10 June 2014

RA summer show - including some textiles

We went along to one of the preview days of the Royal Academy summer exhibition (the Pimms bar in the main gallery was doing a roaring trade) and set off the wrong way round, hoping to outwit the crowds, but that's never possible.

First room we saw was Cornelia Parker's much-touted black-and-white room
in which hangs what turned out to be one of my favourite pieces in the show
print on (viscose?) velvet. We didn't have a catalogue, so I noted numbers and imagined checking out names afterwards, but somehow didn't ... but I'll be going back and will do that then, and attribute the image and find out more about the artists if possible.

The show is of course the usual "democratic" mixture, and it's interesting to see what has all the red dots.
Amusing to see the return of a piece that made me smile last year.

The BBC programme on the show spotlighted some of the people who submitted their works of art (as did this video of last year's show) - ah, the sad story of the man who has been submitting for 50 years, without success ... he paints five hours a day, seven days a week ...

More textiles -

There may have been several more, including a large piece, thoroughly hand stitched, framed behind glass and hung quite high up.

In Room VIII, a nice juxtaposition of Barbara Rae and Tom Phillips -
 This work by Phillips, who is getting on in years but not losing his ingenuity, delighted me for its re-use of "pallette leavings", cut into small shards and collaged; for the subtle use of text (also in the top, stripey, row, unfortunately blurry in my photo); for its colourfulness (remember colour-wash quilts?) and for its references to his previous work - the grey-paint accumulations and Curriculum Vitae. In the circumstances - in any circumstances! - the message, however colourfully rendered, is rather sad.
Now to my other favourites, two small and exquisite pieces that look "almost nothing" -

They consist of simple rows of marks on a matte black ground, yet have mystery and richness, and bring to mind the Indian paintings of the origin of the universe in the "Garden and Cosmos" exhibition in 2008 (see one here).

The exhibition runs till 17 August; photos of a selection of exhibits are here.

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