Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Manchester Art Gallery

I visited Manchester Art Gallery recently (took a trip to the city just to see Raqib Shaw). Lovely city – I thought Beetham Tower was so cool! My only complaint was that I thought that Manchester city centre didn’t have enough trees, and greenery in general. I stayed at the Manchester YHA – thoroughly recommend, it’s a great hostel!

Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw is all about glitter and what looks like glitter pens – I love it!

Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw

And this is one of my favourite pieces of art in a long time… ‘Summer in Cumberland’ by James Durden. It’s spectacular!

Summer in Cumberland

Summer in Cumberland

What do you think of Raqib Shaw’s work?






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Frissiras Museum

Nude by Thanassis Makris

Nude by Thanassis Makris

This small art gallery in Plaka, Athens is a museum for Contemporary European Painting. I saw Thanassis Makris’s temporary exhibition. I liked his ‘Nude’ painting, above – the smoothness of the hair and back, the large, soft pink feet.

The museum has an entry fee.

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The Municipal Gallery of Athens is a small gallery that houses around 50 paintings, mostly by 20th century Greek artists. The collection rotates every few months, since there are over 3000 works of art in total.  The exhibition was free. The gallery’s security guard said that on average, the gallery receives 6-7 visitors a day, which is sad because there were some really great pieces. The nearest metro station is Metaxourgeio.

Cactus, below (interesting subject choice).

Cactus by Georgios Prokopiou (1876-1940)

This painting, below, was my favourite – it was colourful and large.

The Painter’s Studio, 1990 by Ifigenia Lagana (1915-2002)

A lovely watercolour, below.

Channel in Dieppe, 1930 by Georgios Bouzianis (1885-1959)

Do you make a habit of exploring local art galleries/museums when you are on holiday, or even in your home country? 

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Technopolis at night

Technopolis is a major cultural venue in Gazi, Athens. It used to be the city’s gasworks from 1857 until 1984. In 1999 the complex (it is a collection of buildings) was converted to a cultural centre, hosting exhibitions and events. Many of the original features of the gasworks factory remain, so that the experience is a strange mix of art and industry. It is almost as if the places is a ‘factory for protecting and generating art‘. As a consequence when you visit you not only admire the art on the walls of the factory buildings, but also the buildings and interiors in their own right. Of course, you could argue that the National Gallery in London, or the Guggenheim in New York are both beautiful buildings with lovely interiors, but it is nice to see something different, something that wasn’t ‘made for purpose’ and instead has been converted to something quite different from its original use.

The complex is enclosed, so as you walk from building to building, it seems as if you are within a gated community of art. The exhibition that I saw was the Athens Photo Festival, and it was 5 euros entry (3 euros for students).

How to get there:

The easiest way to get there is to take the metro – get off at Kerameikos (on the blue line). Technopolis is relatively close to Monastiraki and the ancient sites, so I’d recommend it to tourists visiting Athens. Do check out what’s on first on their website – that said though the website is in Greek ! Ah well, that is the advantage of art – you can look at the pictures instead… Hopefully they’ll get around to translating it soon. Here are some more tripadvisor reviews.

Athens Photo Festival 2012

Personally, I prefer ‘proper art’ (paintings, drawing etc) to photography. However, I did enjoy this exhibition. There were different themes, such as ‘Greek Reality’ (very topical, and one would naturally expect it to be there. There were lots of photos of demonstrators and riots), the developing world (a generalisation, I know. I find it interesting to have some insight into a world that is so different from the West; I saw Portraits of Violence: Gangs of Port Moresby (capital of Papua New Guinea, which apparently has a 60% unemployment rate and high levels of poverty)), and animals. Some of my favourite are shown below:

Monika Merva – ‘Irma’s Peaches’

Namsa Leuba – Here is some more of her work

Karin Apollonia Muller – Morning Run

Giacomo Brunelli – more of his photographs of animals can be found here

I really enjoyed Jan Banning’s photos. His exhibition was called Bureaucratics, and is really interesting. Banning took photos of bureaucrats in different countries.

I also liked Carlo Gianferro’s work. His exhibition was called Roma Interiors. It documented the private world of affluent Roma families.

