 25th, and a documentary on BBC 2 in 2015. It should be well worth watching.
The newly opened House of Illustration, in Granary Square, has a great exhibition comparing the work of Honore Daumier (who worked mostly in lithography) with Paula Rego who also used lithography but whose most attractive work (in my view) is in etching and aquatint. There is a very good short film in which Paul Coldwell explains that Rego draws directly onto the etching plate and then adds the aquatint and stops out the plate in stages. When the etched line is completed she says ‘now the real work begins!’.