Abstract Expressionism

In a former life I wanted to be an Academic. My ‘field’ was Art History. I didn’t go beyond BA and now I’m too old, deaf, forgetful and scared. However, I still attend lectures and visit museums and exhibitions. I can’t read much because I can’t concentrate and currently, can’t see too well. But this didn’t stop me dragging my butt out to a show! *Jazz Hands*.

I didn’t study anything after 1900 at University (I did a ‘Survey Course’ which lightly covered from Ancient Egypt to the YBAs in Year 1 but I slept through or missed the 1900’s) but since then (15 years) I’ve begun to be interested. This is due to individuals. People I have met have waxed lyrical about art they like and I have looked it up. I owe my friends and acquaintances a great deal in this regard.

Today’s foray was into Abstract Expressionism – at the Royal Academy. I could write a long review. There were lots of things ‘wrong’ with the Exhibition in a physical sense (1 metre cordons round the works which made it impossible to look at the textures in detail, and many of the works rely heavily on their texture to make sense and impact, labels printed too small…) there were lots of things ‘right’ (lighting, mixture of works) but rather than do that, I’ll just share my highlight. I found an artist that floats my boat. The works do not translate well into photos, and we were not allowed to take images so I couldn’t try to capture a hint of why they moved me (colour, texture, techniques, scale) but I’ll share with you anyway. The artist is American Clyfford Still. I’d not heard of him before today. But when I was making notes of the works I liked, I liked his, throughout the show, and then there was a whole room of them which made me so excited I wanted to jump into the works. I went round that room 3 times. 3 times. That’s a week of walking.

Clyfford Still has his own museum: https://clyffordstillmuseum.org/

But it was PH-605 that floated my boat: ph-605

It’s huge and oil on canvas and textured like a sexy bastard.

Ok, that’s enough.

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