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Exhibition Review: Nam June Paik at Tate Modern from 17 October 2019 to 9 February 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Tate Modern presents a major exhibition of the work of Korean artist Nam June Paik, the artist is best known for his pioneering use of emerging technologies. The exhibition organised by Tate Modern and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work ever staged in the UK, bringing together over 200 works which covers the whole of the artist’s career.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was one of the first artists that foresaw the power of mass media and new technologies and began to experiment with using the electronic image through a number of innovative ways such as TV sets, live performances, global television broadcasts, single-channel videos, and video installations.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

One of the early installations in the exhibition is TV Garden 1974/2002, dozens of television sets appear from a garden of lush vegetation. Paik ‘s surreal arrangement contrasts the natural and the artificial world.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Nearby is TV Buddha 1974 in which a sculpture gazes through its own image through a closed circuit television and One Candle (Candle TV) 2004, both provide evidence of the way Paik brings together modern technology and ancient wisdom.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Paik had studied classical music in Tokyo and when he arrived in Europe in the 1950s, he was drawn to avant-garde composers like Stockhausen and Cage. He began to experiment in producing his own music and the Exposition of Music room in the exhibition features a number of his works.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the early 1960’s, Paik began to recognise how television was being used to manipulate its viewers, a television in the exhibition features President Nixon making a speech and Paik’s first robot work Robot K-456 1964 was a response to the fear that television was a danger to democracy. The artist began to experiment with electronic art.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

As Paik’s career developed he began to collaborate with a number of artists, composers, designers and poets, the exhibition features his work with composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham and artist Joseph Beuys. Paik’s collaboration with cellist Charlotte Moorman developed into a number of performances incorporating Paik’s television sculptures which include TV Cello 1971 and TV Bra for Living Sculpture 1969.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Transmission room explores how Paik was one of the first artists who understood the potential of telecommunications to deliver art around the world in long distance live collaborations.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

His 1993 video wall entitled Internet Dreams refers to his prediction of a large global information network, Paik used the term ‘Electronic Superhighway’ in 1974.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The large installation One Candle (Candle Projection) 1989 brings the artist back to the ideas of Zen Buddhism and how evertthing is connected and changing.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition ends with the dazzling installation Sistine Chapel 1993, recreated for the first time since he was awarded the Golden Lion for the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale over 25 years ago.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating and playful exhibition offers the opportunity to discover the wonderful world of Nam June Paik. Although not widely known, his pioneering work into the arrival of the mass media and the digital revolution deserves greater recognition. Because of his background he made many connections between Eastern and Western cultures especially regarding the ways that things are interconnected. Paik recognised the potential and the dangers of the new types of media with his innovative and entertaining works.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

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

Great London Sculptures: The Broad Family by Xavier Corberó in Broadgate

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Broad Family is a series of sculptures on a massive scale but is a family portrait of two parents with a child and even a dog with a ball. Although the family is created in an abstract form, if you look closer, two highly polished shoes can be seen peeking from under the child’s figure. This surreal aspect shows the artist ability to use materials and space and offers the odd surprise.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Xavier Corberó was a Catalan sculptor, best known for his public sculpture and was also the designer of the 1992 Summer Olympics medals.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Corberó was born in 1935 in Barcelona and studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London in the 1950s. In the 1960s, the artist acquired an house and plot of land in Esplugues de Llobregat, a village in the outskirts of Barcelona, and developed a complex for artists and exhibition spaces. The complex also houses a significant sample of Corberó’s sculptures and personal collections.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Corberó had his first individual exhibition in Munich in 1963 and had exhibitions in New York City, Japan, and many European cities. His large sculptures can be seen in Barcelona, London, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Beirut, Kuwait City, Chicago, and New York City.

