National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery & Science Museum

Did both tours at the National Gallery. The guide covered the Impressionists, a delightful series of paintings by William Hogarth called Marriage a la Mode, with lawyer Silver Tongue, an unfaithful wife, and other dramatic elements.
The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein the Younger, was interesting because of the skull which looked like a skull when viewed sideways, not from the front. I also liked Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, it has beautiful yellows in the sunset.
In contrast, the Saatchi Gallery tour focussed much more on your interpretation of the work. Gesamtkunstwerk- new art from Germany is the current exhibition in their 11 galleries.It made little sense when I saw it without the guide. Gesamtkunstwerk means “total work of art”. It was fascinating how a particular srtist had managed to get an expression on a sculpture with just a few strokes.
Another had used bread, marble, and wood to create leaves. A pipe ran from one branch to another, carrying yellow paint. Did that suggest a drain of nature by man? Screws driving the ‘leaves’ in the branch heightened this impression. The branches where the pipes led seemed less rough than the source branch, further adding to this notion.
If you look at the last image on the above link, there are two gruesome sculptures, one of which is similar in form to the painting which is part of the set. A keen eye is important to see these kinds of things. Art is not just about imitating life, but using media to comment on it. The viewer can decode and unwrap the work at leisure.
20:50, Richard Wilson’s permanent installation at the gallery, is deceptively simple. The black and white large spaces reflect each other, suggesting maya. The sharp smell of engine oil adds another dimension. If you breathe gently on it, ripples are created on the bottom surface!
Continuing the technology theme, Science Museum, was fun, especially as I am more of an artsi. There was a piece of rock from the moon, rockets, mini ships, and old cars. Place was overrun with young boys mostly, on school trips. Had some yum pumpkin and goat’s cheese pizza there for lunch. Too cold right now to plan more sightseeing. Snow fell this weekend, softening the landscape. There’s still some on the car outside my window.
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