Quick London summary

2006-07-12

in Daily updates, Travel

Stairs at Sommerset HouseHappy Birthday Nora Harris

Today’s trip to London was very successful: I got to spend time with Sarah for the first time since her wedding, I saw a large number of new Kandinsky paintings at the Tate Modern exhibition (including the spectacular Composition VI), I saw the Haitian film Heading South at an arty theatre in Soho, and had a number of tasty meals. Meeting Sarah’s husband Peter for the third time, as well as her father again, was also excellent.

Sarah and I saw some of the artwork at Somerset House: another London institution that I had previously known nothing about that turns out to be well-stocked with Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, and such. They even had a respectable collection of Kandinsky paintings – organized in an identical thematic fashion to the Tate Modern exhibition.

I had seen Kandinsky’s work first-hand before: in New York in 2003, both at the Guggenheim and at the Museum of Modern Art. Of course, their new location had not yet opened at that point, so they were only showing a limited assortment out in Queens. By comparison, the Tate Modern exhibition was a much more comprehensive look into the progression of his work. Of all the paintings there, the massive canvas of Composition VI was most interesting and compelling. I urge people not to search for it online, because on the basis of my previous viewings of it as some little JPEG file, I can assure you that it cannot be understood in that format. You need to see the wall-sized painting to have any comprehension of it at all.

While the trip really deserves more ample description, it is 2:00am. I will do so soon.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 12, 2006 at 5:05 pm

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Anonymous July 12, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Standing below the six by ten foot expanse of Composition VI, the viewer cannot help but brace himself against the impending crash of a tidal wave of colliding forms and colors.

Well worth having a look.

Milan December 20, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Composition VI

It is completely different when you are standing in front of it. Sarah bought me a postcard of it and I didn’t immediately recognize it as the same painting.

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