Friday, April 29, 2011

Visit to See Heather McReynolds

First Heather took me to Philip Taaffe at Gagosian, then to the Unilever Series, Ai Weiwei at the Tate Modern. The Taaffe paintings were impressive. In Heather's words, "Only he could pull off combining tie dye and Islamic Motifs, without resorting to kitsch".
www.gagosian.com/philiptaaffe
Heather at entrance



I couldn't photograph the Taaffe work, but took some pictures of the sunflower seeds.

After that we had a bite to eat and hopped on a ferry to see the Susan Hiller exhibition at Tate Britian.
While waiting for the boat, we looked at some of the Tate's permanent painting collection, the Richter abstracts done with a squeegee, and an amazing Frank Auerbach painting. In a freebie newspaper I picked up later there was a brief article about Auerbach, saying that at age eighty he's still going strong. The article also mentioned that he rarely leaves his 14x14ft studio (is it possible that his studio is so small?) and in the past five years he's gone out to eat maybe twice....And I thought I was a hermit!

The Susan Hiller exhibit was worth the entire trip over and it was Heather's second time seeing it, so I'm glad she wanted to go back again.Hiller's Witness  reminded me vaguely of a Christian Boltanski installation, minus the bleakness and hopelessness.The brochure from the show states about Witness,"Each speaker in the installation transmits a voice telling a story. A wide variety of languages represent testimonies from all over the world of close encounters with UFOs or creatures from other spheres. The testimonies demonstrate an essential need for belief in the possibility of a further dimension, in something beyond the rational."
Witness is one of the most memorable and interesting works of art I've ever seen. Other pieces From the Freud Museum, and her recycled works from the 1970s were powerful and thought provoking.



 After Heather and I parted ways, I decided to go back to the hotel in Russell Square via Buckingham Palace. The turn out for the Royal Wedding was incredible and it was amazing to see people who'd been camped out on the pavement for over two days. So, it proved to be a fun and eventful visit to London.

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