Things are going well for me here, I have a wonderful home and it’s a great pleasure for me to observe London and the English way of life and the English themselves, and I also have nature and art and poetry, and if that isn’t enough, what is?
Letter to Theo van Gogh, January 1874
A few weeks ago I went to London and saw the Van Gogh exhibition shown at the Tate Britain. Now, Van Gogh isn’t exactly up-and-coming and we have all seen various shows featuring his famous works. This particular exhibition though left me elevated and inspired. So much so that it still is very much fresh in my mind. This is why I decided to write about it here, even though the exhibition has ended a few days ago.
One thing that stroke me about the exhibition was the original angle chosen by the curators : Van Gogh’s relationship with England, and how he influenced modern British art. For once, the emphasis wasn’t so much on his many life struggles dealing with poverty, mental illness and lack of recognition, but on his life as a young man moving to London to work for an art dealer. This brings me to my second point: I learned SO MUCH about Van Gogh’s life thanks to this exhibition – like how he enjoyed walking along the Thames every day to go to work, or how he loved prints and collected over two thousands throughout his life. I also found out that he started drawing when he was writing letters to his family back in Holland. He would describe familiar sceneries and sites and would often add drawings for better understanding. He was also very moved by the life conditions of the working class and this concern is visible in his paintings.
All in all, the exhibition enlightened me on Van Gogh’s inspirations and life choices that then brought him to become one of the most important artist of the 19th century.
Sadly, the exhibition is now over, but I strongly encourage you to get the exhibition catalogue if you are interested in Van Gogh’s life.
Have you ever heard of Berthe Morisot? Neither had I. Until very recently – a couple of weeks ago to be precise, when I saw her work at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, I had never heard of or seen any of Morisot’s work. Even though she was one of the main figures of the impressionist movement. What a shame! It makes me wonder as to the reason why? Is it because of bad luck or missed opportunities? Or is it because, as a female artist, her work isn’t as famous as her counterparts such as Monet or Renoir?
In any case, I am glad I found her because her work, which is currently exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris, shows so much talent and dare that it would have been a shame to miss it.
Working mainly on figures and portraits, Morisot uses her painting to document modern life, particularly the life and status of women in the 19th century. Using her personal technique of nervous brush strokes that sometimes approached abstract art, she sometimes decided not to paint the whole canvas to point the focus entirely on the subject of the painting, usually absorbed into a reverie.
Morisot’s work is poetic, beautiful and in a way, avant-garde. It demands contemplation. You can do so if you’re in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay until Sept. 22nd.
Antivegetativa is the name of a thick anti-fouling paint used to cover old ships to prevent them from moulding. It basically kills any living form. This exhibition held at the Ex Elettrofonica gallery in Rome took over the whole exhibition space, “dipping” it into this beautiful blue colour. The walls, the floor but also the various objects (such as a chair and several paintings gathered from flea markets and old roman cellars) have all been covered by the blue paint. In his statement, Davide explains that he wants to experiment in stopping nature’s physicality as well as the passing of time.
(via Jealous Curator)
Australian artist Thomas C. Chung hand stitched 88 full-sized succulents for an installation called “A Promise Made, Is A Promise Kept” in 2013 at Bloom Art Space in Shanghai. 88 is a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture, with the artwork speaking about growth and patience for change in the global climate (which he probably needed to hand-stitch them all!), as seen from a child’s point of view.
I love plants but since I have a tendency to kill them all (too much love?), perhaps it would be a good idea to invest in one of these cuties? (via Frankie Magazine)
It’s in this kind of occasion that I am SO happy I live in London. Felt artist Lucy Sparrow has taken over an old corner shop and transformed it into a felt wonderland. There you can find the usual stuff you would get from your local corner shop (from biscuits to pregnancy test!), Lucy hand stitched them all! I just cannot wait to go and see them all myself! If you can’t make it to London, not to worry, you can purchase any item on her e-shop.
The Cornershop, 19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green, London.
(via The Guardian)
When I read about Ana Serrano in my beloved Frankie Magazine, she was mainly talking about her tiny little reconstructions of houses from LA. I loved the idea, and decided to investigate about the rest of her work. My favourite was Salon of Beauty, an installation commissioned by Rice Gallery in Houston.