KABAKOV

Londoners have many opportunities to learn about Russian art these days. Tate Modern will open its doors tomorrow for art exhibition “Red Star over Russia” but today you can enjoy exhibition of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russian artists, – “Not everyone will be taken into the future”.  You can visit the exhibition until January 28.

The artworks are displayed over 10 halls and the exhibition is carefully guided, so you do not get lost and follow the path naturally.

Some installations were a bit too much for my taste, but I fell in love with some paintings and illustrations. Kabakov is also a famous illustrator for children’s books and I was fascinated by the lightness of strokes and combination of colours in his illustrations.

One section of the exhibition was dedicated to letters of Ilya’s mother. She was writing to her son and telling him about her life story. It was interesting to have a glimpse of someone else’s life, but to be honest, it was a bit tricky to read. In this section curators did a poor job: letters in Russian were positioned low so you need to sit down a bit to read them and British translations were way above your head. So it was a challenge.

All in all I enjoyed the exhibition and it was a first exhibition of such a scale for Ilya and Emilia which made it very special.

 

Rauschenberg Tate Modern

Tate Modern has changed its displays and now you can enjoy  a solo exhibition of modern American artist – Robert Rauschenberg, the exhibition is on until April 2nd.  As a part of my course in Sotheby’s I wrote a financial report on one of his paintings and its performance on the auction, so I was particularly interested in this exhibition, I wanted to see his artworks in the flash.

I visited with my parents, they have even more conservative art taste than I do, so they did not like it at all. I can’t say that I loved all of the exhibition, but I certainly enjoyed some parts.

Rauschenberg was a revolutionary artist for American art, he was the first artist who made a canvas three dimensional and used all different sorts of materials as part of his paintings. He integrated materials, woods, metals and even small appliances.

Sculptures – I did not totally get.. See for yourself!

Georgia O’Keeffe, Tate

The exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe, famous American female artist of the 20th century, is held in Tate Modern in London until 30 October. Georgia is famous for painting flowers, Mexican landscapes and skulls.

Personally, I found it very calm and soothing, walking through rooms with Georgia’s paintings, mostly because of the pallets she used. Sky blues, baby pinks, light green – pastel colours that work very good for the eye. Using these colours for flower paintings is the obvious choice, what surprised me was that she used the same colour for skulls.

Georgia painted a lot of flowers in a details so people can really see it. On the walls there were some quotes from the artist herself and she said –

Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

From curatorial point of view there is nothing special about settings, there is a logical order of 11 rooms dedicated to different periods or themes. Apart from paintings there are sketchbooks with watercolours, showing the preliminary paintings.

New Tate’s Modern Switch House

Today was unofficial new wing opening at Tate Modern – Switch House. Everyone in the neighbourhood was invited to be the first visitors, which is a really nice touch, since we were experiencing the construction firsthand.

New building is in a shape of conus and 10 floors high. Only 4 floors are exhibition spaces, other floors are for entertainment – shop, restaurant, members room and events hall. Connections to the old building are on the first and forth floors.

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There is a viewing level on the top floor with 360-view on London. The views are amazing, you can see London’s beautiful skyline. There is a printed guide available describing every significant building you can see from the viewing terrace.

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The building itself is executed in cutting edge industrial style. Some people said that the design “captured the essence of the building”, however, for my taste it is a bit over the edge. It look like a space before renovation, there were some leakages, some lamps were not working, sign “restaurant” was missing three letters. Brick structure was a bit disturbing in some places, especially in the cafe when you have tables right across from it.

Art-wise… A lot of video installations, large scale artworks, many interactive artworks where you can go inside or walk over it. I am not the one to judge, so I’d rather not comment on the art itself. However, there was one installation that was particularly disturbing – Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’ by Hélio Oiticica. The installation is a cage with two large African parrots inside. I think that is completely inappropriate to trap wild birds in a small room with one window for three months (parrots are changed every three months). 

Overall impression from todays visit is that building still needs a lot of work. Right now it is a bit sloppy and unfinished.. It is still not THE opening, so maybe some things like lighting will be changed and signs repaired. A great three days celebration is about to begin with a lot of special events and plenty of fun! So you should join and see for yourself, the admission is free.

 

The World Goes Pop!

The World goes pop is current exhibition in Tate Modern which is on unlit 24th of January, so you still time to catch it! This exhibition is very interesting from curatorial point of view as well as very informative. It has a different take on Pop Art culture: it showcases international artists, beyond traditional attribution to America and Britain.

The exhibition is created in 10 rooms each has different general theme. Like politics, consumerism, sexual revolution and civil rights. Each room has different colours on the walls which make the artworks stand out. There is a variety of medias showcased at the exhibition including flat art, sculptures and video installations. A lot of artworks combine different mediums such oil/acrylics with elements from domestic environment. Artists used a lot of non traditional art tools to create their artworks. Large canvases, bright colours of the artworks go well with bright colours of the walls. In fact, I admired how such vibrant colours as yellow, red, purple, cobalt blue can deepen the attention on the artworks and highlight the nature of exhibition.

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of contemporary art, but it was very refreshing to explore Pop art international and have a look at it as a mean of protest, rather than traditional view of consumerism. Although the last room was dedicated to consumerism and western influence.

The exhibition is surrounded with different social events and talks hosted by Tate so lovers of Pop culture can engage more. Overall it was a very colourful, bald and exciting. Hurry up but you still have a chance to go and see for yourself!