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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Visit to ICA to see Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2013.  A 2011 Independent review by Charles Darwent explains the history and rationale behind this exhibition.  Tatevik Sargsyan reviews the exhibition for the Art Wednesday website.  I didn’t really connect with most of these works, except a couple of funny ones that made me laugh:  the talking troll & someone eating a KFC.  I don’t even know who the artist are – Oh dear!

Over to Tate Britain to see Painting Now and Art Under Attack.  The propositions offered by these two exhibitions seems much simpler than anything offered by the Bloomberg New Contemporaries.

Painting Now showed the works of five contemporary artists.  This begs the question how contemporary is contemporary?


Read an Astronauts Guide to life on Earth  by astronaut Chris Hadfield in two days.  Found the book to be rather repetitive and not very interesting.  Sublime moments were very few and far between.  The overriding message is practice, practice and practice manoeuvres again until everything becomes second nature.  There are some interesting management techniques about turning criticism into something positive to achieve a good outcome for all involved.  An astronaut in the US is called a cosmonaut in Russia!

Went to The Turner Contemporary in Margate to  see Turner and Constable:  Sketching from Nature and Dorothy Cross:  Connemara.

Turner and Constable:  Sketching from Nature, included (second rate) works by many other eighteenth century artists plus (second rate) works by Turner and Constable. I didn’t really understand the  connection with Dorothy Cross’s work – it seemed a bit random to me.   Apparently the Turner and Constable part of the exhibition is had been shown elsewhere.  Here is a review by Robin Blake when the works were shown at Compton Verney.  Cross’s video ‘Storm in a Teacup‘ stood out though.

Drove back from Margate after sunset.  Lots of lorries but only one had good lorry bling lights!

Claire Hazelton, Aesthetica  gives a a more extensive review of Turner and Constable:  Sketching from Nature and Dorothy Cross:  Connemara.

Yet again the sea at Margate impressed:  with a high tide and onshore wind the sea looked lumpy.  Near the shore the waves looked dark olive green but where they lumped up they became a glowing mustard colour.  In the background are the numerous offshore wind farms with container ships ploughing up and down the Thames Estuary.

We drove back after sunset but only saw one lorry with good lorry bling lights!


Castor & Pollux take 2

Castor and Pollux drawing take 2 – this time I’m using a coarser linen canvas.

Reading Darwin’s Dangerous Idea Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C Dennett – at least trying to!  Finding this book very difficult to read.  Complex ideas & small font size.  This paperback book is over 500 pages long.


Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

Just been to see the film Gravity in an Imax cinema – wow!  Probably the closest I’ll ever get to the feeling of being in space.  Thee starry backdrop did look a little flat though.

Spent the morning reading The Anti-political aesthetics of objects and worlds beyond by Svenja Bromberg, PhD student at Goldmiths College, London.  Svenja tackles the question of what influence might Speculative Realist philosophies have on politics and art.  She concludes that “it could perhaps become a source of dreams, desires and comportments that might help us to understand this very world as contingent – and therefore open to being altered.”  Also, “this form of hope seems to offer us a new way of ‘dreaming’, the dreams themselves make capitalist social relations and our human struggles appear equally petty, inane and merely from this world. It is a hope of the last resort that is no longer invested in change, but in alleviation of the pain that comes with resignation.”

The change of focus in Meillasoux‘s Speculative Realist philosophy frames human affairs as being totally inconsequential in the vast context of time and space.  But without hope what is there?



The Laughing Sailor

In rememberence of past times.

Hectic Wednesday visit to Open Heart Surgery by The Moving Museum,  Ryan Sullivan at Sadie Coles Gallery, Paul Klee at Tate Modern and Mira Schendel at Tate modern.  Loads of work to see, a very intense day.  I’m still contemplating the different exhibitions.

The Paul Klee  exhibition is absolutely huge with 17 rooms filled with small paintings. There is far too much work to examine properly in one visit.   Luckily it was not very busy when I visited but it wouldn’t take a very large audience to make this exhibition very difficult indeed.  Paul Klees’ paintings are very small and need to be examined closely.   Reproductions of his work are often not much different in scale to the original paintings.  His style is rather experimental and often idiosyncratic.  He often uses rich colours that make the images seem very concentrated and intense.

Mira Schendel is a new artist to me.   Like the Klee exhibition this exhibition is large, covering 14 rooms.  Unfortunately due to lack of time this was a very high speed visit.