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Exhibition Review – Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All at Tate Modern from 1st June to 6th November 2016

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The Tate Modern present the first international retrospective of Indian artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) since his death. The exhibition bringing together 5 decades of his paintings, watercolours and experimental ceramics from collections around the world.

Khakhar was born in Bombay, but lived for much of his life in Baroda where he initially worked as an accountant until he reached his thirties when his artistic career became more fully established. Khakhar’s early paintings often depicted the ordinary lives of workers and tradesmen, such as The De-Lux Tailors and Barber’s Shop 1972.

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As his artistic career developed, Khakhar began using influences from Indian miniature painting traditions and contemporary Western pop art. He evolved a figurative style that was part of a new wave of narrative painting and figurative art in India that often used the boldness of Western pop art to tell distinctively Indian narratives. Khakhar was part of a small community of artists and writers in Baroda where his home became a gathering place to meet and exchange ideas. After he had visited Europe where Khakhar spent six months as artist-in-residence at the Bath Academy of Art, he returned to India to paint his best known work You Can’t Please All 1981, which depicts a life-size naked figure on a balcony watching characters from an ancient Aesop fable.

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This painting comments on a particular Indian scene but also addresses Khakhar’s ‘coming out’ as a gay man and suggests some of the difficulties he had to face at the time. In the 1980s, Khakhar began to earn a reputation outside of India with shows in London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Tokyo and his work became increasingly narrative and in many ways autobiographical.

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Khakhar began to explore portrayals of same-sex love often in the shapes of mythical figures, works like Yayati 1987, Yagnya – Marriage 1999, Flower Vase 1999 and Grey Blanket 1998 explore some of these themes.

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A residency in the Netherlands in 1994 led to the artist experimenting with ceramics, the exhibition displays a number of these works including rarely seen sculptures of his long term partner. When Khaktar suffered from cataracts in the 1990s, his interest in storytelling developed and he wrote and illustrated a number of books including one for Salman Rushdie.

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Towards the end of the 1990s, Khaktar was diagnosed with prostrate cancer and works such as Bullet Shot in the Stomach 2001 and  At the End of the Day the Iron Ingots Came Out 1999 display some of the grim realities of living with his illness in graphic detail. The mixture of dark humour and pain is best displayed by the painting Idiot 2003, completed just before the artists death.

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Khaktar’s work has often been compared to Henri Rousseau and David Hockney, however although Khaktar was probably influenced by their work, he managed to develop his own unique style which was rooted in the stories and people of India. Even the artist’s work on homosexual themes is from a distinctively Indian perspective. Ironically many Indian Galleries would not display much of Khakhar’s work for being too sexually explicit.

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This exhibition introduces the work of Bhupen Khakhar to a wider audience and offers the opportunity for many to discover the work of an artist who is considered a key figure in modern Indian art and also an important international figure in 20th century painting.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All Exhibition

Tate Modern – 1st June to 6th November 2016

Tickets

Adult £12.00 (without donation £10.90)

Concession £10.50 (without donation £9.50)

Under 12s Free (up to four per family adult)

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

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Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican – 9th June 2016

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The LSO’s Principal Guest Conductor’s second concert this month contrasts an achingly poignant concerto with a pastoral folk-tinged symphony.

Returning to the LSO for the first time in 10 years, Lisa Batiashvili performs Bartók’s First Violin Concerto. Written for the composer’s true love violinist Stefi Geyer , the piece was  held back from performance for fifty years and  it remains a bitter-sweet masterpiece straight from the heart. Dvorak was a proud countryman, often drawing on the folk and dance tunes of his native Bohemia. His Eighth Symphony is perhaps the most joyous example of this, moving from the idyllic to the rustic.

Programme

Dvořák Overture: Othello

Bartók Violin Concerto No 1

Dvořák Symphony No 8

Performers

Daniel Harding conductor

Lisa Batiashvili violin

London Symphony Orchestra

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Leif Ove Andsnes in Recital at the Barbican – 10th June 2016

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A recital with acclaimed Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes who has gained many accolades since his debut in 1987. The Avid chamber musician, renowned champion of Grieg and regular on the highest calibre classical circuits for the last quarter of a century, Andsnes is the focus of the LSO’s 2015/16 Artist Portrait. In this recital, he demonstrates his affinity for his native Scandinavia and delicate talents for the swirling sound-worlds of Chopin and Debussy.

Programme

Sibelius Impromptu; Three Pieces (‘Kyllikki’); The Spruce; Song in the Forest; Spring Vision

Beethoven Piano Sonata No 18 (‘The Hunt’)

Debussy La soirée dans Grenade from ‘Estampes’; Three Études: ‘Pour les degrés chromatiques’ – ‘Pour les arpèges composés’ – ‘Pour les octaves’

Chopin Impromptu in A-flat major; Étude in A flat Major from Trois nouvelles études; Nocturne in F major; Ballad No 4 in F minor

Performers

Leif Ove Andsnes piano

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Murray Perahia in recital at the Barbican – 20th June 2016

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The acclaimed pianist, Murray Perahia tackles the one of the greatest of all piano sonatas, Beethoven’s Hammerklavier, alongside music by Brahms, Mozart and Haydn.

Perahia has devoted a lifetime’s study to music , and his approach to the Hammerklavier is typically considered. Brahms’ sublime late miniatures, Haydn’s Variations and a poignant Mozart sonata create an exciting programme.

Programme

Haydn Variations in F minor Hob XVIII:6

Mozart Sonata in A minor

Brahms 4 klavierstücke Op 119

Beethoven Sonata No 29 in B flat ‘Hammerklavier ‘ Op 106

Performers

Murray Perahia piano

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican – 30th June 2016

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For the closing concert of the 15/16 season Sir Simon Rattle conducts a programme exploring the pivotal works of three composers who each innovated in vastly different ways: Ives, Beethoven and Rachmaninov.

Ives’ The Unanswered Question is an American classic that ruminates on the ‘perennial question of existence’. Ever the progressive, Ives’ work divides his ensemble into three independent groups each playing their own distinctive music. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 broke all concerto conventions when it was first performed, opening with a simple piano solo. Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2 re-invigorated the genre; his insistence on looking back to classical models allowed him to stand out at a time when composers were becoming increasingly obsessed with modernity.

Programme

Ives The Unanswered Question

Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4

Rachmaninov Symphony No 2

Performers

Sir Simon Rattle conductor

Krystian Zimerman piano

London Symphony Orchestra

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Pablo Heras-Casado and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall – 9th June 2016

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Pablo Heras-Casado conducts music by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev.

Shostakovitch’s Festive Overture is followed by Tchaikovsky’s exciting Violin Concerto played by Gil Shaham. In contrast, after the interval Prokofiev’s triumphant Fifth Symphony which  premiered in January 1944 on the eve of victory over the Germans.

Programme

Dmitry Shostakovich: Festive Overture

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

Interval

Sergey Prokofiev: Symphony No.5 in B flat

Performers

Philharmonia Orchestra

Pablo Heras-Casado conductor

Gil Shaham violin

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Southbank website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Christoph von Dohnanyi and Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall – 23rd June 2016

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Arvo Pärt’s Fratres (‘Brothers‘), an entrancing score inspired by the ideals of monastic brotherhood and deeply affected by the sound of bells begins the evening followed by Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 played by Martin Helmchen .

After the interval, Christoph von Dohnányi leads the Philharmonia Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony.

Programme

Arvo Pärt: Fratres

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4

Interval

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.6

Performers

Philharmonia Orchestra

Christoph von Dohnányi conductor

Martin Helmchen piano

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Southbank website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here