inside and outside the gallery

August 28, 2011

Beautiful stands of birch extend the spatial dynamic around Tate Modern – the fluttering foliage of the canopies contrasting with the rather brutal power station architecture – marks and defines  the open spaces suitably well. One of the exhibitions inside is Joan Mirõ Ladder of Escape. Hung in chronological format, the sub title says it all.

Just a few images of certain paintings – and the why. ‘The Hunter Catalan Landscape’ with an obvious landscape foreground and back ground but also playful stick figures, which to me, seem to indicate a move into abstraction? Many many lines . . and empty space . .

One of the series from ‘Constellations’ (BL) – energy and movement – layers of happenings ‘1927’ (BR) a snapshot from the journey within a dream . . . . but I want to linger there . . .

‘Figures in Front of a Metamorphosis’ – back to foreground and background, huge colour and figures in space but distortion and untold story or narrative within the canvas . . .

‘A Red Sun Gnaws at the Spider’ – crazy title but not so crazy as “Jeune fille moitié brune moitié rousse glissant sur le sang des jacinthes gelées dans un camp de football en flammes”or from the Constellation series “Femme a la blonde aisselle coiffant sa chevelure a la lueur des etoiles”. Back to the point though, strength of line and defined coloured shapes – all counterpoints . . .

the triptych ‘Bleu I,II.III’ – dream, linear, energy, simplicity – mesmeric and quite completely beautiful.

Also at Tate Modern, Diane Arbus, and images that brought me down to earth again – not in a bad way – they’re so so good.

In a daze after all the visual imagery, a view across the birch and plane trees towards the City and then outside again, a direct view from the base of the ‘Wobbly’ bridge to St Paul’s  . . . and  looking east, the river at low tide . . .  looks deserted  . .

. .   but the natural linear route to the east is thronged with visitors. Passing by the skeleton of Winchester Palace – impossible not to look at the rose window . . .

. . the Golden Hind seems to drift like a ghost ship into the streetscape with something quite Catalan colourwise  in close up  . .

. . and finally at Southwark Cathedral, quiet magnificence and sense of beatitude inside and just a little outside . . .

but also a sense of reflection looking down on the Herbal Garden . . . intimate in pattern and in the way it inhabits the space.

Buildings of great power and impact  – the Cathedral and the Shard  – tower down on us, poor mortals,  – religious, spiritual, salvation, money, aggression, work and relaxation – and also political. Mirõ’s work seemed political but at human scale.

In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
A heart.

And in the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale.
A nightingale.

(Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love.)

In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
A heart.

And at the evening’s end
I wanted to be my voice.
A nightingale.

Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love  Federico Garcĭa Lorca   Ditty of First Desire

5 Responses to “inside and outside the gallery”

  1. skybluepinkish Says:

    Silver birch are amongst my favourite trees. Their bark is a work of art all of its own.

  2. Cloudier Says:

    Fantastic paintings and their colours, there’s so much going on. Especially like the Millenium Bridge shot with St Paul’s dome sprouting up through the middle. I miss London!

  3. julia fogg Says:

    It’ll still be here when you return! Exhibitions in BA? Would like to hear what and when.


  4. Exceptional piece of writing.


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