Hit The Road “Giac”, Three Exhibitions In Half A Day, America After The Fall, Royal Academy, Giacometti and Wolfgang Tillmans, Tate Modern, 16 May 2017

Now that Daisy is a member of the Royal Academy and the Tate, it is even easier for us to take in a few exhibitions in one outing, even those in which we might only have a passing interest.

Giacometti most certainly does not fall into the “passing interest” category – he is one of my favourite sculptors – Daisy’s too (perhaps to a lesser extent). So we planned our trip around the members’ evening showing of the Giacometti exhibition.

Here is a link to the Tate’s on-line resource for the Giacometti.

I had fancied seeing the Wolfang Tillmans some weeks/months ago, but perhaps not to the extent of making a special trip for it. So I was really pleased when the Giacometti invite informed us that the Wolfgang Tillmans would also be showing on that members’ evening.

Here is a link to the Tate’s on-line resource for the Wolfgang Tillmans.

We had also both quite fancied America After The Fall at the Royal Academy, but again not to the extent that we’d arrange a special date for it.

Here is a link to the Royal Academy’s on-line resource for America After The Fall.

Thus our plan was hatched – take the afternoon off, have a bite of lunch together at the town residence, mosey along to the Royal Academy for America After The Fall, scoot down to the Tate Modern and take in the other two exhibitions, shoot back to the town residence to pick up Dumbo (my Suzuki Jimny), then escape London to the calm of the country residence (W3) with some shawarmas.

The plan worked perfectly.

I think we both enjoyed America After The Fall more than we expected to. I had forgotten how much I like Grant Wood’s work as well as Edward Hopper’s and there were several fine examples from each of them. Plenty of other interesting pieces too, along with some rather grim and ordinary work from that difficult 1930’s period.

With some time on our hands and the members’ bar and garden at our disposal, we took some juice in the garden of the bar. We were lucky to get a garden table and celebrated our good fortune with a double-selfie:

Daisy and Ged RA, RA, RA!

Then we braved the rush hour for three stops of the Jubilee to the Tate Modern, arriving pretty much spot on members’ opening time, 18:45. This precision of time keeping does not come naturally to Daisy and I must admit to a bit more luck than judgement on my part too – I don’t pay my time pieces much heed on an afternoon off.

Coincidentally, while waiting for Daisy at lunchtime, I was Ogblogging my old NewsRevue lyrics and came to one about the 1996 Cézanne exhibition at the Tate Modern, based around the Leonard Cohen tune Suzanne.

That got me thinking about a suitable song for Giacometti. Initially I decided that Cézanne was an easier name for parody, but then I had the thought:

Hit the road, Giac,

Ometti come back no more, no more, no more, no more,

Hit the road, Giac,

Ometti come back no more…

So that was it – I had Ray Charles stuck in my head for the rest of the day:

But I digress.

The Giacometti exhibition was everything we wanted it to be. Comprehensive, interesting information about Giacometti’s life and the diversity of his work, lots of our favourite pieces to see and some new favourites to squirrel away in our minds. We particularly enjoyed the documentary film. made late in his life, showing Giacometti paint the interviewer and then talk about the meticulous way he formed his sculpture’s eyes and faces.

The Wolfgang Tillmans was a delicious dessert after the Giacometti.  It is a very interesting exhibition. Mostly photographs of course, but some of the rooms were “littered” with articles and papers that interest him, many of them about the brain and how we form impressions from images and ideas. Some of his photographs are simply wonderful and awe-inspiring. He seems to be a very interesting man, too, although the scattering of papers and articles made me want to have a chat with him rather than simply look at his reading pile.

We quite liked the playback room for sound too, although Janie found it too loud (as did I to some extent) but it was interesting to hear recorded sound at studio quality. We’re used to decent quality at home these days, but often forget how much higher quality is possible in recording, which I imagine is the intention of that work.

I’m rambling again. Three exhibitions, all three well worth catching if you can, especially the Giacometti, which is really special. We had a great outing.

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