ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Friday, 20 July 2012

Jenny Saville, Modern Art, Oxford

I remembered her vast fleshy canvasses from Sensation in the late 90s, so it was fascinating to see how her work has matured. Still vast, still fleshy. The wateriness of the eyes struck me especially today. New work includes movement drawings of mother and client directly referencing da Vinci and others. There are two of these drawings hung in the Renaissance galleries in the Ashmolean as well this summer. Great idea and we enjoyed those two and the sort of mini art trail through Oxford to see them.




Terrific stuff and I am so glad we made the effort to get there today.  My personal favourite was the central panel from her Atonement studies, a self-portrait as a blind woman, the eyes liquid like moonstone. Unbelievably it's her first solo show. Brilliant and free. Go soon, it's on until 16 September.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Poetry News


I am the featured poet in the current edition of Envoi, June 2012, which has six of my tattoo poems - the project I have been working on for the last year.

You can buy a copy of one of the longest running UK poetry magazines, now in its 53rd year, for a very reasonable five pounds and fifty pennies here: http://www.cinnamonpress.com/online-shop/envoi-poetry/

Super, even if I do say so myself!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Pompiers' fundraising

The Paris Fire department have been following the marketing strategy of Abercrombie and Fitch this week i.e. find all the very best looking and gorgeous pompiers in your employ and send them out to sell tombola tickets to women leaving their offices in La Defense. Worked for me - I'll have two, thanks. Now if I can just win the prize... but quite where I would park a Renault Twingo I'm not sure.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Kim Moore - If we could speak like wolves

If We Could Speak Like Wolves

Kim's pamphlet is out now from Smith Doorstop. For a dose of doing it different up north, check her out. It's a varied collection of the bucolic and quirkiness of the everyday. Her poems are in the Lakes and by the sea, but also the bedroom and pub. Super.

Go here to buy a copy http://www.poetrybusiness.co.uk/shop/details/583/Prizes/Poetry-Business-Competition-Winner/If-We-Could-Speak-Like-Wolves-Kim-Moore

Gerhard Richter, Pompidou Centre


I tried, honestly I did, but I simply didn't enjoy this one. Now in Paris after London and Berlin, Panorama is a survey exhibition of his work since 1962 (when he destroyed all previous work) starting with his paintings from photographs (as in the portrait of his daughter, above).

I think my single biggest problem is that I found his abstract painting building up paint in layers generally unappealing for to its colour palate - yellow and green are just not for me.  Only one of these did I enjoy - Forest - which was mainly blues. I've been wondering about why this is. What makes the brain favour one set of hues over others? How does this get wired in? Answers on a postcard please.

Grey is a key colour for Richter and there is a whole room dedicated to such, but it lacks conviction for me being neither light (white) or its absence (black). The purpose of the huge mirror and most of the glass pieces either baffled me or struck me a pretty banal. At least the kids had fun making faces.

The series entitled 18 October 1977 about the Bader Meinhof was interesting and I do say yes to the triptych of Ulrike Meinhof portraits from newspaper photographs. Other political work includes a portrait of his Nazi uncle and a surprising small painting of September 2001. The chromatic pieces are OK, but not exactly ground breaking. 

The most recent work is from 2010, Aladin, a series of six paintings on glass which was for me the best in the show. Go if you must spend 13 Euros (gasp). It's on until 26 September. 

http://www.gerhard-richter.com/

http://www.centrepompidou.fr/Pompidou/Manifs.nsf/AllExpositions/685A3BA543D440FFC125795F0049FA85?OpenDocument&sessionM=2.2.1&L=1