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The illustrator Mary Kuper is doing an exhibition of her amazing and gorgeous illustrations in the Saison Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, from September 18th to October 26th.
The exhibition is called “Barnacles & Dames” and it is about etymologies, poetry and images.

I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I never had the chance before to go and see his artwork. But as anyone in the world of art does, I knew who Damien Hirst is and I knew what he does.
I think that I’ve only queued for two exhibition in my life Leonardo Da Vinci and this one.
Queues to enter the rooms to pass between the middle of a dead cow, I really couldn’t believe it.

And then I remembered this, people like to be shocked, they love it. Its this pathetic thing in human beings that we like to read about murders and death and sensational stories, like when there’s a car accident people and people stand there watching, waiting to see the blood? Well, this is something similar. The only reason that this guy is famous is because he put the unthinkable in a Museum. A dead cow, a shark in formaldehyde, it was like going to the Natural History Museum and seeing their dissected animals. I realised as well how far from the nature we are now a days, with people queueing to see butterflies in a room? Really? And there were some girls there who were shocked to be standing on them? Come on – go to Wisley Gardens and see butterflies alive, they are much nicer.

Cabinets of medicines, surgical elements, pills, coloured dots in sequence. And this is art? And people pay millions of pounds for it?
Just for the name, because it is en vogue now. Hirst is the new fashionista of the art and yes, he knows how to shock, but from there can we say that these are good pieces of art? No, I really don’t think so.
There was a cabinet full of handmade diamonds, maybe 3000 diamonds there? Dead butterflies on a single colour canvas? Two boxes with flies with a cow head on the floor and blood all around it…yeah, right. “We are talking here about the museum effect – turning all objects into work of art. The tendency to isolate something from its world, to offer it up for attentive looking and thus to transform it into art” ( “A way of seeing” Svetlana Alpers in Exhibiting Cultures)

The mandalas made with butterflies were really interesting, it was the only thing that caught my attention in the whole exhibition (apart from the horrible smell that made me feel nauseous all the way.)

It was in the story of Art that Sotheby’s allowed him to sell Hirst´s artwork directly through them instead of a through an art gallery in 2008. It is in the history of art the amount of money he made in those 2 days. The sale generated £111,576,800 – 10 times that of the previous record for an auction dedicated to a single artist: the £11.3 million ($20 million) raised when 88 works by Pablo Picasso were sold by Sotheby’s in New York in 1993.

I agree with Grayson Perry when he says that the most interesting bit of his collection is his bank account, that is all. Thank God I didn’t pay for the ticket.

It is on until September 9th, so this is the last week.


I am currently conducting an MA research project relating to the Grayson Perry exhibition “The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman” which was held at the British Museum last year. Part of this involves a short questionnaire and I was hoping, if you went to the exhibition, you might be able to take 5-10 mins out of your day to help me. All you need to do is download the questionnaire word document at the link below, complete it, and email it back to me at silvina.design@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

DOWNLOAD QUESTIONNAIRE HERE

PINTA is an art fair in London of contemporary and modern Latin American Art, featuring over fifty art galleries from the Americas, Europe and London.

It was on from 7-10 June in Earls Court Exhibition Centre and I went along yesterday. There were a lot of abstract, concrete, neo-concrete and conceptual artists exposed.

It was nice to see the work of artists like Marcos Lopez, Arden Quinn, Leon Ferrari, Liliana Porter, Sandra de Berduccy there, as well as providing a great opportunity for new emerging artists.

Photo: Luis Barba’s artwork.


On Saturday, before going to the theatre I went to see the Bauhaus exhibition in the Barbican Gallery. The number of originals that they have there is amazing, more than 400 originals ion display. I saw one exhibition in Buenos Aires about Bauhaus, but this one is much more complete.
According to the head of the gallery, this is the largest UK Bauhaus exhibition since that of the Royal Academy in 1967, and the first ever to collaborate with all three Bauhaus centres in Germany – Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin – which has only become possible since the reunification of 1990.

Bauhaus was a German School of Design that opened in Weimar in 1918 and was closed under the Nazi Regime Government in 1933. It had 3 directors with different points of view, the first one was Walter Gropius, the second one was Meyer, and the third one Mies van der Rohe. If you study Art, Design or arquitecture, there is no way you don’t know about the work of this school.

Based on geometry and simple lines, the idea of mass production, in the aftermath of Germany the First World War, was a number one priority for the members of this school, in order to help get Germany on it’s feet again.
If you look at these objects with ‘2012’ eyes, the objects still appear so modern and have influenced so much of what you find in the market today.

It is fantastic that they included in the exhibition several examples of the Preliminary Course directed by Itten so you can see the his expressionist influence, even though it didn’t marry with the spirit that Gropius envisaged for the school. And you can see that in the objects – they were impossible to reproduce.

