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Hazel

Galleries, Museums...y'know kultcha!

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So, I went to see the Vanity Fair Exhibition (Portraits 1913-2008) at the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh yesterday. As you entered the exhibition space, you turned left and began at 1913, working your way round to 2008. But there was far too many people at the start, so I decided to go round the opposite way, starting at 2008 and ending at 1913. This actually turned out be a much better way of doing things as I viewed portraits that I knew and subjects that you have seen a zillion times, and as I progressed the exhibition only got more interesting.

 

So, oddly it 'began' for me with Mario Testino's portrait of Diana then onto his portrait of William. Particular highlights of the later years of VF were a 2005 Liebovitz portrait of George Clooney as a 1920's style director, which was influenced by the film Metropolis, a 1995 shot of Robert Mitchum by the same photographer where he was windswept on a bridge clutching a cigarette, and one of Jack Nicholson playing rooftop golf in his dressing gown.

 

The earlier shots were much more interesting, the focus was more on writers, politicians and iconic film stars, rather than celebrity. I loved the 1924 portrait of a gaunt, sickly and vulnerable D H Lawrence, 1928 portrait of Hemingway, and a 1926 shot of Fred Astaire looking to his sister.

 

One 'interesting' portrait was of Bush's cabinet immediately after 9/11. Liebovitz obtained special permission to shoot this salient cabinet in light of the historic events, and damn, if Bush still has that smug grin on his chops. Of all the times that he should have been on high 'slack-jawed yokel' alert, that should have been it.

 

High cheese factor award goes to a 2006 shot of Liebovitz's that depicted Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise clutching baby Suri, high on a mountain top. Katie and Tom have their eyes shut whilst Suri looks direct at the camera/viewer. Interestingly, Katie cuddles Tom from behind, and it is blatantly obvious that she is the third wheel. But cheesy? Oh dear god, enough for a 70s party.

 

Special note must go to the only 3 pics that hubby liked: Kate Winslet in a water tank echoing her biggest film, the firefighters during the aftermath of 9/11, and a rather sublime shot of Noel Coward in 1932.

 

I agreed with the exhibition blurb that the pregnant Demi Moore cover of 1991, was VF's most iconic, but that may be just because I am of a certain age and I remember the fuss and the thousand imitators.

 

If you can get along to see it before it closes, you really must do. It's well worth a visit, and if you can drag someone along to it that won't enjoy it, make them buy you the book to make up for whinging and spoiling your enjoyment.

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I went to The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank today. To see the 'Psycho Buildings' exhibition. It's just rooms, they are completely wierd....like one room had this like, dome. Made of translucent nylon-silk. Go in and you get a waft of cloves. It was very interesting. It finishes sometime in August if you want to go to see it. Look it up in google. I do recommend.

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While in Sheffield last week I visited the V&A touring exhibition of Vivienne Westwood designs.

 

If you know that the type of exhibitions I usually go to are either history based, e.g. the terracotta warriors at the British Museum, or art-based, this one was certainly something new for me.

 

The sheer ingenuity of the tailoring and the quality of the fabrics really impressed me. These factors don't of course apply to some of the early Kings Road stuff inspired by S&M or punk but interesting nevertheless.

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A recent-ish visit to Kelvingrove, ended up with me going through the Kylie exhibition (not by choice), where a collection of her clothes, costumes, and other stage and TV ensembles were being displayed. Not my thing at all either, but I did get a tiny bit excited to see Charlene's dungarees that I remember so well from Neighbours.

 

Other than that, I was just horror-struck at how tiny she really is. Like a 8 year old child.

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I'm a regular gallery hopper - guess I'm a bit spoilt down here in the Big Smoke.

 

Yesterday I went to the British Museum to see a small exhibition of American prints, etchings and lithographs from the first half of the 20th century. It included four works by one of my favourite artists, Edward Hopper, little more than sketches, but still marvellous.

 

Also memorable was a 1935 lithograph by Jackson Pollock, a quite realist drawing of a wagon being loaded with hay and totally unlike his later work.

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May 4th 2008.

 

Graffiti artists join the legendary 'Banksy' to turn a blank, boring disused eurostar access tunnel into an exhibition. Here's the link to the full story and some pictures.

 

http://pinewooddesign.co.uk/2008/05/04/the-cans-festival-banksy-street-exhibition/

 

I went there on sunday and I have to say it was all VERY impressive. I have some pictures but they are on my phone. Graffiti is art in the way that is is shown here.

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Lady L and I had a fine morning at the National Gallery looking at the work of Canaletto and his contemporaries. I generally can't summon a lot of interest for 18th century art, but Canaletto is one I'll make an exception for.

 

I think it is the almost photographic realism I'd assumed he had. It's more than 20 years since my one and only visit to Venice, so I'm not especially familiar with the sites Canaletto captured. Consequently, it was quite a shock to discover from this exhibition that most of the vistas he and his contemporaries painted were distorted in some way: foreshortened or with angles changed; basically, this is a Venice that never existed. Nevertheless, this doesn't detract from the astonishing level of detail and technical virtuosity paintings display.

