women artists are finally being acknowledged and recognised – the Tate has recently shown the beautiful textiles and designs of Anni Albers who was overshadowed by her husband Josef Albers and now they are showing the interesting and very diverse paintings of the Russian artist Natalia Goncharova. Prolific in her 80 plus years of painting, her style varies so much that at times its hard to believe that one person could create all those genres; the overriding theme is that ‘anything goes in art’.
At the Barbican Lee Krasner is a rage of colour and you can probably guess from her style that her husband was Jackson Pollack – hence being left in the shadows. Helene Schjerfbeck is on at the Royal Academy, and again produced a vast amount of work in her 80 years too; her paintings are a beautiful soft palette of greys and muted tones with a smudge of red rouge on the lips. I particularly loved a lot of her portraits – I feel that there is a mood of my photographs and so I was very glad to find her work; a lot of her subjects gaze away from the viewer, but what is outstanding is the one room of self portraits – you can feel the ageing process without it being obviously painted – the interplay of shadow and light telling the story….
there is also an exhibition of shoes by Manolo Blahnick – cleverly interspersed in the regal rooms of the Wallace collection. note that the shoes seem to be similar to those in the nearby paintings from the 17C and 18C. I love that the Wallace collection is entirely free – it has an amazing collection of early works, which can get lost in the splendour of the rooms with their richly decorative furnishings and wallpaper, which are so interesting themselves. enjoy a cream tea in the covered courtyard.
I rarely visit the new Design museum, but my friend Maria got me a free ticket to see a viewing of the new documentary Bauhaus 100 – that simply explains the history of Bauhaus Design, which is 100 years old and started by Walter Gropius; it traces the growth and movement until it finally ended with the rise of power of Nazi Germany – it was seen to be too progressive and away from German tradition, promoting liberalism. with its centenary, this autumn sees a handful of events to commemorate the occasion including one at the William Morris gallery. lots of Bauhaus designers were forced to emigrate worldwide to escape persecution. Anne Albers was one of those artists. catch the documentary on BBC 4 arts.
we are so lucky to live in a city which has a constantly changing arts programme, a lot of it is free and open every day; whenever you feel to be inspired, just take a morning looking around a gallery, it will really lift your spirits…..