sainsbury centre

after all these years of intending to visit the sainsbury centre of visual arts, i finally made it.  luckily yesterday felt like the first day of spring, which was an added bonus.  i took the train to norwich  and was picked up by my friend Elli;  we ate lunch in the very healthy vegetarian restaurant ‘wild thyme’, then made our way to the infamous centre for the arts,  which was designed around 1974 , the Sainsbury Centre being  the first major public building designed by the now renowned architect Norman Foster.   although its over 40 years old, it still feels so modern – somewhere between an aircraft hangar and  oversized shed – it houses the amazing collection donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury.  i didnt get to see all the collection properly, as we had specifically gone to see the Japanese photography exhibition, including works by Araki and the intriguing Hoscoe’s portraits and to stay for the interesting talk about kimonos and their inclusion in Japanese art through the edo period 1600 – 1800’s by Anna Jackson.  what was very surprising and intriguing were the drawings of early erotic Japanese art showing sexual encounters wearing the elaborate kimonos.   the ground floor of the gallery houses the highly recognisable works of Degas – the beautiful bronzed ballerina, Bacon and Chillida – an incredible collection of art, and this floor is free to see and wander around.

the roomy and lofty cafe overlooks the gardens that adjoin the university campus – its a lovely day trip,  i notice that Paul Nash is next on – i missed this show recently at the tate, so i am definitely going to take robert to see it – the surrounding Moore sculptures and the Denis Lasdun buildings – both his favourites.

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