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Monthly Archives: January 2012

I have just finished reading Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel by Andrew-Graham-Dixon and I feel like getting on the first available plane to Rome to see the Sistine Chapel for myself. What an amazing achievement! I’ve just remembered going to see Michelangelo s Dream at the Courtauld in 2010 and seeing some of the most accomplished drawings I have ever seen.

Yesterday I visited the Wellcome Trust to see the Mexican Miracle Paintings. Peoples votive offerings for surviving illness, accidents and general misfortunes (like your tortillas going wrong!). Also, closer to home the work of Felicity Powell, Charmed Life.


"It's almost certainly a star"


Further musings on the David Hockney ‘A Bigger Picture Exhibition’:

I’m still in two minds about this work. If it were anyone, rather than David Hockney I would probably think it unsucessful for the following reasons. Many of the paintings are huge – literally ‘big country’ yet no UK landscape could be said to compare with US vistas scale wise. The colours are bright and garish and very exaggerated and the painting crudely executed. To me most British landscape is benign and subtle, often carefully tended and changing slowly from season to season. None of this is reflected in Hockney’s work. So what redeems this exhibition? The room with mountain vistas – this did work – the scale is right.

The question of authenticity. I definitely prefer the ‘hand of the artist’ otherwise you might as well buy any factory produced product. Everything originates from an idea. What’s the difference?

Where did I read about Peirce recently? Andrew Graham Dixon on Howard Hodgkins or Harman On Meillassoux.

Too many warm, orange passages in painting now. I need to reintroduce some cooler colours again.

Gallery visits:

David Hockney at the Royal Academy – enormous multi-part canvases. Crude painting and colours – shouting loudly but somehow they work together. I particularly liked the mountain scenes – they really did evoke the feeling of being in the mountains. This show was very busy making it difficult to see the work properly. (Brian Sewell hates it)

The London Art Fair 2012 pictures courtesy of The Telegraph, I didn’t see any of these artworks! All I saw was the same old same old boring stuff with a few bright spots like Ivon Hitchens.


Damien Hirst at the Gagosian Gallery, 17-19 Davies Street London. this exhibition was a waste of shoe leather IMO! Though a very nice and helpful gallery attendant copied the press release for us – a welcome act of kindness!

James Hyman Gallery, 5 Saville Row, London. Basil Beattie – Oh dear Basil, I want to like your lovely large paintings but I don’t – maybe they just seem dated.

Sean Sculley, Change and Horizontals at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. I loved this work – all of it, I think I appreciate a sense of order. Plus the colours of the paintings.

Vigo Gallery, Mathew Collings and Emma Biggs, Kilamanjaro. I liked this work very much, again a sense of order that I appreciate. Just wondering about methods of production – many assistants must have produced this. Also, at what point does work tip over into just being decorative “wallpaper”?



Melancholia I really enjoyed this film, thought it was artistically excellent and the story was quite scary – I hope that it’s not prescient! I find Lars von Trier a very interesting film director. He said I’m a Nazi at Cannes film festival?

Bright Star – aarg! This is the slowest painting ever. It’s interesting to see how changing the colour or tone of one square changes those around it. I’m trying to use mixtures of translucent paints in so far as possible but have had to introduce white in many of the warmer areas of the painting. The addition of white (lead white or titanium white or a mixture of both) cools the colour temperature of alizarine and ultramarine considerably and the tinting power of these pigments plus indian yellow is very strong. Lead white tends to be translucent but titanium white is very opaque.

I’m about to start reading Quentin Meillassoux Philosophy in the Making by Graham Harman. Hopefully it will clarify some of the assertions made by Meillassoux in his book After Finitude: an Essay on the Necessity of Contingency..


Quentin Meillassoux Philosophy in the Making

Will Speculative Realist Philosophy turn out to be that influential?

The wind is blowing strongly today – shall I cycle to Horley or is it too strong?