Leonardo – An Immersive Experience at the National Gallery

We’ve just returned from “Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece” at the National Gallery. We are huge fans of this bedrock of the British museum scene. One of the things we like a lot about it is that the standing collection with all the masterpieces is free. This usually includes Leonardo’s Virgin of the Rocks. So why, you might ask, would anyone in their right mind pay an exorbitant £20 per person (we paid £10 using our National Art Pass) to see something that they can normally see for free? £20 to see one single painting? If the standing collection charged admission at the same rate, then the tickets would be £5,000 a pop. What?!! Well, the idea is that you pay for an immersive experience, kind of get into Leonardo’s head and the heads of the people that discovered this painting’s secrets. Fifteen years after a hidden drawing beneath Leonardo’s Virgin […]

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The Amazing Chihuly in Kew Gardens: ‘Reflections on Nature’

One of Ms B’s and my biggest regrets in 2019 is that we only visited Dale Chihuly’s ‘Reflections on Nature’ exhibition of glass sculptures in Kew Gardens a few days ago, and not much earlier, thus missing out on the opportunity to return again and again. The exhibition will close forever on 27 October after a hugely successful six months. Ms B, whose nick name at school apparently was ‘voucher chick’, managed to find us a 50% discount, which brought the ticket’s price down to £9 per person (deal can be found here) Even the full price of £18 is extremely good value for what you get. They also offer great deals for families. We’ve been big fans of Chihuly’s for many years now, and especially of his large-scale outdoor sculptures. His equally well-received 2005 Kew Gardens exhibition was one we missed out on, because Ms B was busy settling […]

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Antony Gormley at the RA – one of the best art exhibitions of the year so far

If a lesser artist would propose to flood parts of the RA with sea water, splash around with clay, build giant walkable metal structures inside several of the halls, the ancient institution’s answer would be quite predictable. However, if you’re one of the most revered living artists and a knight of your kingdom then you won’t even be asked to explain why. Consider it done. At the age of 69, Sir Antony has reached that point in his career, and this is the most important exhibition of his work worldwide in over ten years. Don’t miss this. Like art? Whatever. Don’t like art? Frankly, my dear, I don’t riverdance. Everyone who lives and breathes should see it, as long as you’re in Europe, the UK, or any adjacent continents between now and 3 December, when it closes. For clarification, Pacific islands including New Zealand count into Asia/Pacific, and Asia does […]

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‘Being Modern’ Exhibition: MoMA at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

During a recent trip to Paris, we finally made it to the much talked about MoMA exhibition at our beloved Fondation Louis Vuitton. Masterpieces of Max Beckmann, Alexander Calder, Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Frida Kahlo, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gustav Klimt, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Paul Signac, Andy Warhol, and several dozen further artists were included.      The exhibition followed a timeline and opened with MoMA’s first decade. Works included Hopper’s famous House by the Railroad, Cézanne’s The Bather, up to post-war works from Pollock (Echo: Number 25) and de Kooning (Woman I).   The next section was perhaps my favourite one and focused on Minimalism and Pop art.    The third and last section, located on the top floor of the magnificent building, focused on contemporary works from around the world, most of which were acquired by MoMA in the last two years. […]

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Selfie to Self-Expression – Saatchi Gallery – our Review

We’ve just returned from a visit to this fabulous exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. According to its brochure, “From Selfie to Self-Expression” is “the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and celebrates the creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity”. The first room shows self-portraits of Rembrandt, Edvard Munch, Picasso, Matisse and many of the other greats on i-Phone shaped large electronic displays with actual i-Phones to their bottom right-hand side, showing the Greats’ made-up Instagram profiles with 34,146 likes on the Picasso selfie, and so on. Hilarious. The whole things spreads over three floors, and it gets even better, the further you progress through the many rooms filled with exhibits.                                  We were particularly fond of the exhibit in Gallery 3: “Hello World! […]

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