It was a complete change of pace next door at Hamilton Gallery who were exhibiting Daido Moriyama, the most celebrated Japanese photographer from the Provoke Movement of the 1960's, . His images are so multi layered, visually and philosophically that it's hard to know where to begin. It is first best to perhaps understand that he was born in Osaka in 1938 and the historical and social significance of this is palpable in his work. The aftermath of WWII, industrialisation, unsettling cultural shifts and urbanisation are issues which all play out in his captivating images. Gallery owner, Tim Jefferies selected 16 images from the Artist's archive and these have been created as screenprints exclusively for the gallery in an edition of 3.
I'm never sure if I'm going to like the shows at The Saatchi Gallery, they've been more miss than hit for me. This time I was pleasantly surprised. The current Body Language show as well as New Order are well worth a visit if you are in London. I found it refreshing to see works by younger artists acknowledged and shown together with more established artists, such as Chantal Joffe. New Order was equally satisfying, I especially enjoyed Alejandro Guijarro photographs of blackboards from academic institutions showing the workings of quantum mechanics. They are philosophically complex images, dealing with issues of mental movement, the speed and repetition of thought, questioning and problem solving. My evening visit was capped off with a trip to the gallery's basement to visit one of my favourite pieces of contemporary art, Richard Wilson's oil installation… as it always does, it took my breath away.
My final day saw me enjoy an early morning visit to the recently re-hung Tate Britain and what a treat it was. The curators have certainly done a magnificent job by beautifully re-working the galleries and breathing new life into ever corner. Pure joy.
My final exhibition visit was initially planned as a purely indulgent treat. It was in the end, rather emotional. Somerset House's current show is called Isabella Blow, Fashion Galore! and it is wonderful. The exhibition thematically charts Blow's life through her extensive fashion, shoe and hat collection. I'm not going to go into detail here on who she was - look her up if you are interested. What I will say is that I had followed and admired her for years, we shared the same birthday (11 years apart) and she died on my wedding anniversary in 2007. Her incredible skill for spotting, mentoring, supporting and promoting young fashion talent (Alexander McQueen most famously) was extraordinary. Her fearlessness, creativity and boldness is something the world needs more of. Seeing Blow's exquisite personal collection of clothes, hats and shoes has brought her back into the public eye but the world is certainly a less colourful place without her.
OVERALL & GENERALLY
It was an incredibly exhausting, stimulating, fascinating and fulfilling 2 1/2 weeks
Work by emerging artists (UK and international) exhibiting in London and Paris was exciting and seemed incredibly affordable
The lower end and blue chip art market is alive and well - the mid market is a struggle
Seeing painting, painting and MORE painting was BLISS
There are some great new, young galleries and gallerinas who are knowledgable, dynamic and BOLD!!
Can I wait to get back to London & Paris? NO
When do I think I might? October for Frieze and Frieze Masters et al - fingers crossed