Richard Rogers: Inside Out

 

Apart from being one of the titles of my A-level art projects, the heading “Inside Out” is instantly intriguing- to me at least. Of course, when you learn that Richard Rogers, the brains behind the Pompidou Centre and the Lloyds building in London is the architect to whom this exhibition is dedicated, things become a little more self-explanatory.

Exterior of the Lloyds buildingCTS-grey

I confess. I am no massive architecture expert, and whilst I appreciate the originality behind the Lloyds building for example, I can’t help but point out its inevitable flaws. Yes, the building has all the lifts on the outside, and yes, the entrance hall and vast underwriting floor is truly dramatic with its vast ceiling height and sense of grandeur. Ultimately, the lifts and pipes that have been moved to the exterior to give the interior more space may have functioned in the most important rooms, but where the majority of people work, the day-today offices really leave a lot to be desired. I’m talking low ceilings, a vast expanse of grey felty textures, very few windows (don’t even get me started on the issue of replacing the glass) and in reality you could be anywhere.  So if the building really was inverted it would be rather felty, uniform and grey. Which I suppose is of course the point of Rogers’ project, creating a change from the conventional monochrome high-rise to be found in the city, for me however, it is just a shame that the interior of the building is oh so mediocre.

 

That said. This exhibition at the RA was incredible (and free) really opening the term “architecture” and giving an interesting insight into Rogers’ reasoning. The phrases and motivational statements decorating many of the walls, were, for some reason, not overly cheesy in this instance and seemed “fit the space”. Definitely worth a look in if you happen to be frazzled after a long oxford street session or fancy a cultural digestif.

View from inside the Exhibition

The exhibition is in the Burlington Gardens section of the Royal Academy and runs until the 13th of October. (Access only via the back)

 

 

 

Turner Shortlist Announced.

ShingleyThis years Turner prize actually looks quite Exciting. Yesterday they announced the 2013 shortlist who will be exhibiting their work at the Tate Britain until December. The list stands as Tino Seghal who works with live audiences, Laure Prouvost, an installation artist and filmmaker, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye who created painted portraits of fictional people and finally my personal favorite  David Shrigley, who combines drawings photography and painting to create often humorous works. Shrigley, the Glaswegian artist will surely spark some debate with his whimsical line drawings, that to many won’t be considered Art.

It will be interesting to see what work he contributes to the exhibition, for although his postcards and prints are very witty, I think that perhaps his sculptural works are more intellectually engaging.

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However, there seems to be a much better variety this year than before and it is refreshing to have an artist like Yiadom-Boakye who creates works solely in the painted medium. Her works comment on racial difference, challenging the way we “read” works. To me she is somewhat akin to Marlene Duchamp in the way she constructs her figures, although clearly they are very different in form.

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The other two don’t really tickle my fancy, but who know what this year’s panel will say.

Una Bellissima Mostra a Dundee

 

Una bellissima mostra di Leonardo da Vinci a Dundee

10 disegni di Leonardo da Vinci alla McManus Gallery, a Dundee, che vi prego di andare a vedere……

Non ho sbagliato, davvero. Fidatevi. Tutti gli studenti di St Andrews conoscono la città di Dundee solo perché c’è Fat Sams, l’unico posto dove si può andare a ballare fino alle cinque di mattina. A Dundee ci sono parecchie gallerie d’arte, anche se non sono gallerie importanti. Di solito la McManus mostra solo dipinti d’artisti scozzesi, soventemente ritrovati in vecchie case.

Adesso, per la prima volta, c’è una piccola mostra per festeggiare il giubileo della regina, nella quale si trovano dieci disegni di Leonardo da Vinci.

Questa mostra vale le £5 che ci vogliono per andare fino a Dundee in autobus, perché la mostra è gratis! Infatti, quando sono andata era quasi deserta, a differenza delle folle che hanno visitato la mostra esibita negli ultimi anni, “Leonardo, painter at the Court of Milan”.  Durante la chiusura di questo evento alla National Gallery di Londra l’anno scorso, la gente faceva 6 ore di coda; fermi nel vento ghiacciato di Trafalgar Square, ci si chiedeva continuamente se ne valeva la pena.

Ovviamente, questa mostra non è dello stesso calibro di quella a Londra, ma i disegni sono comunque molto interessanti e importanti, tra i quali si trova La Testa di Leda, la figlia di Testio nella mitologia greca. Questo disegno proviene dal Castello Sforzesco, e secondo me questo è uno dei migliori tra i numerosi studi per la Leda.

Leda è ritratta a mezzobusto, in una torsione col busto verso destra e la testa a sinistra, leggermente reclinata. È un disegno tipico nelle opere della fase matura dell’artista, dove si vede la dolce espressione della donna, una riflessione verso se stessa. È notabile la delicatezza che Leonardo usa per disegnare i suoi capelli, che appaiono come se avessero vita propria, muovendosi come se fossero al vento.

Tutto sommato, questa è una mostra che decisivamente vale la pena. Per ne gode, dopo si può anche fare un giro di shopping nel centro di Dundee, seguito da una serata a Fat Sams….

La mostra fine la domenica il 4 novembre

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum

Conatti: 01382 307200

Leonardo da Vinci : The Anatomist

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy At the Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

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After one of the most successful and popular Leonardo exhibitions at the National Gallery last winter, the Queen’s Gallery presents a closer inspection of Leonardo’s intriguingly accurate anatomical drawings helping to reveal more of the Renaissance master that he truly was.

In terms of practicalities- fewer queues, more tickets, free audio guide- this exhibition is far superior to the one at the National Gallery. No paintings were shown, only drawings belonging to the Queen’s private collection. Essentially there was nothing new or exciting about these works, no dramatic publicity or corporate sponsorship. As cringe-worthy as it sounds, the drawings really did speak for themselves.

Everyone knows who da Vinci is; the inventor, the painter of the Mona Lisa, the man who wrote backwards in his journals and of course, the star of the filmEver After. Many do not know of his outstanding grasp of the human anatomy in which his studies vastly differ from his contemporaries, with his constant questioning of where life comes from.

Had his work been published he would have been one of the most important anatomists of his time. Alas, it was not and to many his recognition of the fact that the aortic valve pumps blood in only one direction or that women are sexually equal to men because they produce an egg necessary for procreation are merely two trivialities in the grand notion of the great Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo’s ability to make even the most clinical drawings seem life-like is pure genius. Seen together with his sketches of living people (see his sketch for the head of Judas where Leonardo goes beyond simple anatomy) Leonardo surpasses superficial examination. You really do have to see it to believe his skill not only as an anatomist as this exhibition so clearly demonstrates, but as an impeccable draughtsman who captures life.