Tag Archives: National Portrait Gallery

New exhibitions

This spring is going to be exciting, there are few big exhibitions worth seeing. Here is my list of the big ones:

David Hockney at Royal Academy

Lucien Freud at National Portrait Gallery – tickets are booked to avoid missing it. It is a thing with me that if I don’t go straight away I never go, like with the Soviet architecture, sigh.

V&A will have few good things going on, as usual. British Design 1948-2012, Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton, and Ballgowns since 1950!

Is there anything you’d like to see?

Sunny March weekend

I really wish for warmer weather, this morning my fingers and toes got frozen and I almost skidded on ice on Oxford Street and went against the traffic cause I was not able to take a turn. On top of this the heating in my office is broken again and I am sitting under two layers of jumpers plus a water bottle. Brrr.

But it is sunny so I should not complain too much!

This weekend was very nice.

More bread making. Sourdough rye, a much lighter rye than last week, superb crust. I am using Richard Bertinet’s book called Crust, very easy to follow and all the bread comes out amazingly well.

A quick look at Carnaby Street exhibition followed by a delicious lunch of Italian tapas at Polpo.

Afterward I was off to National Portrait Gallery to see a wonderful selection of Irving Penn’s portraits. The photographs are very striking with a fair dose of humour.

More baking was done: caramelised apple, hazelnut and almond cake accompanied by a hot beverage in my new Portmeirion cup, thank you Lisa!

The baby plants are doing very well.

I got three Elizabeth Gaskell books, it was very hard to decide which one I should read first. I recently watched BBC’s North and South so decided to start with this one. Absolutely smitten with Richard Armitage BTW. Gaskell’s writing is very engaging, realism with a bit of humour, I feel we are going to be very good friends. I am enjoying it so much I actually get up early to do a little bit of reading before work.

I also watched few films:

Up in the Air – all I can say, thank God the DVD broke half way in, it was dreadful

Where the Wild Things Are – very charming and beautiful

Paris je t’aime – a great selection of 18 shorts about Paris, each by different director and star studded. Some nicer then others but lovely to watch. Ps We booked another weekend in Paris in June, cannot wait!

A very slow weekend

My weekend started at Osteria Antica Bologna in Northcote Road, a nice family run Italian restaurant where I enjoyed delicious scallops with lentil, apple and parsley salad accompanied by good wine and fabulous company. I actually tried to recreate the lentil salad but it wasn’t as good, truth be told I used the wrong kind of apple. If you are ever in Clapham Junction area do go, it’s a fantastic place for lunch, dinner or drink. Beware of a slow service but the wait will be worth it!

Saturday was all about food shopping and a very early spring cleaning of the flat, we have thrown out a bagful of old papers and organised a lot of cupboards. We also visited the local charity shop to offload some stuff where I couldn’t resist buying F.Scott Fitzgerald collection of short stories for 50p.

After last two weeks of ebay madness I hardly have things to get rid of which feels so good.

Sunday was spent on cooking and playing with my little niece. I baked Allegra McEvedy’s Swedish apple cake which is more of a pudding than a cake, especially when served with good vanilla ice cream. Very easy recipe, it takes about 10-15 minutes to put everything together and 50 min to bake.

Got to read a little too, Vogue and ELLE arrived, The Sunday Times had a good article on Mad Men which btw won the best drama at Golden Globes for the 3rd year in a row, well deserved!

I am reading Chekhov’s stories and this weekend I enjoyed Ward no6. I also got D.V. by Diana Vreeland which I am very much looking forward to. Following the Norman Parkinson show at Somerset House I decided to re-read The Golden Age of Couture – the book accompaniment to one of my favorite exhibitions.

I watched the rather bad Breaking and Entering (a total waste of time) and the very graphic yet beautifully shot Antichrist.

Few things I am looking forward to:

a visual feast of A Single Man thanks to Dan Bishop

visiting V&A to see Quilts, Grace Kelly and Horace Walpole shows, and might even pop in to see a rather intriguing sounding The Metropolitan Police Service’s Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries

Foal and Tuffin at Fashion and Textile Museum should be fun, along with a stroll down Bermondsey Street

William Eggleston at Victoria Miro Gallery

Irving Penn Portraits at NPG

whole lot of good stuff at the Tate Galleries

buying some plants – I quite like the idea of mother-in-law’s tongue in nice mid-century pots, at the moment I own no plants whatsoever, even my basil died so this will be a challenge.

