April 2010 Archives

Report from the British culture front-line. The Renaissance Drawings exhibition at the British Museum is so cleverly installed and displayed that, though the ink has faded on many of the pieces (and you can see them more clearly in the show's great catalogue), you can learn as much about the techniques and history of drawing as from a proper lecture on these subjects.  Three nights at the theatre, as well, so my culture dance-card was full.   
         
We did manage to get to see a wonderful small show of ten paintings and a suite of ten prints by our old friend, Stephen Buckley (at Austin/Desmond Fine Art, Pied Bull Yard, 68/69 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3BN until 26 May.) Buckley, who has just retired as professor of Fine Art at Reading University, was part of the generation at Newcastle taught by Richard Hamilton, who included Mark Lancaster and Bryan Ferry, and has had a long and distinguished career as a painter. We have a large amount of his work, testimony to many years of close friendship. I particularly liked two recent paintings, which appear to be abstract, Cinturat (1991) and Untitled (1990), though on closer inspection turn out to be a sort of aerial view of the fields around the Buckley's house in France, where we've stayed. As in all Stephen's work, there's a teasing element. In this case, my wife spotted at once that the outlines of the intersecting roads look like a pictograph fish. The interplay between the cartographic, the pictographic, the flat surface with the interestingly rough texture that is a feature of so much of Buckley's painting, and the quality of the paint or surface itself (sometimes house paint or boot polish, or rope or the collaged uppers of a pair of worn-out lizard skin shoes) is always rewarding. See www.stephenbuckley.com

STEPHEN BUCKLEY  (b.1944) 

Untitled, 1990 

Enamel, watercolour, varnish on four paper sheets
Signed and dated verso on each panel
101 x 68 cm (each panel)
April 25, 2010 3:12 PM | | Comments (0)
Did you know that you can go to Buckingham Palace without an invitation? Most people don't realize that The Queen's Gallery is part of Buck House: you buys your ticket and they lets you in (the price of the ticket includes the use of the excellent loos, as well).  And if you're only going to the gift shop (the best in London - I'm told the dark marmalade is terrific) you don't even need to buy a ticket.  It's probably the best tourist deal in London, especially until 31 October, as the entire Gallery is until then devoted to a special show called Victoria & Albert: Art & Love.

The 'Timur Ruby' necklace
The Timur Ruby Necklace, Royal Collection

April 2, 2010 6:22 PM | | Comments (0)

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