Impressions on visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: 3 of 3 – The Art on View

This is the last article on my impressions of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

In previous articles on the Guggenheim Bilbao I was unreasonably harsh about its overall lack of humour. How could I have forgotten Jeff Koons ‘Puppy’ outside the Museum. I’m sure it has some form of conceptual art meaning, which I’ve not sought to discover. To unintellectual me it’s simply clever, entertaining, and mildly amusing, and looks expensive to maintain  – see photos below.

Humour, though unintended, came, through listening on the provided wand, from the pretentious, overwrought descriptions of some of the art work, especially in the gallery of enormous works by Anselm Kiefer.

On the ground floor of the Museum is a gallery of eight sculptures by Richard Serra, entitled The Matter of Time. In reading this Museum’s description, there’s a higher level of intellectual interpretation than I’m capable of. Sculpture is an art form that begs to be touched, think of Henry Moore, or Barbara Hepworth.

The Museum website asks, How do you feel when you look at the painting below by Mark Rothko?

It replies, saying,

Rothko’s picture exemplifies American Abstract Expressionism and the style known as Color Field painting. Rothko sought to use large chromatic planes to express universal human emotions through the contemplation of color, often in the form of large chromatic planes.

My conclusion on visiting the Museum; it’s the building that’s the significant art work. While it’s interior is impressive in it’s combination of materials, angles and views, the museum is best viewed from afar. Here’s my brief photo montage of some of the art. [Note, photography of the art was discouraged, so only two photos, a Rothko and a Warhol. Click on images to enlarge.]

Painting of the week No.19: Departure of the Diligence, Biarritz by Abraham Solomon

Odd, that I’ve called it painting of the week, because it’s certainly not a weekly thing. This is only number 19 since the first of the series in 2009.

The Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway, University of London in Egham has been a source of many of my paintings of the week. Our latest visit, last week, provides another.

I’d admired Departure of the Diligence, Biarritz by Abraham Solomon in an earlier visit. It was positioned high up in the gallery making close-up viewing difficult. In our more recent visits to the gallery the painting wasn’t on view, We were informed that it had been away for cleaning, and had recently returned to the gallery. What a difference cleaning has made, the colours are so much brighter. [Click on image to expand – see all the pictures in the gallery at Art UK].

Here’s my extract from the gallery catalogue, which expresses my views perfectly,

This painting was Solomon’s last work before he died in Biarritz, to where he had gone in 1861 for a rest cure for a heart condition. Solomon’s paintings were admired for their brilliance of colour, and for his interest in costume. The painting contains much in the way of incidental detail and careful grouping of figures, who weave an intricate pattern across the picture surface, again something so admired in Solomon’s work.

Art to suit all tastes at FCSA’s annual exhibition

The Frimley and Camberley Society of Arts 56th annual exhibition is at High Cross Church, Knoll Road, Camberley. I attended the well attended preview evening yesterday evening, where the Chairman of the FCSA, Carole Head, invited the Mayor of our borough to open the exhibition.

As a selling exhibition, a small red dot in the bottom right hand corner of the painting indicates that it’s sold. My favourite painting, I noted had that red dot. Anyway, here’s my brief photo montage of the exhibition.

A selling Art Exhibition by Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts

At the annual selling art exhibition of the Frimley & Camberley Society of Arts look out for the little coloured dots in the right hand corner of the painting. They indicate that the painting has been sold. Among the artists work I look out for are by President of the Society Graham Scandrett, and Lightwater artist Liz Seward.  We all have our favourites. Go along on Friday or Saturday, 14th and 15th July, and see what you like.

It’s not Eros in Piccadilly Circus. Do you know who it depicts?

Everyone knows that the statue in Piccadilly Circus is the statue of Eros – mostly that’s because it’s the name to which it’s commonly referred.

Well, the truth is that it’s not a depiction of Eros, but Anteros, his twin brother. Londonist explains why our confusion over the name,

Gilbert [the sculptor] spent a long time considering how to celebrate the life of Shaftesbury, a philanthropist and social reformer. Lord Shaftesbury campaigned against many injustices, such as child labour conditions, limiting child employment in factories and mines.

For five years Gilbert considered various ideas to celebrate the charitable life of the Earl. He eventually decided on a fountain, topped with the winged figure of Anteros, the ancient Greek symbol of Selfless Love.

Gilbert described Anteros as portraying “reflective and mature love, as opposed to Eros or Cupid, the frivolous tyrant.”

But the English, with our unhelpfully generic singular word for ‘love’, whether its love for your grandma, your hot new boyfriend or your baby niece, struggled with this idea. The boy with the bow and arrow was Eros, and neither explanations nor re-branding exercises were going to change that.

It was the first sculpture in the world to be cast in aluminium and is set on a bronze fountain.

Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA

Surrey Heath’s art collection on view

Over the years generous donors have gifted Surrey Heath with paintings and drawings. Some of that collection is on display in Surrey Heath Museum’s current exhibition of the Borough’s art collection. Here’s my photo of some of the paintings on show and the exhibition details. On show is my favourite painting from their collection – The Washing Line by Percy Harland Fisher.