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

Exhibition Review – Inspired by the east: how the Islamic world influenced western art at the British Museum from 10 October 2019 – 26 January 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The British Museum presents a new exhibition which explores how western artists have been inspired by the Islamic world. The exhibition entitled Inspired by the east: how the Islamic world influenced western art covers five centuries of artistic interaction and charts the long and complex cultural interactions between Europe and North America in the ‘west’, and North Africa and the Middle East in the ‘east’.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition centres on the tradition known as Orientalism, which developed in the ‘west and often offered a representation of the east that was considered ‘exotic’ and ‘mysterious’. Orientalism was at its peak during the 19th century when western artists and writers began visiting the Middle East and North Africa in greater numbers.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition seeks to trace the origins of Orientalism back much further, to the 1500s. It also provides evidence that Orientalism was not just restricted to painting but influenced many types of visual and decorative arts such as ceramics, photography, glass, jewellery, manuscripts, clothing and contemporary art.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

A section of the exhibition explores how artists from the Islamic world were influenced by European artistic styles and technologies like photography to create work that was often supported by social elites in the region. Highlights of this section include works by Ottoman photographer Pascal Sébah, and a number of decorated portrait medals from the Middle East, heavily influenced by European styles.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Objects from the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia and key objects from the British Museum’s Islamic collection illustrate this story of cultural exchanges. Highlights include paintings by leading Orientalists including Eugène Delacroix, John Frederick Lewis and Frederick Arthur Bridgman with British artist Edmund Dulac’s original illustrations for a 1907 edition of the Arabian Nights, and ceramics by Théodore Deck, a leading French ceramicist in the late nineteenth century.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Orientalism is now often considered with some suspicion and often associated with a distorted view of Islamic culture. To recognise this, the exhibition concludes with four contemporary reactions to the imagery of Orientalism by Middle Eastern and North African female artists. These works including Lalla Essaydi’s Women of Morocco triptych and Inci Eviner’s 2009 video work Harem.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition illustrates that the cultural exchange between any societies is often fraught with misunderstandings and prejudices. This was certainly the case with Orientalism which developed against the backdrop of considerable distrust between the Christian and Islamic world. Even in the Middle Ages, the scientific advances, craftsmanship and high learning of the Islamic world were well known, however it was not till the 19th century that people visited the Middle East and North Africa in greater numbers. Some of the earliest visitors were writers and artists who often exaggerated the ‘exotic’ to sell their works and colonialists who sought to promote European culture over indigenous cultures. Against this background it is not surprising that Orientalism is a controversial term in the modern world.

After its run at the British Museum, the exhibition will open at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia from 20 June – 22 October 2020.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum 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

 

Museum of London displays a Rare Silver Plate owned by Samuel Pepys

(c) Museum of London

The Museum of London has acquired and is displaying an extremely rare silver plate, originally owned by Samuel Pepys. The silver plate, with knife and fork scratch marks offers a fascinating link to the life and times of Samuel Pepys, the naval administrator and famous diarist.

(c) Museum of London

The rim of the plate is engraved with the coat of arms of the Pepys family, and the underside has London hallmarks. Also on the plate’s underside are the date letter for 1681/2 and the maker’s mark ‘MK in a lozenge’ indicating that it was made in the workshop of Mary King in Foster Lane: just five minutes’ walk from the Museum of London. There’s a much later scratched inscription, reading: ‘date 1681’.

(c) Museum of London

Very little 17th century silver survives because it was often refashioned or melted down. This plate is one of just three surviving items of silver known to have belonged to Pepys. The other two are now in the United States of America.

(c) Museum of London

Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and began work at the Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board 1660. In the same year, Pepys started to write his famous diary that became an important chronicle of London social life and current affairs in a time of considerable turmoil. Pepys was an avid collector of books, prints, silver, household-furnishings, ship-models and curiosities. As his wealth increased, so did his collection of silver plate which was considered an investment and a sign of wealth and status.

In 1666, Pepys placed an order with the Goldsmith Sir Robert Vyner for twelve plates increasing his stock of plates to thirty overall. However in September of the same year Pepys sent his money and plates off for safe keeping due to the Great Fire of London ‘About four o’clock in the morning, my Lady Batten sent me a cart to carry away all my money, and plate, and best things, to Sir W. Rider’s at Bednall-greene….His house full of goods, and much of Sir W. Batten’s and Sir W. Pen’s I am eased at my heart to have my treasure so well secured.

(c) Museum of London

Pepys enjoyed showing of his silver, in 1667 Pepys wrote: I home and there find all things in good readiness for a good dinner … we had, with my wife and I, twelve at table; and a very good and pleasant company, and a most neat and excellent, but dear dinner; but Lord, to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was pleasant, for I made the best show I could, to let them understand me and my condition.

You can see Samuel Pepys’s silver plate on display in the Museum of London’s War, Plague and Fire gallery.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London 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 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

Exhibition Review: Gauguin Portraits at the National Gallery from 7 October 2019 to 26 January 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The National Gallery presents the first exhibition devoted to the portraits of Paul Gauguin (1848–1903), the exhibition entitled Gauguin Portraits explores how the French artist used the portrait to examine himself and many of his friends and sitters.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The landmark exhibition features over fifty works, including major loans from museums and private collections throughout the world and features a wide range of media including sculptures in ceramics and wood,  paintings and drawings. The exhibition covers the whole of Gauguin’s artistic career from his early years as an artist through to his final visit to the South Seas.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The first room of the exhibition is dedicated to self portraits and viewers can see the artist in a number of representations from the early Self Portrait, 1885 and Christ in the Garden of Olives, 1889 where Gauguin’s isolation and lack of success fed into a sense of persecution.  Gauguin was 35 when he committed to becoming a full time artist and the portraits provide evidence of the artist constantly reinventing himself.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Room 2 marks the period he artist spent in Brittany (1884–91) Gauguin turned his back on his life as a Paris stockbroker and become a leading figure of a new artists’ colony. The room also contains portraits of some of the friends and family including Madame Mette Gauguin in Evening Dress, 1884 and Interior with Aline, 1881.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Room 3 explores Gauguin’s relationship with Vincent van Gogh and Meijer de Haan, his famous working relationship with Van Gogh ended badly in 1888.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Room 4 covers Gauguin’s first Tahitian trip (1891-3) and illustrates some of the contradictions of the artist’s life. Although he wanted to escape from ‘civilisation’, he still looked for success in the art market. He was also disappointed to find that Tahitian women were encouraged to wear modest missionary dresses like Vahine no te vi ( Woman with a Mango) 1892.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Room 5 features work completed from his return to Paris and Brittany and his second stay in Tahiti (1893–5). His Self Portrait with Idol, 1893 illustrates how often his work at this time contains distinct Tahitian imagery.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Room 6 includes a selection of portraits in which Gauguin used symbolic objects, like still lifes to remember absent friends. Van Gogh is remembered by  Sunflowers with ‘Hope, 1901.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The final room of the exhibition is devoted to Gauguin’s late portraits. They are often an indication that he had become disillusioned by his life in ‘ Paradise’ .  Local bishop, Père Paillard, is portrayed as a lecherous devil (Père Paillard, 1902,) and Barbarian Tales, 1902 sees East meeting West. His last self portrait, made shortly before the end of his life, aged 55 shows a man ravaged by illness and tormented by his lack of success.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition offers considerable insights into the life and times of Paul Gauguin the artist.  His artist career is full of contradictions, on the one hand he seeks commercial success and validation but on the other hand he wants to turn his back on ‘civilisation’ and settle in ‘paradise’.  Gauguin seemed to be an ‘outsider’ regardless of where he lived, the portraits in this exhibition seem to illustrate that he often enjoyed his status as a rebel whilst at the same time seeking reassurance from the art world.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the National Gallery 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 2014, we attract 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

 

