12 January 2013

Seen recently

Le chef-d'oeuvre inconnu (after a story by Balzac) was on Hamilton's easel
 and computer when he died in September 2011
Richard Hamilton, The Late Works - at National Gallery. The "master themes" of works from the last decade of his life "include depictions of interiors, often of enormous visual complexity, and the use of linear perspective in their construction; the female nude; allusions to Old Master painting; and Hamilton's ongoing meditation on the art of Marcel Duchamp. His technical innovations with computer programming inform many of the works."
The bear fight by Sigmar Polke (image from the Guardian's review)
Everything Was Moving: Photography of the 60s and 70s - at Barbican Art Gallery. A historical lens on social injustice, mainly, by 12 international photographers. The "muzzy, stoned paranoia" of the chemically distressed and damaged photos of bear-baiting taken by Sigmar Polke in Afghanistan in 1974 almost came as light relief. And I commend to you the colourfulness of Raghubir Singh's work.
Catching the breeze, by Raghubir Singh (photo from here)
Already mentioned briefly, the exhibition at Somerset House,  Cartier Bresson: A Question of Colour. I was fascinated by these twining limbs caught by Cartier Bresson  -
San Francisco, 1960 by Henri Cartier-Bresson (image from here)
Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1960 at the V&A was "pretty" - ah those fabulous fabrics - and had some historical interest and some wild ideas - and it was hardly distracting to hear comments of "I don't like that" and "I wouldn't wear that" [as if!]. My theoretical choice was a grey silk angel print dress by Alexander McQueen, rather like this one -
but for what I'd actually wear [as if!], Holly Fulton's lip-print with leather yoke would be welcome -
A surprising choice, perhaps. If a fantasy can be a choice, that is! Except ... I'd want it to have pockets. Maybe ballgowns are not going to be my garment-of-choice?

Briefly to the Science Museum for a quick look at Codebreaker: Alan Turing's Life and Legacy (in 1951 he made a computer "sulk" by beating it in a logic test - that is, it broke down) 
Model of Vitamin B12, given by Dorothy Hodgkin, who analysed its structure with the help of Turing's ACE computer
and at the exhibit about James Watt, which included his laboratory, dismantled in 1874 and reconstructed, with all 8343 items that it had contained -
Watts' laboratory, moved from Birmingham

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