Rain and Andy Warhol

Monday, 1 October, 2018 – 12C

Four weeks today since we arrived. Ouch! We’ve done a lot yet not a lot. We’ve resolved to never come to a hot country before October. But it’s spurred me to start filling in ideas on my October calendar. This week – free admission days to museums, dinner with Liat’s family, and my cooking day – on Friday.

One of the mosquito bites, on the back of my wrist, is very itchy and swollen. I’ve put a bandaid on it so I’ll stop scratching. I am now scratching the bandaid…

And it rained. And rained. And rained some more. The wind got serious. The air was chilly. The temperature dropped more than ten degrees Celsius.  We hunkered down but hoped it would clear enough since Krish wanted to go to a photography exhibit of Pop Art. And 1st October was a free admission day.

We put together a lunch out of what we had. No way to venture down to the market. We didn’t want to start our day already soggy.

The gallery is near Piazza Carlina. From there you can see the Mole looming. I heard that the NH Hotel Carlina has some lovely original features and also a wonderful staircase. I just feel uncertain though. When I get inside, there are three people in the unconventional reception area. I lose my nerve and can’t take photos of the interior.

Views of the Mole from the deserted square
Views of the Mole from the deserted square
The hotel courtyard - not too shabby
The hotel courtyard – not too shabby
Interesting history for the hotel building
Interesting history for the hotel building

Again, I’m not much for museums and art galleries so have a system that gets me through quickly but allows me time to look at something that may catch my eye. I can admire a painting or an artifact if it speaks to me and this exhibit, on pop art, may have more to say than most.  I cherry-pick what I look at.

Entering the exhibit
Entering the exhibit

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Art at the Tate Modern

Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Liat has a friend at the Tate Modern and she can get us free entry to exhibits. Now, I’ve been inside the museum many times but mainly because the Turbine Hall is spectacular. (Hate that it’s now divided up by a newer middle bridge section. The view was so stellar before that.)

The Tate Modern Turbine Hall
The Tate Modern Turbine Hall exit

The Turbine Hall in numbers:
Height from ground level: 26m (85ft).
Size of area where works of art can be shown: 3,300 m2 (35,520 sq ft).
Length: 155m (500 ft), width: 23 m (75 ft), height: 35 m (115 ft).
Roof light consists of 524 glass panes.
Total area of basements under Turbine Hall, boiler house and sub-station: approx 1.1 hectares (2.75 acres), with an average depth: 8.5 m (28 ft).

I’ve never been into an exhibit and there are two at the moment.

One is Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy (just that year!). The other is Shape of Light, an exhibit of 100 Years of Photography & Abstract Act (it mostly shows how artists have worked with light – and subsequently shadow.

I don’t really like Picasso. So many millions disagree with me, therefore I must be missing the point. But taste is taste. Mine doesn’t lean to Picasso. I won’t say much more but I’ll caption some photos from the exhibit for you to ponder.

Ok Picasso, whatever!
OK Picasso, whatever!
What they say every man has on his mind? Well, at least Picasso...
What they say every man has on his mind? Well, at least Picasso…
Um... sex while desexualising...anyway, sex
Um… sex while desexualising…anyway, sex
And, oh yes, sex
And, oh yes, sex
And my one liked piece in the whole show. Notice the lack of sex?
And my one liked piece in the whole show. Notice the lack of sex?
Why bother, Picasso?
Why bother, Picasso?
Oddly, I quite like this. Reminds me of Robin's cartoons as a child
Oddly, I quite like this. Reminds me of Robin’s cartoons as a child
Messaged Robin immediately to tell him to get started on his own Picasso career!
Messaged Robin immediately to tell him to get started on his own Picasso career!
Oh, we women love lounging around admiring each naked other
Oh, we women love lounging around admiring each naked other
Inspired by crucifixion, he said. OK then
Inspired by Matthias Grunewald’s Crucifixion, he said. OK then 

A few words on the next two pieces. The program reads, ‘Picasso turned to a new and darker subject matter: the threat of drowning, and the possibility of rescue.’ This happened after his lover got a viral infection after swimming in contaminated water. ‘This is suggested by some of the works on paper in which fatal accident is transformed into sexual violence.’ What? This might lend a clue: ‘Some biographers have argued that, since the childhood death of his younger sister…Picasso felt doomed to cause women to suffer.’ Do I need to say more? Maybe. Maybe not. Not now, anyway. Sorry, Picasso, you’re not for me.

Lecherous figures to the rescue
Lecherous figures to the rescue
Rescue and ravage?
Rescue and ravage?

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The Shard, Bermondsey, and Alice

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Today we went to see an exhibition of Alice in Wonderland prints at the Eames Fine Art Gallery on Bermondsey Street.  These prints are from the original woodblocks on which Tenniel made his drawings and the  Brothers Dalziel, master engravers, engraved.  You can read more about this and about John Tenniel at the bottom of this blog post.

We arrived at London Bridge and decided to walk through the newer part of the station entrance, which landed us right at the Shard. It was an incredibly windy day. I could hardly stand against it. Seems the wind was mostly in some corridors since it wasn’t like that everywhere.

The Shard
The Shard

I then promptly got lost trying to find the gallery. Going a different way threw me completely off. I’m a terrible map reader!

After one false start, we found Bermondsey Street, and the gallery was pretty close to the corner. The walls were covered in framed prints so we went right in. I absolutely loved looking at them and reading the bits and pieces that were around. At one point the gallery guide came up and talked to me and explained how much detail was in each engraving, and showed me a couple of her favourites.  She also suggested I use a magnifying glass to see them properly. I have a lot of trouble focussing with a magnifying glass but what I did manage was quite incredible.

Above is the gallery guide’s favourite. I really like it too. The white marks in the circle at the front of the picture are apparently scratches that appeared mysteriously and no one knows how they got there.

The detail!
The detail!

I’ve never looked at those illlustrations so closely, close enough to notice Tenniel’s signature and that of the Dalzeil brothers. Amazing how beloved these pictures are.

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Laziness, Photo exhibits, and Foiled plans

Saturday, 28 October (Day Forty-one)

Today I meant to go to Bra but woke up feeling tired and lazy. So I went with that and stayed in Torino.

A quick visit to the market for some lunch items in the morning. I’ve discovered a bread stand in the market that sells a rye baguette, although the Italian version of rye is quite light in flavour.  I think one of the sellers must know me by now but not sure – today she winked at me when asking if I wanted my baguette cut in half, so maybe.

I love to see ‘characters in the market. This man sat with various cold meats (salume) and a pile of breadsticks, along with a bottle of wine. It wasn’t clear if he was selling or sharing!

Market character
Market character

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