Perhaps it’s the daffodils and crocuses perkily popping up all over the place and the first frothy frills of blossom decorating the branches of the trees that’s made us here at IC feel that Spring is finally on its way. Not even Storm Doris’ best attempts to drive us back under our duvets has lessened the feelings of optimism and hope that the end of winter always seems to bring and, rather like Mole in ‘Wind in the Willows’, we’ve been inspired by Spring to get out and about. While for Mole it was simply the sunshine and the river which awakened his senses, we’ve been shaken from cultural hibernation by three stunning exhibitions which are well worth seeing.
The exhibition at Tate Britain devoted to David Hockney charts his development as an artist from some of his earliest works, when he was still experimenting with various styles as he sought to find his own artistic approach, to his most recent experiments using the very modern medium of the iPad. Hockney constantly innovates and the combination of the famous swimming pool paintings from his time in California with the affectionate representations of Yorkshire plus many of his portraits creates an impression of an artist constantly looking for new ways in which to see the world. Go and see this for uplifting bursts of colour & to immerse yourself in the world of an intensely creative spirit. The exhibition runs until 29th May 2017.
Photographs of swimmers in pools feature in the modernist photography exhibition at Tate Modern including one from 1917 by the Polish photographer, André Kertész. It’s the earliest image in the exhibition and a personal favourite of Sir Elton John, the owner and collector of the images which make up this beautiful exhibition. Elton John began collecting photographs in the 1990s and now owns one of the best collection of modernist photography in the world. This is a glorious exhibition of almost 150 vintage prints from 70 artists, predominantly from the 1920s to the 1950s, including portraits by Man Ray, images by Irving Penn and some of the deeply moving work of Dorothea Lange like ‘Migrant Mother’ which recorded the impact of the Depression in America. The huge variety of photographs in this exhibition means that not only does it have something for everyone but it also provides a reminder of the extraordinary versatility of this particular medium. ‘The Radical Eye; Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection’ is on until 21st May.
There are more iconic images from the U.S. at the Royal Academy of Arts including ‘American Gothic’ by Grant Wood, painted in 1930 during the Depression and just at the point where America was undergoing a huge change both economically and socially. ‘America after The Fall: Paintings from the 1930s‘ brings together a collection of paintings by such famous names as Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keeffe to capture and examine a huge moment of transition and change in American society and history. It’s a fascinating catalogue of how art responds to societal change and how it confronts the future. Go and see it if only to look at ‘American Gothic’ as this is the first time this famous painting has ever left North America. The show is on now and runs until 4th June 2017.
Post by Kirsten – IC