Tuesday, December 04, 2007

British Vision

If there is something you should know about this beautiful exhibition of British plastic arts it is that it is all about observation and imagination. these two concepts are central in British art and to make sure that every visitor is aware of it, the organizers had the first room covered with British artists' definitions of observation and imagination.
On the left of the first room there is a small room dedicated to James Ensor, which of course was a Belgian but who had English origins and whose art shows many parallels with his British counterparts.
Next to this you have the "real" exhibition which is subdivided into several rooms, each according to main themes like 'changing society', 'British humor', 'perspectives', 'landscape', 'atmosphere and detail', 'the visionary' and 'modernity'.
The rooms I liked the most were 'British humor' and 'modernity'. The first showed representations of roughly 18th Century society, but the drawings, sketches and paintings were full of bitter irony and sarcasm. To my judgement, the sequence of a young man's life by William Hogarth was the most striking piece of art in the whole room; it describes the (short) raise and the (long and slow) downfall of a young rich man. In the second, I was really impressed by Paul Nash's paintings, which I just stared at for something like 20 minutes.
Other great artists represented in British Vision were John Constable, Joseph Mallord William Turner, and many many others. If you want to have a British Vision at home, it is possible if you can afford 40 euros to buy the catalogue, which is printed in at least three different languages.
The entrance costs 6 euros for students and somewhat more for others ;-)
If you want to be at ease while going through this exhibition I encourage you to go for it in the morning because after lunch time there are loads of groups of old people who don't care to push you out of the way... enjoy!

No comments: