I had a lovely weekend away in England, I went over to visit my sister and we managed to squeeze in a trip to London on Saturday. There were a couple of exhibitions on in the Tate Modern that I wanted to see, Pierre Bonnard's, The Colour of Memory and Magic Realism, Art in Weimar Germany 1919 - 1933. We didn't manage to get into the Pierre Bonnard exhibition as we had walked up the 3rd floor, only to be told, we had to go back down to the entrance and buy a ticket and the gallery itself was very busy, so we just did the Magic Realism instead and had a look around some of the other exhibits. It was ok, but like a lot of art movements, they haven't travelled very well. They are of a place and time in art and some of them were quite cartoonish and overall, I only liked one or two of the pieces.
Picasso's Weeping Women was also on display in the gallery. It is quite a gaudy painting but what made it worse was the ugly frame which did it no favours at all. I found this with a lot of the paintings in the National Gallery in Ireland too, so many were let down by clunky, overly ornate frames which detracted from the art. i prefer my art, for the most part, in plain white frames. In relation to the rest of the 'art' we looked at, I have to say there is a lot of brock masquerading as art. As my sister remarked, a lot of it looked like A-level art projects and left her cold. I had to agree, Modern Art is very subjective and to be honest a lot of it really doesn't appeal to me, I'm conservative in my tastes and while I recognise that sometimes art can express the social and political, it has to be done well in order not to appear pretentious or ridiculous.
So, we headed for the National Portrait Gallery which has an exhibit on at the moment; Elizabethan Treasures, Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver. I loved this one; the detail was fantastic and took real skill and a very steady hand. I would definitely recommend you go see them, if you can, the exhibition is on until the 19th May. We also had a look around the portraits: there was our own Seamus Heaney and a large one of Judy Dench. We weren't very impressed by the Judy Dench portrait, she looked like a doctor and all the character was missing from her face. I did love the portraits of Ken Dodd and Stanley Spencer. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to take in as much as we wanted but I have to go back over in the summer for the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition so we hope to get back to the NPG as well.
I managed to rattle through Mark Blake's, Is This the Real Life, a biography of Queen while travelling. I thoroughly enjoyed this as it details the fact from the fiction of biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Highly recommended!
For Paddy's Day, the cousins and their children came around and we had some great food and a few drinks and a good time was had by all! All in all, a wonderful weekend and made even better in that I'm not back to work until Friday! Yayyy!