Display Review – Nara: sacred images from early Japan at the British Museum from 3 October to 24 November 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In the run up to the Rugby World Cup (autumn 2019) and Olympics and Paralympics (summer 2020) in Japan, the British Museum is collaborating with Nara Prefecture to bring some of their rare sacred treasures to London.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The British Museum presents a special free display across two locations within the Museum of 15 major Buddhist and Shinto sacred images. The works date from the AD 600s through the 1300s and include 5 Japanese National Treasures and 6 Important Cultural Properties. The sacred sculptures and ritual objects from Nara are displayed together with related important Japanese and Chinese paintings from the collection of the British Museum.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Nara is the eastern terminus of the silks roads that brought trade and continental Asian culture, including Buddhism, to Japan in the period from the AD 500s to the AD 700s, transforming indigenous society. Buddhism was championed by Prince Shōtoku (Shōtoku Taishi, AD 574-622) at what became the religious complex of Hōryūji temple, near Nara. In 752 Emperor Shōmu (AD 701-756) dedicated the great bronze Vairocana Buddha at Tōdaiji temple, destroyed and reconstructed twice during its long history and still the symbol of Nara today.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Nara has revived and sustained its ancient religious traditions, in which Buddhism has generally coexisted peacefully with worship of native deities of nature and ancestors known as kami (modern Shinto). The great temples and shrines of Nara are on this occasion loaning a range of significant sacred images traversing some eight centuries of Japanese history.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Highlights include a sublime gilt bronze sculpture Bodhisattva of Compassion (known as ‘Dream-changing Kannon’,Yume-chigai Kannon, National Treasure) dating from the early AD700s, loaned by Hōryūji temple; and Buddha at Birth and ablution basin (National Treasure),also gilt bronze and dating from the mid-AD 700s, loaned by Tōdaiji temple.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This libation dish is thought to have been used in rituals performed at the dedication of the original Great Buddha. An imposing pair of wood sculptures Divine Kings, also AD 700s, loaned by Tōshōdaiji temple, have only recently been designated as National Treasures.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

These fascinating free displays offer the unique opportunity for visitors to view Buddhist and Shinto treasures from Nara that very rarely leave the shores of Japan. Japan’s ancient capital city of Nara was a hub of cultural exchanges and fundamental in creating some of the foundations for traditional Japanese culture.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum 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

 

Exhibition Review – Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels at the National Portrait Gallery from 3 October 2019 – 5 January 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The National Portrait Gallery presents an exhibition featuring American artist Elizabeth Peyton who is best known for her innovative approach to portrait painting. The exhibition entitled Aire and Angels includes a selection of 40 portraits covering her artistic career and includes subjects like Kurt Cobain, Liam Gallagher, Frida Kahlo, Napoleon, Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie, Phoebe Philo, David Hockney, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Jonas Kaufmann.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In addition to the 40 works in the exhibition, Peyton’s work is shown throughout the National Portrait Gallery, with a selection of her portraits dispersed throughout the permanent Collection, juxtaposing Peyton’s paintings with historic portraits from the Tudor period onwards.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Peyton studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City before holding her first solo show of drawings in 1993, the show took place in room 828 of the historic Chelsea Hotel in New York. Since this rather unusual show, her work has gained popularity and her work is often compared to Robert Mapplethorpe, David Hockney and Andy Warhol.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Peyton’s portraits in the exhibition are in a range of media and characterised by figures with androgynous features and have almost a cartoonish nature. Her work as been compared to fashion illustration and there is an element in which her eclectic cast of friends, historical figures and cultural icons are more images rather than real people.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Her portraits of historical figures such as Napoleon and Queen Elizabeth II illustrate how we are conditioned by the times we live in to the type of portraits that are produced. The paintings by dotted around the National Portrait Gallery confirm this with modern and old portraits sitting uncomfortably next to each other.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Peyton’s style seems more suited to portraying a modern cast like Kurt Cobain, Liam Gallagher or David Bowie, her friends provide plenty of opportunities to celebrate the looks of  the late 20th and early 21st century.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This interesting free exhibition offers the opportunity to see the work of Elizabeth Peyton, her unique modern style often divides opinions but provides a fascinating contrast with the more formal and traditional portraits in the National Portrait Gallery.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery 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 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