Monday, 1 November 2010

Paul Gauguin

We went to the Gauguin Exhibition at The Tate Modern today.  Jacks was supposed to come, but she wasn't well.  And I only just made it - I was limping badly by the time we got home.

What can I say about it?

It was more sad than I expected.  I hadn't realised that the Polynesia he found was not the island Paradise he painted it - I hadn't realised how westernised it was by then.   But in any case he seemed to have had some strange ideas about 'savages' versus 'civilised' people.  (He was all for the 'savage'.)  Whereas we are all the imperfect and dying children of disobedient Adam, and if you don't see that, then does it affects what you can paint?

I hadn't realised what a sculptor he was!  Some brilliant things, but I don't like a lot of his subject matter.  His severed head mug for example, is very much not something i would want to drink my coffee out of.

And i think I found an example of contemporary Art Speak.   We had the audio guides, which do help us to get a lot more out of exhibitions, and when discussing the women in Gauguin's Polynesian paintings, the commentator noted that some were "uncomfortably young".

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