Some Thoughts About Retrospectives
I love art and enjoy the time I spend looking at it.
Just recently a retrospective of Lucian Freud’s work (1922 - 2011) featuring 130 paintings has finished at National Portrait Gallery. I don’t feel like writing about the exhibition itself, as it was extremely professional and well curated and no doubts Lucian Freud was an exceptional artist.
I do like the idea of retrospective: ability to see the development of artist, the techniques he uses in his work, different periods and fascination with genres, models etc. Indeed it’s
a really good way to see the most famous and recognized works in one place and in one go.
Sadly, I have noticed that I don’t enjoy them as much as smaller exhibitions. Maybe the reason is simply in my laziness and inability to stay concentrated for long. For example, it took me 55 min to have a glimpse ( and under that I mean spending no more than 5-10 seconds in front of the painting) on 130 works displayed in X rooms.
At the beginning I was so fascinated with the paintings and tried to analyze the way Lucian Freud’s painting manner have changed. Somewhere in the VII or VIII room I’ve realized that I am no more as fascinated as I was at the start and I just look at those amazing paintings like on any other visual image, and that upset me.
I really enjoyed the show but now I know in order to really enjoy the retrospective you need to attend the show more than once and spend a fortune on tickets :)
Through the Windows by Makiko Yamamoto @the Russet, Hackney Downs Studios 1 – 16th May 2012.
Exhibition openings are usually noisy and crowed, almost not welcoming. The private view of Through the Windows show organised and curated by Inter Alia collective was absolutely different. The atmosphere in the space achieved through installation accompanying the show, reminded of cosy sitting room- with sofa, table, carpet and lighting - was well integrated into the space and created warm and cosy atmosphere that impelled the viewer to focus on the work. This well organised space benefited Makiko’s sketches and photographs.
The work of Japanese artist Makiko Yamamoto can be described as combination of sketching, photography and as well as some documentation. Inter Alia writes about Makiko’s work: “Yamamoto began documenting the windows of strangers, creating not only beautifully intricate illustrations but coupling them with her own fictitious stories about the occupants & the possible lives they might lead. Upon completion of a drawing Yamamoto approaches the homeowner and requests to photograph them acting-out the fictional story she created; photographing them within the room that is only glimpsed through the illustrated casement.”
The guests were put into position of observers who had a chance to see other peoples’ lives. At the same time photographs documenting the dialogs erased the line between the fiction and reality, leaving the viewers space for imagination and thought. The wise combination of documentation and fiction make Makiko’s work so fascinating.
I totally and enjoyed the show and evening and will definitely follow the development of the artist Makiko Yamamoto and Inter Alia.