William the White wrote:
Well - I think it's the best single exhibition I've seen this year... This, of course, doesn't mean you will agree...
Well it's the best exhibition I've seen THIS year...
This morning I queued for da Vinci at the National Gallery - I overslept and got there at 8am when ticket sales opened at 10am... I was too late.
So, with William's positive review fresh in the memory, I trudged down the river to the Tate Modern to catch the last day of the Richter exhibition.
Urgh, I was disappointed. The abstract work made no impression on me whatsoever - the use of the squeegee, which featured heavily, was interesting as a technique once, but thoroughly boring by the end.I really was never bored at any stage... I was less interested in the technique than the effect the work had on me... Obviously technique/craft/experiment comes into this, and my curiosity was engaged in the sense of wondering how he did that... But my primary response to art is visceral - thought follows [sometimes!]..
A lot of it felt like art for artists, to me... conversations with other artists and movements, which I found difficult to engage with as an outsider. As an aside, I often wonder why the curators of this sort of exhibition don't find a way of including other artists' works that are built on or alluded to, to provide some context for the layman. My feeling is that the exhibition has to stand on its own as an immediate experience for the viewer-participant [since I think the viewer owns the work of art through his or her response to it and is in that sense a participant in its creation]... If seeing an exhibition stimulates a desire to seek further and to contextualise the artist's work, that is a big plus... I bought the Richter catalogue... my daughter seized it, of course she did, she is studying art at university, it is her province... I've told her to throw no books away... I'm retiring in a couple of years, I hope, and then want to pursue some serious study, via the OU of art history.
I enjoyed the idea of his early challenges to the lack of discussion of national socialism in Germany in the 60s, but there wasn't actually that much of that. Yes - a disappointment for me as well..
My favourite painting was probably the one of Paris you mention, but couldn't understand the choice of city. Would it have been too close to the bone for it to be Dresden? Paris itself, of course, came through WWII mostly unscathed...No idea why 'Paris'. Is there some intended irony? Still great work of art. Could have been called 'Dresden' or 'Sarajevo'...Did you make anything of the Baader-Meinhoff section? That I found very powerful.
OK - we have a conversation.
So yes, not for me this one.