Fortunately had already arranged a Day Return to London to see my lovely friends Ruth and Adam. So that took my mind off sadnesses for a while.
Since a spotty teenager I have been besotted with Epstein's sculpture and the Modern Sculpture exhibition at the Royal Academy gave me the chance to see Adam.
Even more dramatic from the front. He is so gorgeous, huge in honey toned marble, I wanted to lick him, but Ruth [who is usually up for a lark persuaded me to desist]
Ruth, recently moved back to London, is 82 and walked my feet off. She was trial running a new posh wig, it had got a bit lively by later in the day.
We especially liked seeing a Hepworth inside a building for a change. Altho the artists like their work to be seen out in the elements, it is actually engrossing to see it dominating a smaller space [and warmer].
Damian Hurst's Eating Outside wasn't much of a shock having formerly made friends with his shark and sheep, most of the flies have died and pile grotesquely on the floor even tho they have recently been refreshed with new steaks to suck.
The pics are all from their website by the way as they wouldn't allow photography and the catalogue was pants.
Queen Vic on the left is looking down her nose with full "we are not amused" at the plastic contemporary version of Genghis Khan on the left hand side. The Royal mound is marvellous, so solid and pompous but with such a cheery gold frippery above her that at first I thought it was ironic, guess they may have sarcastic responses bubbling under in the mid 1800s
I guess the reason I loved the exhibition so much was the clever curating that juxtaposed
ancient [from Easter Island; Ancient Egypt] and modern and for the first 3 rooms it was all accessibly figurative
Even the Eric Gill's could be appreciated if one didn't allow ones mind to wander to his abuse of the daughters he carved so delicately.
Lots of artists have been omitted from the show. I would like to have seen a Rachel Whiteread Elizabeth Frink maybe not a Gormley [don't take to his wire figures] and won't go far to see the gore of the Chapman brothers.
Gilbert and George are already on show else where.
Of the modern stuff I probably like this Switter? hut best, it has a vaguely textural feel. There is another in the front entrance which many walk by not noticing it as "Art"
Behind the Academy there is another exhibition of Art Fashion Identity
These felted tunics took my eye and more disturbingly they were showing that video where in 1965 Yoko Ono did "Cut Piece" where the viewers were invited to come up and cut of pieces of her clothes. Which of course they did. Very chilling and not in the cold sense, but there again it was cold in that it made my blood run cold, as they say.
There was another video loop where two naked people stood in a doorway, man and woman facing each other and persons in the room had to squeeze between them to get out of the gallery.
My skin afterwards felt as if I was wearing this pin dress, very prickly and ...........cold.
The Sixty Minute Silence video made in 1996 of a formal pic of a people dressed as a phalanx of police was a much warmer and funny experience, especially when one of then fell asleep and had to be nudged by a "superintendent".
Lovely trip, thanks Ruth.