So the post Easter cold took over this week and I was in bed for a couple of days. When I got on my bike on Thursday I was loving the weather and the lack of traffic, I guess kids are off for two weeks and there are less buses and cars on the roads. The daffs are already on their way out giving room to the most amazing blossoms and other spring beauties. Loving it!
I did manage to do a couple of things that are really worth mentioning.
I went to see Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern. It was my first proper encounter with Gorky’s work, I only ever saw a couple of paintings here and there.
The exhibition is great, it takes you right from the start when he was an apprentice in Boston and New York, his early works show a huge influence by Picasso, Cézanne and especially Matisse.
There are some graphic prints and drawings as well as sketches of murals, sadly the only remainder of these works as most of the murals were destroyed in the 1940s.
In the 30s he started to move away from Cubism, he experimented with Surrealism, Avant-Garde and later on with Abstract Expressionism for which he is most famous.
The most touching paintings for me are the pale colored portraits of his mother who died of hunger and all the Eastern European folklore, Baba Jaga is a regular figure in his paintings.
Some of the most striking works are the Betrothal series, very powerful yet delicate, they are peaceful but somehow there is a certain lack of ease in these paintings.
A great retrospective of a troubled soul.
Last night I met a friend at the National Gallery to see a small Christen Købke show, I never heard of this Danish artist before and it was a real treat to explore something new.
Købke is amazing with light and an extreme attention to detail making some paintings look like pictures. The pastoral themed works and landscapes are my absolute favorites with the beautiful pink skies, folk in their everyday life, buildings surrounded by nature which takes over the canvas, it was magical.