Friday, November 4, 2016
Four Astonishing London Art Things
Some of the best art I saw in London could not be photographed. That's the case with three of the four things here, all four of which were mind-blowing and you'll mostly just have to take my word for it.
The above Rothko was from the Abstract Expressionism show at the Royal Academy. Funny to go all the way to London to see a show about mid-century American painting, but this show was drop-dead, stunningly, gorgeously, amazing. Room after room of enormous beautiful canvases. It pained me not to be allowed to take pictures, but perhaps that did force me to just look more intently.
I saw the Bjork Digital exhibition at Somerset House. Holy crap. You're in a three-sixty immersive virtual reality landscape in which Bjork is standing two feet in front of you singing to you. And that's just the beginning. Utterly transcendent.
Everyone said I should go to Sir John Soane's Museum but no one explained to me what it was going to be--so imagine my surprise when the pleasant but unexceptional historical rooms of this house gave way to a vast treasure archive of ancient sculptures and renaissance paintings and much more, all obsessively collected and displayed in surprising ways by this nineteenth century collector.
I was allowed to take pictures of the Richard Serra show at Gagosian Gallery, but photos do not do it justice. This piece seemed to be a near cousin of the enormous one at SFMOMA and walking through it was an equally moving experience--at once soothing and awe-inspiring and giddy.