Catalogues, prints of Albers, typography studies, furniture, photography of Moholy-Nagy, puppets made by Paul Klee for his son, wall hanging textiles of Gunta Stölzl, Bayer´s poster for Kandinsky 60th birthday, teapots of Marianne Brandt, lamps of Wilhelm Wagenfeld. Everything I´ve been studying for years and years, finally I have it in front of my eyes in the same room. It was like a dream come true.

This exhibition will be on until August 12th at the Barbican Gallery, London.

Lucian Freud was an extraordinary artist.

There is a feeling of unease when you are in front of these amazing paintings. The details of the brush marks are fantastic and moving, the details of the colour, sectioned, like his life. Most of the images are very disturbing in general, but I guess they reflected the life that he lived.

This exhibition is mainly focused on his portraiture but if you saw his retrospective a couple of years ago in London I’m told that this will seem very similar.

His late works show a lot of elite friends, signify how he grew as an artist and how he was winning respect and fame – in his late years he was no longer a bohemian painter.

The treatment of bodies like animals, are very moving. Nude bodies, lying in beds or on the floor, not smiling, I couldn’t see any smiles at all. I read that his children said they posed for him, as this was often the only time they could spend with their father. Very sad.

Intense, that is the word, this exhibition is very intense. My favourite room, BIG SUE, is mind-blowing. The dimensions of the artwork are breath-taking and the compositions are extremely great.
He could spend years over a painting, well you can see why, the details are outstanding.

It’s on until May 27, for more information or tickets, click here

So all the tickets sold out very quickly in November, one week after the exhibition opened. I never thought it was going to be that popular. I found out because I went to a lecture with one of the curators of the National Gallery, Dr Scott Nethersole, and he said that all the tickets were sold out. Must be good, I thought.

He mentioned that they had worked for over 6 years to put the Leonardo exhibition together.
So, I had to go.

5am and the alarm clock sounds. 6.30am in the queue. 100 people already! By 8.30 am the queue is surrounding the building, I really can’t believe it. I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life. And I can’t believe that people are so into art to go to that amount of effort, it seems around 80% of the people queuing are 50 or older. The guy behind us is Japanese, and tells us that he came from Japan the day before just for the exhibition! That’s impressive.

I enter the building at 10.15 am and ask the security guy if he’s seen anything like this before. He tells me that he’s seen 3 exhibitions very popular in the National, free ones, but in 17 years, nothing at all like this. He says that there was a couple queuing from 23.30 on a Saturday night to get into the exhibition on Sunday morning.

After 4.5hrs we have our tickets, I don’t think I’ve been this excited since I saw Paul Mc Cartney live at the O2.

It’s packed, with queues to see each of the pictures, so I try to do it my way and sneak in when I see a spot.


What it is more fascinating is the amount of originals they’ve put together. Mainly the paintings he did for the Court of Milan, when Ludovico Sforza was his patron.
There are many sketches that belong to The Queen, but as well they’ve brought together originals from France, Poland, from private collections like this new discovery “Salvatore Mundi” which they recently discovered was painted by Leonardo.
There is a room with the two ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ paintings together, the Louvre one and the London one, and in the middle a lot of sketches that Leonardo drew in preparation for this amazing paintings.

After you finish in the low floor, there’s another room upstairs with all the sketches for the Last Supper, including an image of the original fresco and all the studies for each character, the expression on the faces, hands. It is really really fabulous. There’s a video as well with the 2 curators speaking about the paintings.

I really recommend you if you are into art, don’t miss the chance to see this exhibition, hard work yes, but totally worth it.

So to this government, who insist on cutting arts funding, please, I invite you come along to the National Gallery at 6am on a rainy morning to see how many people are INTO ART, how many people do care about paintings and culture.

It ends of February the 5th.

I went yesterday to see the exhibition about illuminated manuscripts in the British Library. If you are in London, you MUST see it. The ticket is £5 if you are student.
The exhibition is really well organised, the books are incredibly well preserved.
Bibles, Psalters, books of hours, Gospel-books are lavishly illustrated, with the finest materials and made by the best craftsmen of the time. It’s very breathtaking the idea that in front of your eyes, you have books that are more than 1000 years old, it’s impressive that they have actually survived all this time.
The text and illustrations of these books show how people lived in that time, how they dressed, the customs and the importance of religion. Kings from the Anglo Saxons to the Tudors commissioned and owned these handwritten copies of Christian texts. Most of them are in Latin, but some are in French as well because they were translated.
The richness of these images are absolutely wonderful. All the detail, the work on the letters, the decoration on every page are a spectacular work of dedication and devotion.

BBC started a very good series called “Illuminations”, where they explore the world of Medieval manuscripts. You should watch it really. Very interesting.

The exhibition will on until March 13th, for more information read it here