Sunday, June 30, 2019

Starting in the courtyard

Thomas Houseago: Untitled (Red Man) (image from here)
This year's RA Summer Exhibition had yet again presented something different.  For me one outstanding positive was the number of sculptures which delighted, starting with Thomas Houseago's work in the courtyard.
The main lift was not working today, and so I was escorted through the labyrinthine corridors backstage to a staff lift to get to the main exhibition.  
Marcus Harvey: Napoleon Invictus (image from here)
The first large room, Gallery III, is mostly full of paintings, but on a half-wall of their own are Marcus Harvey's pieces, two busts Napoleon Invictus and Full Nelson either side of his painting Victory.
Marcus Harvey: Full Nelson (image from here)
This trio benefited greatly from their virtual isolation.  I found that the rest of the room looked good as a whole, but that nothing else leapt out for my attention.  
Thomas Schutte: Mann Ohne Gesicht (image from here)
The next sculpture which captured my attention was by Thomas Schutte, entitled Man without face.  The stance of the man in shallow water was enough to draw me to look closer, then I saw that his face had been cut off, and that this was in his right hand.  I found this to be a quiet, powerful statement.
Room IV, hung this year by Barbara Rae, was my favourite room as a whole.  I enjoyed more individual pieces of work in here as well as the look of the whole. 
David Mach Easy tiger (image from here)
Two sculptures caught my attention - one of which certainly could not be ignored. David Mach's Tiger covered in Tunnock's teacakes foil was in this gallery when I saw it.  Fun, certainly, and of course prompted the thought of how many of the teacakes he'd eaten himself.
Nicola Hicks: Bear from dump circus (image from here)
The second sculpture appealed to me more, and had a poignancy to it as well as aesthetic attraction: Nicola Hicks' Bear from dump circus.
Tim Shaw: Parliament (the voices in your head) (image from here)
Gallery V came a very close second favourite; it was hung again by Barbara Rae, this time with Hughie O'Donohue, and contained a great many interesting prints.  The sculpture which I loved, however was by Tim Shaw: Parliament (The voices in your head).  The whole as presented is more complex than shown in the photograph.  There are additional pieces of detritus: cardboard boxes, torn paper, and there is an audio tape running.  I was intrigued and delighted.
Janet Mullarney: Dancer (image from here)
The two other sculptures which particularly appealed to me were both figurative: one by an artist I have not encountered before, and one by an old favourite.  I have not consciously met Janet Mullarney's work previously, but a quick look at her website and her galleries here and here make me want to find out more.
Mimmo Paladino: Untitled (image from here)
Mimmo Paladino, on the other hand is someone whose work I have enjoyed looking at over many years.

There were other sculptures which I enjoyed, but these were the stand-out ones for me.  I shall write further posts on prints and paintings.

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