Royal Academy / Gallery visits

Today I took my orange V painting to the Royal Academy as it was shortlisted for the Summer Exhibition. This was a much easier process than I thought it would be and took literally 2 minutes. I just need to wait a week to find out if I have got through to the next stage. I feel I have a good chance as this is a strong work and i feel it would work well with some of the works I have saw displayed last year when the SE seemed to take a big step into the present age. This year is also being curated by Richard Wilson, an artist I really admire and although he is a Royal Academician he is certainly one of the more credible in terms of producing innovative contemporary art.

I took this opportunity to visit many galleries as I have been just to busy. I am going to talk about 2 particular exhibitions I saw.

Firstly, I sent to the new Gagosian gallery to see the Giacometti and Klein (Yves) exhibition. I absolutely loved it and it was certainly one of the best exhibitions I have been to for some time. What struck me and this is particularly relevant at the moment was just how well it was curated. Often when I am at an exhibition I say to myself "why is that next to that" or something similar but the curation here was pretty much perfect! Surprisingly this is first exhibition to feature just Klien and Giacometti and when you see the result you wonder just why it's never happened before.

Kleins works have a playful nature about them and as well all know he used people as brushes to apply his paint which was mostly his International Klein Blue (IKB). Whereas Giacometti's works are in my opinion one of the few to truly express existentialism . At their best (or worst?) they are positively harrowing. Giacometti is an artist I know little about but given the time of their creation I would imagine the represent an artist in some way trying to make sense of the horrors that happened in world war 2. Either way the juxtaposition between fun and horror explored through the human form made for one fantastic show.

This exhibition has made me think more than ever about the possibilities that good curation offers the viewer. It really is the crux between a good and bad experience. A good curator cant make bad art look good but they can make good art look great!

The second exhibition I want to write about was at Marian Goodman gallery and was of an artist I had not heard of called Ettore Spalletti. This exhibition consisted mainly of very large wooden panels painted with subtle pastel like shade. The panels also had very subtle features such as a slight bevel on the edge of the board or a slight convex form only noticeable with close examination.

The work was very minimal and subtle but there was a real depth to it and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The works gave a real sense of calm and purity that reminded me of how I felt at the Agnes Martin exhibition last summer. One thing I got from this show was that Spalletti was quite economical in his use of ideas. For example, the idea of a slight bevel on the edge of the panel was extended throughout several works rather than just used once. His colour pallet was extended throughout the show not just a few works. A harsh observer could say that it was a few ideas stretched over an entire exhibition but the impression I got was he was saying just what he needed to say to get his point across.

One thing that particularly appealed to me was his use of the hang to add to his works. As an example there was these two works that were very similar but hung in a way that created an interest that may not have been present if hung conventionally.

This work instantly got me thinking about how I hung my diptych for the end of year show. I was really pleased with how my works looked considering the space available but I do wonder what they may have looked like should they be hung so that the edges nearest the middle were pushed out from the wall by a few inches to give a subtle apex like effect. If this works it could give my diptych a further quality that is not there at the moment. This is something that I am going to experiment with next Monday when we take the boards down and if it works I can display in this way at freerange.

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