Friday, 13 June 2008

ART-FAILURE

The Royal Academy Summer Show 2008 is on the wall - and in your face!

Crossing the courtyard we got a glimpse of Sir Joshua Reynolds, wearing his usual floral garland, but rather fenced-in and by Sir Anthony Caro's sculptural installation, 'Promenade'.


Apparently, Sir Anthony finds Sir Joshua a bit a nuisance: "Reynolds," he says, "is too prominent in the courtyard – I wish they’d push him away onto the steps for a while!"

Anyway, what's inside? Well, the newspapers have already covered the shock-horror factor of the room under the curatorship of Ms Tracy Emin with its video of a naked women demonstrating how to use a barbed-wire hoola-hoop and the two-dimensional tableau of sexual congress between a woman and a zebra (which is capable of being operated from behind by a crank handle - but was strangely un-animated during our visit.)

As for the rest, there's lot of mediocrity and plenty of silliness and I confess that, on balance, I prefer the silly to the worthless - since, at least it fulfills a function by raising a smile!

We were too mean to buy a catalogue, so I can't tell you any of the artists and titles but this tangled heap of phalli which - when subjected to a projection of light - throws a two-faced shadowed profile onto the wall is very probably called 'Dick Head'...


While this doubtlessly goes by the title of 'Woman at Work'...


Or else is supposed to represent Mary Poppins getting ready to fly away...

I've absolutely no idea what this is called, but it's certainly an attractively-shaped box in which to keep your used J-clothes, for, yes, that is what they are...

Click to enlarge

The trouble is, it's not always wise to laugh at art because, for all you know, it may very well be laughing at us - behind our back!


What we enjoyed most was sitting sipping an over-priced glass of Pimm's and looking at people looking at art! The amateur Brian Sewell in full flight, is awesome to listen to!



Not everything merits the title of this blog and the pick of the show for me was a work by Jeff Koons (an artist I recognised): a lovely blue egg that is simply entrancing...


I was also rather keen on a pictorial pastiche of René Magritte's 1935 painting, 'Time Transfixed'....


...reworked with a guest appearance by Henry the Green Engine!

Click to enlarge

I liked this enough to buy a post card, so I can tell you it's by Julian Brain and is called 'Paradigms Regained (Peep-Peep)'... But I'm sure you guessed that!

For a corner of another exhibit - Anthony Caro's model for rebuilding a church in Bourbourg, France - see Window Gazing


6 comments:

Boll Weavil said...

Like the 10.35 BMI Baby flight to Edinburgh, modern art is way over my head.I wish i could do it though, or at least convince other people that I could.There seems a lot of cash in it.

Suzanne said...

I'm incredibly old fashioned as far as this stuff is concerned. I can't help asking myself "Is it art?"
Some of the stuff is quite amusing I suppose, but give me a Vermeer, a Rubens, or even a Dali any day!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

I don't pretend to know anything about art (I don't do much more than recognise the Mona Lisa when I see a picture of it!), but I do know that 'modern' art has always been viewed with suspicion, hostility, incredulity by most people at the time when it was 'modern'.

I guess this encompasses Dali, Magritte, the Impressionists, Picasso, Mondrian and many others.

Maybe the final judgement on today's modern offerings will be made by the next (or next but one) generation!

Brian Sibley said...

Gill's right, we shouldn't forget that, at some point, all art was modern art and that there has been some pretty rubbishy examples of what is now thought of as 'classical art'.

However, the passage of time doesn't always add that much to our understanding or appreciation: for example, to my mind, Duchamp's famous 'Readymade' work, 'Fountain' (despite being ranked as a major landmark in 20th century art), is still a urinal the wrong way up!

Boll Weavil said...

If the future generations can make anything of this rubbish, they're welcome to try !

LisaH said...

The sad thing is that there are lots of inifinitely more talented people out there who don't get the breaks whilst others are making fortunes from mediocrity.