Sunday, 6 November 2011

A cultural weekend

Sometimes it seems like all we do is work.
Being human we do need a break and this weekend with its promise of 30 plus weather breaking down into storms seemed an absolutely ideal time to go and take in a little culture.
Saturday saw us decamp to the Portrait gallery to see their exhibition of of new portraiture from South east Asia – some of which was interesting and some of which was simply odd.
I personally found Vivan Sundaram’s photo collages and Nusra Latif Qureshi’s prints especially striking.
In Sundaram’s work I was especially struck by what seemed to be beautifully photographed Indian familty portraits that looked as if they could date from the 1930’s set in conjunction with artworks in a way that one suspects was never normal in middle class India. For example:

Sunday saw us catch the end of the Fred Williams exhibition at the NGA.
Fred Williams  has a style of inspired minmalism building picture of the Australian Bush amiout of sparse paintings of swathes of colour enlivened by what can only be described as textured blobs.
I have a great weakness for such minamalist paintings – I am a quiet fan of Rosie Scott’s Cornwall paintings for example, and Fred is definitely a master of the abstracted minimal.
What was especially nice about the exhibition was the shear range of paintings allowing one to trace the evolution of his style from his early student work on to his mature work.
What was also nice was that as well as his landscapes they included some of his portraits – proving that the man could indeed paint in an (almost) conventional style if need be…

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