Art marathon

Desperate to catch all the shows before they end I organised a tight schedule and stuck to it this weekend.

On Friday night I saw Ed Ruscha at the Hayward Gallery which was good but not mind blowing. Definitely few very good paintings. Afterward my friends and I went to BFI for some drinks, the new bar on the riverfront is so much nicer than the old setup and the chips are excellent too!

On Saturday I met another friend of mine at RA and saw Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska and Gill. A truly wonderful collection of sculptures and sketches. The most impressive being Bird Swallowing a Fish by Gaudier-Brzeska and Epstein’s Portrait of Iris Beerbohm Tree and the spectacular Rock Drill. Amazing show, really worth a visit.

We had a quick lunch in Soho and headed down to Somerset House to see Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour. Another great exhibition, a lot of pictures of Parkinson’s wife and iconic shots of Jerry Hall from the 70s. Well worth a visit, especially if you enjoyed Golden Age of Couture at V&A a couple of years ago.

Warmed up by the museum hopping we decided to end the trip at The National Picture Gallery to see the very entertaining Beatles to Bowie: the 60s exposed.

I watched very moving Wajda’s Katyn – a film about an incident from WWII and its aftermath that not many people know of.

And I almost finished watching Mad Men season 3, a thought of only 2 episodes left to watch is making me depressed. Drooling over Betty Draper’s outfits.

Annie Leibovitz – A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005

Last week, having a wonderful few days off in London, I went to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

I am really fond of her earlier work from the 70th for the Rolling Stone magazine but I don’t like most of the glossy celebrity portraits or the Disney advertising campaign, just not my thing.

The exhibition was well displayed, I find it a bit of a hit and miss with NPG shows as sometimes they display artwork on a belly level and create half room with awkward corners making it difficult to see things properly.

It was a treat to find some amazing pictures of Leibovitz’s family, travel, shots from everyday life and great portraits of her close ones. She has a big talent of capturing intimate moments, people look very relaxed and natural. My favorite picture was a portrait of her mother, below. You can almost see the life’s experience drawn on the woman’s face.

The show runs till the 1st of February 2009. Don’t miss it.

Pictures: Annie Leibovitz

Autumn Exhibitions – London

It’s only the 2nd of September but it feels like autumn has been with us for a while. Rainy days, cold wind, Wellington boots and umbrellas are the daily reality.

I love autumn, in fact it is my favorite season, but I feel I didn’t have enough sunny days this year.

So what’s out there to look forward to? Well, there is great fashion, few good movies coming out, stodgy food, golden leaves and open fire, there are also few very exciting exhibitions coming out.

Victoria and Albert Museum presents Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970. This exhibition will focus of post war design from around the world, it will show how design was shaped by history and the difference between the West and the Iron Curtain. It will cover design, architecture, film and art of that period. Opens September 25th.

The Hayward Gallery will be showing Andy Warhol Other Voices, Other Rooms from October the 7th. It will be a major retrospective of the artist’s films, TV programmes, painting and illustrations. I wonder what the connection with Capote will be?

Francis Bacon exhibition starts on 11th September at Tate Britain. It will include the triptych Thee Studies for the Crucifixion and portraits of Pope Innocent X. This is something I am really looking forward to see. Furthermore the Turner Prize is back.

Tate Modern – Rothko exhibition opens on 26th September, perfect for everyone who likes big canvases with soft squares.

Royal Academy will show two big exhibitions: objects from collection of the Fondation Maeght by MirĂ³, Calder, Giacometti, Braque from October 4th, and Byzantium 330-1453 from October 25th.

From 15th October National Gallery will treat us with great masters in Renaissance Faces – Van Eyck to Titian.

Apart from the current blockbuster Hadrian at the British Museum look out for Babylon exhibition starting on 13th November.

National Portrait Gallery will have few shows, one of them is a must see – Annie Leibovitz A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005. Starts October 16th.

Additional treats are the opening of the new Saatchi Gallery in October and ICA scrapping their entry fee.

This autumn will be exciting!