Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Out and about :: Tate Modern

I don't know where the first two months of the year have gone. Back in mid January I paid a visit to the Tate Modern. It had been a while since my last visit mainly because it is just too popular for its own good. The paid for exhibitions are just sooooo expensive and once you've forked out a small fortune you then have to queue to get past those people who've splashed out even more cash for an audio guide as they stand RIGHT IN THE WAY of the little boards that tell you the title of the work, artist etc. And then there are the people who come and stand in front of you...

I work for a large company. The kind of large company that does its bit to support the arts (although maybe not for much longer with the current share price). This means that every so often we are offered the chance to apply for a pass to visit a private view at the Tate Modern. I haven't done this before but when the opportunity popped up to see the current Alexander Calder exhibition I was there signing up within 6 minutes of being notified. 

Source :: Tate.org.uk
The private view was a much more civilised experience with the galleries much less crowded. Although there were still people with poor gallery etiquette and someone let some children in, I very much enjoyed the private view experience.

So how about the art? I've been a long time admirer of Calder's work - ever since my big trip around the world 15 years ago. His work has a wonderful calmness about it. But I've never seen more than one or two of his pieces together. This exhibition was an exploration of his life's work and you could really see the evolution from his early works through to his most famous mobile sculptures.

The early wire sculpture pieces were just stunning. The wire face sculptures casting a mangled shadow behind them were complex but simple at the same time. The circus figures where you could trace the line of the wire and see how it had been created from one length. My favourite piece was the elephant (of course!). Photographs just don't do justice to the 3 dimensional nature of the work.

Source :: Wikiart.org
We also went to The World Goes Pop exhibition (now closed).

Source :: Tate.org.uk
For me it was rather underwhelming. The aim was to explore the fact that the Pop Art movement wasn't just confined to Britain and the US. And that was the problem, there just weren't any of those blockbuster Pop Art pieces to tempt you through the rooms. But maybe putting these pieces next to those would have just showcased how brilliant they were. There were a couple of interesting pieces, including the one on the banner. I'm just glad I didn't pay to see this one.

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