Wednesday 30 April 2014

Richard Deacon

Richard Deacon, at Tate Britain.

Richard Deacon is known for his open forms and his interest in materials and their manipulation. His sculptures explore the interface between interior and exterior, surface and edge, form and image.  He combines organic forms with elements of engineering, employing materials ranging from laminated wood and polycarbonate to leather, cloth and ceramic. He refers to himself as a fabricator to distinguish his working methods from those of the carver and modeller and his work is indeed not constructed in the manner of traditional sculpture, but instead it's built up from many parts into a complex form, constructed with precision. His work does not look like anything else.

Intrigued by the process of sculpture, he is happy for people to make of the result what they will: 'I don't think there is ever someone who 'gets it'. I don't get it particularly.... I hope people get pleasure from the work'.

Orpheus When There's Singing, 1978-79, (pastel and pencil on paper)

Struck Dumb, 1988

Struck Dumb was made at Govan Shipbuilders in Glasgow.

Art for Other People, no. 12, 1984 (marble and leather)

This series began in 1982 and was intended for domestic spaces.

Art for Other People. No. 6, 1983, (suede and brass)

After, 1998 (wood, stainless steel, aluminium and resin)
Constructed from multiple smaller components, a balance between volume and shape, this piece is neither carved nor modelled in the manner of traditional sculpture, but instead, methodically built up from many parts.  The wooden tubes are sections of the same curve; their change of angle from one section to the next gives the work a dynamic, writhing quality. The woven stainless steel straps linking the ends, draws them together.

looking closer

Two by Two, 2010, (galvanised and stainless steel)

Our of Order,  2003 (oak and stainless steel)
Ribbons of steamed oak, arranged in such a way that they twist and corkscrew on the gallery floor.


a different view

looking closer

looking closer


and again.

I did not manage to get the titles for the sculptures below:



Tuesday 29 April 2014

Tate Britain - the permanent collection

 Tate Britain. Some pieces from their permanent collection.
After a long and stimulating day in London we ended up at Tate Britain, with very little time left. It was our first visit since the recent 'refurbishment' and looking at some of the permanent exhibits was a delight - we would have liked to have spent much longer there, and a visit in the near future is a must.
The permanent collection of British art, from 1500 to the present, has been rehang - the display is chronological allowing a rich cross-section of British art in each era. Given our limited time there, we were unable to look in each gallery at leisure, so this is a small sample of some of my favourites, not in chronological order. A more leisurely look will have to wait for another time.


Reg Butler, Woman, 1949 (forged steel) 

J.D. Ferguson, Blue Beads, 1910, (oil on board)

Vanessa Bell, Strudland Beach, 1912 (oil on canvas) 
One of my favourite paintings of all time, such a shame about the reflection of the light on top of the canvas.


Bruce Turner, Pavlova, 1912 (oil on canvas)

Frances Hodgkins,  Loveday and Anne: Two Women with a Basket of Flowers, 1915, (oil on canvas)

Jessica Dismorr, Abstract Composition, 1915 (oil on wood)

David Bomberg, The Mud Bath, 1914, (oil on canvas)

Ben Nicholson, 1932 (painting), 1932  (oil, graphite and gesso on hardboard)

 Winifred Nicholson, Sandpipers, Alnmouth, 1933 (oil and sand on plywood)


Jacob Epstein, Jacob and the Angel (single block of alabaster)

looking closer 

Barbara Hepworth, Pelagos, 1946, (elm and strings on oak base)

a different view

 Eduardo Paolozzi, Forms on a Bow, 1949 (bronze on oakwood base)

Lucian Freud, Girl with Kitten, 1947 (oil on canvas)

William Scott, Orange, Black and White Composition, 1953 (oil on canvas)

Mary Martin, Expanding Form, 1954 (wood and emulsion paint)

Barbara Hepworth, Corinthos, 1954-55, (guarea wood and paint on wooden base)

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1957, (bronze)

a different view 

looking closer

Ben Nicholson, August 1956 (Val d'Orcia), 1956 (oil, gesso and graphite on board)

Eduardo Paolozzi, Cyclops, 1957 (bronze)

Patrick Heron, Azalea Garden: May 1956, 1956 (oil on canvas) 

Anthony Caro, Woman Waking up, 1955 (bronze)

a different view

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1952 (oil and sand on canvas)

Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham, Glacier Crystal, Grindelwald, 1950 (oil on canvas)

Hubert Dalwood, O.A.S. Assassins, 1962 (aluminium and fabric) 
The right-wing French paramilitary Organisation de l'Armee Secrete fought unsuccessfully to prevent Algeria's secession from France in the Algerian War, 1954-62.

Henry Moore  

a different view

looking closer

Henry Moore, Figure on Steps, 1956 (bronze)

Francis Bacon, Triptych, August 1972, 1972 (oil on three canvases)

Gillian Ayres, Break-Off, 1961, (oil on canvas)

John Hoyland, 28.5.66, 1966 (oil on canvas) 

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967 (acrylic on canvas)

Bridget Riley, Hesitate, 1964, (oil on canvas).