Friday, September 10, 2010

Tate Favourite






The Tate must be one of very few galleries to feature the classical and contemporary with what appears and feels to be a very natural and shock free ride. Something like a Rolls with satellite technology. All the leather and walnut with the cutting edge technology providing an effortless ride from Elizabethan to Hirst in a few yards of each other. Five hundred years seems to have passed in a flash this afternoon.
Of all the stunning works that confront the viewer on the ground floor the ones that took my breath away were those of John Singer Sargent. For me the most alluring work was a study for Madam X.
Perhaps it was the contemporary and classical blend within the painting (much like the Tate itself). The so called incompleteness of it is like breathing, it's warmth, space and presence floored me.
His work as a figurative painter is yet to be surpassed I believe.
There's no point in going on about the works, it's all been said thousands of times but for the sake of kicking my blog off again this is very good subject. I took a couple of highlights of details of some paintings.
I expect you'll excuse the quality of the photography, no flash iphone snaps with a tinge of guilt(given cameras were not supposed to be used).If I'd tried this in Perth I would be in the electric chair by now...of course Perth has some 'real treasures' compared to the Tate.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

That Madame X copy has never been up when I was there, and it intrigues me even more than the finished one (at the Metropolitan in NY). The Wertheimer sisters, I love that one. And Damnation, Silly, Silly, Pose (JSS's other name for that masterpiece) is fantastic on that wall. A great collection of Turners there too of course, many watercolors in a separate room if you were able to get in. I envy this trip, you guys are going to see it all...have a great time!!!

September 10, 2010 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Catherine DE RYCK said...

Last September, I visited the exhibition "Sargent & the Sea" at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
The show offered an alternative vision of Sargent's works.
For example, I discovered a lot of marine watercolours, all handled in contemporary way, that radically contrasted with his detailed protraits.
I should write something about it maybe ...

November 2, 2010 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger W. K. Moore said...

cool photos - will be interesting to see how this trip influences your next watercolor flourish... that viper still hanging out in your studio?

November 20, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger David Burge said...

It was pretty much spellbinding for me. I love it's unfinishedness. I think if I was to see it again after the european trip and all the "finished" works we saw between Paris and Rome that it would have even more impact. Next time we go I think the scope will be on a different angle. The unfinished Madam X reminds me of street art. As if he had to drop tools and run.

I agree Catherine, Sargent's watercolours of Venice for example are super liberated.

Hello Bill, you're right I'm working on it.

November 20, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

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