Now seen at the Tate of the North – Liverpool. I first saw this ****, many years ago and it stuck in my mind so vividly as a glorious piece of **** that when I spotted it from across the gallery, I called out to Dan, “Look! Oak Tree!!” And, of course, he had no idea what I was talking about. Nor would he. Does it look like an Oak Tree to you?
This is what irritated me so many years before. Conceptual art that was up its own arse. And I was about to fly off into a deluge of abuse when we were accosted by an incredibly polite and chatty gallery attendant who said…” Oh yes. You’ve seen this one before? It’s all about faith…” I get a bit twitchy when people start discussing anything remotely religious – especially when we’ve not been formally introduced. But he continued on, “Yes, well I think so. It’s about how people take things on faith and will look up to anything that’s set above them…”
Oak Tree is a glass of water on a glass shelf about seven feet high. So you do have to look up to it. Both of us had our interest piqued, so we Continue reading Oak Tree
Went to see the Klimt at the Tate of the North at the Albert Docks during the summer holidays. Very confusing choosing the correct queue to go brandish my tickets. It was our cultural day out. I’d dragged along both offspring. Kate happy to go, Danny not sure what he’s let himself in for. For that matter, neither did I. I love the famous pieces but wasn’t sure what was on display.
1st stop the Beethoven frieze. It was a shock. Nothing like what I had expected. With that title I thought there would be some obvious musical references. But of course, more subtle than that. Three enormous panels taking up the room. Beautiful, serene figures floating or drifting across the space. All symbolic either driving on the heroic or displaying the worst human traits. Very classical. Horizontal/vertical. Reminded me of a mixture of Burn-Jones and Mackintosh. Just Beautiful. I loved it.
Upstairs was a more general exhibition. Wiener Werkstatte, a Hoffman, Moser, Werkstatte collaboration which, inspired by the British Arts and Craft Movement, wanted to incorporate design objects into everyday items – architecture, furniture etc. I’m not a fan of a asylum designs so I darted threw the throngs to find the 2D stuff. There was a room with early Klimts. Here was all his classically trained early works. Amazing in detail. Very tranquil in mood.
In a darkened room with a warning to those with faint heart, were the most surprising nude sketches. Practically all of masturbating women. Very revealing. Noticeably, very quickly drawn. These gave rise to an interesting conversation with Danny.in amongst some incredible landscapes where the patterns just take over the canvas was my favourite, The Three ages of Woman. Everything just fitted together- there wasn’t any sense of perspective, the figures just overlap each other in a floating space – that sparkles.
We later visited the other exhibitions down stairs, and the most heated talk was on the flimsy nature of modern art when compared with something as beautiful as the Klimt works.
As the one trained in art, I was having difficulties defending much of the other exhibits. In fact Kate was really angry at the blank canvases. And I think she is probably right.