Today we started our London Art Week experience – first on the list was Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern:
A retrospective of any artist with the stature of Richter is something that all art lovers look forward to, and with Lucien Freud & Richard Hamilton recently departed there are few painters that exist on his level. As with all blockbuster shows there were too many people with their clipboards listening to wise words on their earphones earnestly ticking each work off their lists – it was going to be a short visit for me! i shall go back at a quieter time. With a quick whiz through there are samples from all his career including some classics, although I found a large pale abstract in the second to last room that I hadn’t seen before – I would have liked to take that home.
Next on the list was The Drawing Prize at The Jerwood Space were we managed to have a great lunch in their cafe. The Drawing Prize once again uses the broadest idea of drawing to select work for the show – much of it worth seeing & I particularly enjoyed Nicki Rolls’s ‘Sketch’ 2011 video.
From there is was a short stop to see Poppy Sebire’s new space and then on to the new White Cube at Bermondsey.
The new Bermondsey space is massive – taking the commercial galleries to the level of those in LA. Unfortunateley the work on show also fitted an LA galley. Walking around you could smell the money and feel the buyer’s ambivalence to the meaning of the work, luckily there was an antidote with the Chapman Brothers vide on show in the last room – I’d be interested to meet the buyer of that piece! I hope we will see some good shows in the future at this space but the setup looks towards the money end of the market where the big names duplicate their offerings for the wealthy feeble-minded art monkey’s arriving in their Limo’s.
On the way to the Drawing Room we stopped by to visit the Vitrine Gallery in Bermondsey Square – neat idea to use large window as a gallery.
The Drawing Room is showing ‘The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America’ and it’s well worth the visit, again there are some interesting short video animations that catch the eyeand a great floor piece made from coloured dust. It was a nice contrast to the noise of the previous venues, as the work on show encourages contemplation.
To finish the day we visited The Minotaur at The Old Vic Tunnels near Waterloo. It took ages to find – the directions to it are terrible. After paying the entrance fee £5.00 we were directed through a curtain into a low lit, dry ice filled space under Waterloo Station (you could hear the trains passing overhead), it reminded me of nightclub experiences in the early eighties! The work on show was of mixed interest, ranging from quite facinating to rather bad & lame. The most effective in the space was the video work.
After that we enjoyed our walk home, discussing what we had seen and imagining what will be before us tommorrow.