Thursday, 23 October 2008

The view from yesterday

Annie Leibovitz, on at The National Portrait Gallery

The exhibition was packed with people, I was amazed at how busy it was. I have to say in my opinion that when she is good she is very good, mostly when a celebrity is involved. Which, lets face it, with the locations and props she uses, it would be hard not to take a good picture.
The larger Vanity Fair images were interspersed with her personal photographs which were very nicely printed in B&W on a much smaller more intimate scale, I sense that the subject matter was again more interesting than the actual photos themselves. Evidence of her mediocrity was via the enormous landscapes that she took for Vogue Traveller , they had little sense of light or composition just grainy blurred shots taken in haste from a helicopter. I came away feeling ever so slightly fleeced in the nicest possible way. The exhibition felt very lacklustre.

I have recreated the wall of magazine covers from the Galerie Maeght web site
This exhibition on the other hand was a bold brash wake up call.
Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aimé Maeght and His Artists is on at the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition demonstrating the achievement of the famous Galerie Maeght. Founded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, the gallery opened in Paris in 1945 and was to become one of the most influential and creative galleries of the twentieth century. The artists it showed expressed a bold new spirit in art which exploded in France after the dark years of the war. read more here

Bold indeed, It was one of those exhibitions you wanted to move in with, framed magazine covers, wonderful sculptures and prints, and best of all, those fantastic Alexander Calder mobiles. A small but brilliantly curated and displayed exhibition.

Fate or Coincidence, that was a topic we had to debate regularly when discussing the work of Thomas Hardy. here is an example, I featured the work of Dryden Goodwin when I saw it at the Frieze Art fair, on my way back to the station I popped into the soon to close Photographers Gallery and what were they showing? yep you guessed it Dryden Goodwin, A much wider selection including some exquisite drawings and some very large Black and White images, I had thought the lines were calligraphy but they are not, on closer inspection more random than that all be it in a controlled way.
He says here
Featuring people travelling through the public spaces of London’s West End, Goodwin’s portraits catch strangers engrossed in private moments of quiet reflection. Physically intervening with the image through animation and drawing, the artist disrupts the stalled nature of the photograph, which he describes as a way of ‘thinking into the photograph’.

He also has a drawing in the National Portrait gallery! you see fate or coincidence?

Finally, I did go and try on the Vans that I saw, but they just looked hideous on, they are very plain which just draws attention to my Munro of an instep, on the plus side they were comfortable, but sometimes I need a little more in the way of a look.
Whilst walking up towards The Royal Academy I was drawn towards the Royal Opera Arcade. I have lived in London over 25 years and some how this arcade has never really drawn me in. The other arcades just off Piccadilly always look so lovely with their Regency bow windows and rather over the top merchandise, but this one always looks slightly down at heel.
It is as authentic as the rest, and houses an eclectic mix of galleries and jewellers as well as a printers plus an amazing shoe shop called Authors. I could have bought half the stock, fantastic boots, as well as a liberal sprinkling of amazing designer pieces, including my favourite pumps by Ash which at £119 a pop was beyond my budget.
The ones I bought are called PF Flyers, in black leather. I could have kissed her when she found my size, it is one thing to see a shoe you like, quite another for your size to be in stock. They are beyond bliss, and they will prevent me wearing out too soon the other rarities I have acquired last year.
Just before you think I am the luckiest girl on the planet I was brought down to earth with a bump not only in Banana Republic but Cos, via, you guessed it, a bloody grey cardie. It was lovely, just like an old school cardie.I thought it would be short enough to wear with skirts which it was not, but worse, when I got it home I realised it had mock pale grey elbow patches!! Beyond gruesome, even though I can't see them I know they are there It will be going back.


La Belette Rouge said...

I am not sure that I have ever seen a non-celebrity photo by Annie Leibovitz. The Queen looking out that window says so much. There is a show here at LACMA that starts next week that is featuring photography from Vanity Fair. I am sure there will be a whole lot of Annie. Where there the Susan Sontag photos in the show?

Congrats on your pumps and so sorry about your grey sweater. Elbow patches! Hmm, was that purchase fate or coincidence?;-)

indigo16 said...

Yes the Sontag photos were there, very small and for the jumper, fate I suspect and relief from my bank balance.

Anonymous said...

I always liked the photo Leibovitz took of Whoopi Goldberg in the milk bath, but that may be more due to my love of Ms Goldberg than the skill of Leibovitz. It shows, though, that once you make a name for yourself you can rest on it!
It sounds more like the shoes found you than you finding the shoes, they must have sent out a siren call as you passed the arcade.