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The Royal Academy of Arts have been hosting the Summer Exhibition every year since 1769. I’ve been going annually since 2009, and really enjoy it!

Below, ‘The Ritz’ by Gillian Westgate.

Below, ‘Goldcrest’ by Richard Spare

Below, ‘Time for Tea’ by Suki Cohn (click to enlarge)

Below, ‘Ultima Ora’ by David Tindle (click to enlarge)

Below, ‘Blue’ by Greg Genestine-Charlton – I thought that this one was one of the best (though it was £750!)

Below, ‘The Meeting, Royal Academy of Arts’ by Leonard Rosoman (click to enlarge). Again, one of the best, in my opinion (it wasn’t for sale).

Below, a large sculpture (approx 1m by 1m) called ‘Me as a lion, as a hero’ by Sahand Hesamiyan.

Below, ‘Feather Child I’ by Lucy Glendinning. This one was quite shocking because it was positioned at your feet.

This stone sculpture in the middle of the photo was lovely, and is called ‘Vortex for After Cosmati’ by John Maine.

Below, ‘Stand Prose 2011’ by Rachel Heller.

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Yesterday I went to the London Original Print Fair, located in Burlington House (same place as David Hockney’s ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition. Sadly his work has moved on!). All of the work was for sale at the fair, with a price range of £100-£100 000. The entry fee was £12, or £8 for students, but luckily I had a free pass. This fair was only open for 4 days. Interestingly, all of my favourite prints were of animals!

Above, a print by Robin Duttson, entitled ‘The Apple Tree’. This was a very large piece, perhaps 1.5m by 1.5m. I thought it was a lovely representation of spring.

Above, a print by Orovida Pissaro, 1938, entitled ‘Zebra with Foal’. I think this was my favourite, although it was £400!

Above, ‘Porcus Dei’ by Hugo Wilson. I thought this was a very tender piece of a piglet, and very detailed too (however this isn’t conveyed in the image above, since it is very small compared to the original, which was perhaps 1m by 1m).

Above, a collage of a bulldog by Peter Clark.

Above, ‘Pelican Island’ by Phil Shaw.

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Admittedly, the link between art and living ethically is a little dubious, Hence why I decided to categorise this post as ‘Random’.

I visited Burlington House, home of the Royal Academy of Arts near Piccadilly on Friday, to see David Hockney’s exhibition, entitled ‘A Bigger Picture’. You may recognise perhaps his most famous work, ‘A Bigger Splash’ below:

However, this exhibition did not have this piece of work, because all of the artwork was of landscapes. It was very popular; I had to queue outside for 20 minutes (if you do wish to visit this exhibition, I’d recommend that you visit either early in the morning, or late at night- I think the gallery closes at midnight on weekends!). Many of his landscape works were inspired by the East Yorkshire landscape, where he grew up. Some of the paintings are very large, and were created especially for the galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts. I would highly recommend this exhibition of over 150 works. I loved how brightly coloured many of his paintings were, The exhibition really lifted my spirits and made me nostalgic for the beauty of Spring and Summer!


Above: Pearblossom Highway by David Hockney. This is photocollage, and the artist is experimenting with cubism. It makes the scene seem very surreal and fragmented. In real life, this piece of work was much larger, and the litter really stood out when you were standing next to the piece.


Above: Winter Timber, 2009. What I love about this painting is how bright it is, even though it is depicting winter. If you click on the image above, you will see it on a larger scale. It was enormous in real life!

Above: Arrival of Spring in Woldgate. This is perhaps my favourite painting in the exhibition. It really is a celebration of spring. Click on it to see a larger image, because this small one doesn’t do it justice!

Above: David Hockney and his painting. This gives you some idea of how big it is.

Above: Salts Mill. I really liked this painting because the mill looked like a giant gold bar. It is as if the artist is idolizing the mill. On the other hand, it could be the case that the mill is profiting massively, hence is coloured gold, whereas the mill workers (who presumably live in the small, dull, matchbox terrace houses) are poor. You can also click on the image to see it larger.

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