Another excellent exhibition at the Royal Academy. The poster shows Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic. I had never liked this painting that I’d only seen in reproduction – glanced quickly and thought ‘What a miserable couple!’. In fact it’s of Grant Wood’s dentist and his sister, Nan. The house behind them is owned by the Dibble family. When you look carefully, Nan is quite pretty, with a gorgeous complexion so much better in the original painting.
I hadn’t been sure I wanted to visit the exhibition but it was a lovely March day, spring flowers in planters outside many of the shops and the Cherry Trees in blossom and I’m so glad I went out that Sunday.
Not a large exhibition but varied and well worth the visit.
I wish I’d seen the BBC1 Imagine program – Georgia O’Keeffe by Myself – before I went to the Tate exhibition. From the poster I had expected to see lots of her flower paintings which I’ve always liked, but there were only two and though I very much liked New York Street with Moon, her Lake George paintings and her paintings of skulls and bones, the exhibition lacked the coherence of the TV program. The exhibition seemed bitty to me, but having watched the program and seen how her art evolved, I appreciate her non-flower works much more. It would be good to visit the exhibition again but there are so many good things to see in London just now, I am unlikely to make it.
The other works on the same floor were by the Indian painter Bhupen Khakhar. Josh and I both particularly loved the deep blues and greens of the paintings in the first room. A sad man, plagued by living in a world where his sexuality was forbidden, much of his work is related to his homosexuality. Rich vibrant colours and often moving, I much preferred it to the Georgia O’Keeffe, with the caveat that if I had time to go back I might well revise my opinion of the exhibition of her work.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, we were too tired after visiting both exhibitions in one morning to tour the new Modern Art Wing of Tate Modern. Another day.