Ylva111's Blog

Inside out at Tate Britain and other news

September 29, 2017
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Rachel Whiteread’s sculptures now at Tate Britain are spaciously displayed in the upstairs gallery – walls removed to give head room to the large objects. Smaller pieces are ranged round the walls and include a mattress, bookshelves and torsos cast in hot water bottles!  “Untitled Stairs” rise magnificently in the centre – on their way to nowhere.  There is some colour among the smaller objects but overall this is a white and grey exhibition.  Don’t miss the information on public commissions outside and the inside out shed in the garden.  Whatever it is, it’s not boring!

At Tate Britain until 21 Jan 2018 – http://www.tate.org.uk

Inside Matisse’s Studio

This smallish exhibition at the Royal Academy is thoughtful and engaging. Some of you may remember your blogger visiting the Matisse Museum a few years ago on a wonderful South of France tour with Martin Randall Tours but I was not so impressed with the museum which was cold and impersonal.  This is the opposite.  The RA has created an intimate experience where objects from the artist’s personal collection are related to paintings and other works.  They include small sculptures, textiles and even furniture.  This exhibition closes on 12 November, so book now.  www.royalacademy.org.uk

The Bowes Museum now at the Wallace Collection

The wonderful Bowes Museum in County Durham has leant some exquisite Spanish paintings to the Wallace Collection. Here in the small exhibition suite  you can lose yourself in these mainly religious works, some by El Greco and Goya.  But don’t forget the Spanish paintings on view in the main gallery on the first floor.

The Wallace Collection is locked in a time warp by its past but has over the years managed to transform itself by adding the education and exhibition suites downstairs, as well as the popular café in the covered courtyard. Now bigger plans are afoot with an extension at the back to provide more space for temporary exhibitions. http://www.wallacecollection.org

Get smart or see for yourself

How to look at art in galleries is a debatable issue. Some head straight for the label to make sure they know what they are looking at.  Others stand back and take in the whole, then examine every detail, sometimes creeping so close that they set off the alarm!  Then there are the people with the audio guide, listening intently but still pushing in to read the label in case they have missed something.  Others peer at the screen of their multi-media guide.  And now there is Smartify.

At the Wallace Collection and other galleries you can try it out for yourself by downloading the free app on your smartphone. Your phone scans the painting and using image recognition brings up information on the painting. You can save the image to “build your own gallery”.

The stated aim of Smartify is to broaden access by making a visit to museums and art galleries more interactive and fun for the “mobile” generation. This is, I am sure, a worthy aim and perhaps slightly less irritating than people taking photos of paintings but it raises interesting questions.  Who benefits – the museum which provides the information free or the visitor strolling past or Smartify?

More from me at my website to ylvafrench.co.uk