 

It was also interesting to be able to compare his work with some contemporaries: his precursors Luca Carlevarijs and Casper van Wittel, who bought their northern European styles with them, his nephew Benardo Bellotto, his rival Michele Marieschi and Francesco Guardi, who moved the genre on with his looser brushwork and focus on lesser known corners of the city.

 

This did everything I think a good art exhibition should: it was full of great work, much of it rarely seen in this country, but also informative about the artist themselves and the context of their work. I went to London's other big blockbuster art exhibition this autumn, Tate Modern's survey of Paul Gauguin's work, a few weeks ago, which was strong on the former but less so on the latter. I much preferred this.

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Lady L and I had a fine morning at the National Gallery looking at the work of Canaletto and his contemporaries. I generally can't summon a lot of interest for 18th century art, but Canaletto is one I'll make an exception for.

 

I think it is the almost photographic realism I'd assumed he had. It's more than 20 years since my one and only visit to Venice, so I'm not especially familiar with the sites Canaletto captured. Consequently, it was quite a shock to discover from this exhibition that most of the vistas he and his contemporaries painted were distorted in some way: foreshortened or with angles changed; basically, this is a Venice that never existed. Nevertheless, this doesn't detract from the astonishing level of detail and technical virtuosity paintings display.

 

It was also interesting to be able to compare his work with some contemporaries: his precursors Luca Carlevarijs and Casper van Wittel, who bought their northern European styles with them, his nephew Benardo Bellotto, his rival Michele Marieschi and Francesco Guardi, who moved the genre on with his looser brushwork and focus on lesser known corners of the city.

 

This did everything I think a good art exhibition should: it was full of great work, much of it rarely seen in this country, but also informative about the artist themselves and the context of their work. I went to London's other big blockbuster art exhibition this autumn, Tate Modern's survey of Paul Gauguin's work, a few weeks ago, which was strong on the former but less so on the latter. I much preferred this.

 

Great write-up Gram. I booked my train journey down the other week for a January trip to see both of these exhibitions but am much more keen on the Canalettos than the Gauguin. When my father used to take me round the National Gallery as a child it was the Canaletto's and the Vermeer's that I enjoyed the most even though then I knew nothing of reputations.

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I have just received Edwina Hayes' new album "Good Things Happen Over Coffee" yesterday. I think it is released in January but you can listen to the album via Edwina's website at

 

If you haven't heard of her, Edwina is one of Britain's best songwriters. Her music is in a folky country, stylee.

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Mr meg & I had an interesting and enjoyable time going around the 'Constable and Brighton' exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery this morning.

Having lived in NW Essex, and been a frequent visitor to Suffolk I am aware of Constable as a landscape and sky-scape painter, but had not seen his seascapes before. Most of the pictures on show are preparatory sketches for reference when working on bigger pictures, but delightful to see close up and in detail.

I particularly enjoyed looking at one picture, not land-, sea- , or sky-scape but  of the trunk of an elm tree. The bark is beautiful, and painted in exquisite detail -  i felt so lucky to be able to get my nose almost up against the glass to view it.

 We didn't have time to explore the rest of the museum, or other exhibitions, but will return!

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Don't think I even knew this thread existed, though having said that someone will probably point out a post a I made :lmao:.

 

I recently had a holiday in the north of Spain and visited a city called Burgos, home to a cathedral which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Burgos has a beautiful old town where the cathedral is situated. Well worth a visit. 

 

Whilst I was there I visited their Museum of Human Evolution. Five floors of the history of mankind. This is a well laid out exhibition, luckily for us English speakers most of the exhibits are in both Spanish and English, though of course they offer the usual audio accompaniment in various other languages. 

 

Two of the exhibits particularly struck a chord with me. Firstly the information about Neanderthals, many years ago I read about about them (The Neanderthal Enigma by James Shreeve) and since then I've found the parallels between them and us  fascinating ( they took care of their sick and infirm and buried their dead) and been annoyed about we now use the name as a term of abuse. It is thought the last places they inhabited was Spain. I've always been struck by the idea of the last one, the last of his or her kind. Of course they wouldn't know they were the end of an evolutionary line. But to slowly watch all your family die and not know where anyone else of your kind were. To die somewhere completely alone. No one left to bury you. I can only imagine deep sadness as slowly hope of ever finding another again. 

 

The other exhibit was a recreation of a brain. This was a large construction which you could enter and inside there were lights demonstrating what the electrical activity when thoughts or brain activity occurs.  Each thought like a ticker tape parade cascading through the synapses, electrical fireflies, thoughts foraging fermenting. Miniature fireworks, sparks, speed of light dancing divesting directing a mesmerising collage of coherence. 

 

 

 

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Not quite a gallery,  but yesterday my friend and I took a walking tour in Glasgow based on the musical heritage of the city. 

It was great - as well as getting the history of iconic places like Barrowland,  I also got to see the site of long lost places and one rediscovered one,  the Britannia Panopticon, which claims to the world's oldest music hall, and the location of the first professional appearance of both Stan Laurel and Cary Grant! 

There's another tour taking in different sites which I hope to do soon. 

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MM, that sounds very interesting.  Not sure I'll ever be able to do it, but I love things like that.  In general, I enjoy walking tours of cities for just this reason.  We took a great one in Charleston, S.C., which led to us taking them all over in our trip to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  I would do one again in a heartbeat.  

 

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