Friday, 8 August 2008

Submerged in art

Sorry for such a long absence. But I'm back blogging again, and I hope to keep it up.
I've been submerging myself in art recently so I have lots to talk about and share with you. I had the chance to visit Liverpool, which has been granted City of Culture status for 2008, an outstanding achievement for the place I was brought up between the ages of 10 to 18, formative years you'll agree. While there I spent some hours in the Tate Liverpool, in the Twentieth Century exhibition. This was split across two floors, covering (loosely) figurative work on one, and abstract work on the other. I went with my younger sister and her arty husband, and we had a great time. We managed to classify all the work into the following categories-
1. Wow, I like this, it really speaks to me. (eg Alberto Giacometti's Man Pointing)
2. Walk straight past, this is pants. (eg Boetti's Nothing to See, Nothing to Hide)
3. Urghh, this is disturbing, it speaks volumes but I can't handle it (this category was discovered by my younger sister, which unfortunately meant I could not stop to look at any Francis Bacon or Arnulf Rainer).
4. I like this. Why do I like this? It's not the kind of thing I usually like, but 15 minutes later we're still stood here talking about it.
Sorry not to link hundreds of images here, though I'd dearly love to, but I just want to show a study of one of the pieces that fell into the last category; Man Caught Up with a Yellow Object by John Latham.
It is a big image, with a fantastic torso against what may be a crucifix standing on a dark landscape. His head may be uncomfortably twisted up towards the sky, it's not clear to make out. There's a lot of ambiguity in this image, but underneath there's a great knowledge of anatomy and composition. What appears, at first glance, to be a mess in the middle of a roughly painted canvas actually held our attention for nearly half an hour. If there'd been a bench and coffee on hand, we'd have been there longer.
Well dont to the Tate Liverpool for compiling such a wonderful collection of works.


vivien said...

I love your categories!

I've seen a couple of really interesting shows at the Tate Liverpool

One was Gormley's Field - which was absolutely overpowering and amazing IRL - I'd kept an open mind about it beforehand because photos just don't do it justice and then another one by a Brazilian artist who created portraits of street children from the dust and garbage swept up after the carnival - amazingly powerful work

Yellow said...

There's some really cool stuff at the Liverpool Tate. When I was 18 I saw an exhibition of Giacometti's figures and drawings. I bet that shaped me.

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