Living in London I’m very lucky to be able to go to art galleries free, I have my favourites of course; I love 18th century art and my favourite rooms in the National Gallery are rooms 34 and 35 (British artists like Gainsborough, Turner, Reynolds etc.)
I’m not a big fan of modern art but every so often go to exhibitions to see if my taste has changed at all and ‘I’ve seen the light’. So, when my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the Miro exhibition at the Tate Modern I agreed. The funny thing is that both of us went knowing that we didn’t really like Miro’s work and therefore were unlikely to really enjoy the exhibition…and we were right!
Born in 1893, Miro lived through very difficult times including the Spanish Civil War and used his art to reflect his views. His career spanned 60 years and you can see his work evolve over the years, becoming more and more minimalistic. The first piece I saw was an early piece called North-South which I didn’t mind too much, but as we walked from room to room I realised that as his art progressed, I liked it less and less. Dog barking at the Moon reminded me of a dog that would appear on the Simpsons and Woman Walking Upstairs looked like a cartoon that would appear in the tabloids. A lot of this surrealist art made me think of posters that a teenager would have on their bedroom wall. He is quoted as saying “I feel the need of attaining the maximum of intensity with the minimum of means, it is this which has led me to give my painting a character of even greater bareness” it’s this bareness that I just don’t enjoy. After wandering from 1918 to 1944, my friend announced that she wouldn’t give any of it houseroom and I wondered if we were the only people who just didn’t see it as great art; we weren’t. When we got to room 12 we were faced with a number of large canvases with very little on them entitled the Hope of a Condemned Man. As my friend and I were looking at a black line scrawled across the white background, an eloquent voice behind us said ‘I think his pen ran out’. I think that sums up my experience, sorry Miro, just not my cup of tea!
This exhibition closed yesterday at the Tate but is being taken to a number of countries, let me know if you’ve seen it or are going to see it and what you think.
to span - (v) to go from one thing to another, a period of time
to evolve - (v) to develop gradually
minimalistic - (adj) containing very little
tabloid - (n) a newspaper concentrating on sensational news
to give something houseroom - (exp) to be happy to have something in your house
entitled - (adj) called or named
to scrawl - (v) to write badly
eloquent - (adj) well spoken
to run out of something - (phr. v) to use until there is not more left
not my cup of tea - (not my taste)
Categories: British Culture