Monday, June 20, 2016

Two exhibitions

The Serpentine galleries have an exhibition on in each of the two buildings. 
(image from this review)
In the main gallery is Alex Katz: Quick Light.  Although familiar with Katz's work I have not seen it other than singly in mixed exhibitions or of course in reproduction.  I still don't know what my reaction is.  I admire the seductive facility he has, making the effect look easy as Adrian Searle says in his review.  But I am also wary of that seduction.  I do not warm to the work, but it was great to be able to explore my reaction to the real thing.  I remain appreciative of his abilities without being attracted - I find them unmoving with cool chic-ery.
(image from here)
On the other hand the exhibition of Etel Adnan's work in the Magazine building I found very much a personal statement that endeared itself to me.  I did not warm to the figurative work of Katz, but loved the abstract pieces of Adnan.  I also especially was attracted to her leporellos - wondrous accordion books so beautifully displayed. 
(two images above from here)
(image from here)
A philosopher, poet, essayist, and film maker as well as artist, Etel Adnan has led an interesting life.  I not only bought the exhibition catalogue but also Paris, when it's naked to give myself more of her perspective, and to elevate myself from my daily routines.  It is wonderful to have so many role models of older women artists these days.


  1. Another new name to explore - those accordion books by Etel Adnan were especially seductive, particularly as I've been enjoying exploring similar forms myself recently.

    I so enjoyed your final comment about inspiring older women artists and was delighted to see on the BBC's recent programme on the reopening of Tate Modern that almost 50% of the work being shown is by women artists ... things are moving in the art world!

  2. The concertina fold books are delightful - and there are lots of them. It is a very seductive form of sketchbook.
    Yes, it is interesting to see how 20th century artists who happen to be female are now being 'discovered'. It's good that society has developed to a point where art is art and not necessarily gendered.