Category Archives: Tate Modern

Giacometti at Tate Modern

The long thin sculptures we associate with Giacometti

Another interesting retrospective of Giacometti’s work, though I preferred the exhibition of his portraits at the National Portrait gallery with lots more paintings and a broader view of his oeuvre. You can’t get very close to his small elongated sculptures and from the distance you are kept from them it’s hard to distinguish one from another

Most of the exhibits were sculptures – a surprising number of lifelike  heads in the multitude in Room 1, as well as some of his signature long thin sculptures. Once again I was frustrated by having the titles of everything so far from the objects.

The enormous double life-size sculptures in the last room were amazing but one of the best things in the exhibition was the film about him, showing the amazing care with which his clay figurines were made – his hands darting rapidly from eyes, to crown and to mouth, modelling with fingers, knives or modelling tools.

The Giacometti posters against a backdrop of the River Thames and St Paul’s

For some reason, the coffee on the exhibition floor is always better than that in the downstairs café and the view from the balcony of the 3rd exhibition floor is stunning.

 

Always lots of merchandising!!

Looking around gallery shops is always a pleasure, though we might buy a couple of things for the grandchildren, rarely for ourselves. We have accumulated too many things!!

 

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The new Switch House – Tate modern, London

Tate modern switch house

Finally got round to visiting the new 10-storey Tate Modern extension – the Switch House which opened June 2016 by the same architects – Herzog & de Meuron – who converted the original derelict Bankside Power Station that opened in 2000.

A brilliant use of light and space, though a bit overwhelming for someone like me, who has no head for heights. After looking though the tall window on the first floor into the Turbine Hall and turning back to a stark very tall white wall I needed to rescued by Josh before I could move!!

Tony Cragg’s Stack 1975

Liked too many of the installations to list them all but Tony Cragg’s Stack – a cube of raw ands prefabricated material – comes high on my list as do Ana Lupas’s The Solemn Process 1964-2008, Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII 1966 and Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt’ s) Horizontal Square Reticularia 71/10 1971.

One of the several videos available

I particularly liked the room of videos which you turned on by standing in a spotlight.

I well remember the first end of year show at the Royal College of Art where videos were shown and thinking this wasn’t real art. How our ideas have changed so that now they are not only acceptable but expected.

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Georgia O’Keefe and Bhupen Khakhar at Tate Modern, London

One of my favourite flower paintings by O'Keeffe
One of my favourite flower paintings by O’Keeffe

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.

One of Khakar's fleshy nudes
One of Khakar’s fleshy nudes

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.

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Alexander Calder Performing Sculpture, Tate Modern

In the Turbine Hall
In the Turbine Hall

My impression of Alexander Calder was of mobiles rather like this Chef d’orchestre displayed in the Turbine Hall. I had never seen the ethereal mobiles on show in Room 8 – mobiles that move gently in the air movement generated by us.

Some Calder souvenirs
Some Calder souvenirs

Nor had I seen his fabulous wire sculptures, lit so that their shadows fall on the wall behind.

Lots of Calder souvenirs for sale – the most expensive in this display cabinet set against the back drop of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London.

Another Don’t Miss

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The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern

The Exhibitions Poster
The Exhibitions Poster

I was expecting Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol but this exhibition at Tate Modern was an by artists I mainly didn’t know – very much an exhibition of rebellion and subversion with some very moving pieces and some I felt were just daft.

Adam Cruzvillegas' Hyundai Commission Empty Lot
Adam Cruzvillegas’ Hyundai Commission Empty Lot

 

 

 

There’s something very exciting about installations under construction. Only the far half of Cruzvellegas’ Empty Lot was in place. Not having a head for heights, the gap in the centre for access made me feel dizzy just to look at it.

I wonder whether they will leave the exciting unfinished half as is.

Platforms and scaffolding at the other end

 

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