This post was meant to have been called “… and some exhibitions I’m going to” and was to have been posted at the beginning of last week before we went to London. However, as every blogger knows, occasionally real life gets in the way of blogging. So we have been to London and returned.
We arrived in London on Wednesday lunchtime. (Aside: It was only when we visited the States last year that I realised how lucky we are to live so near to a major centre for art exhibitions. A two and a quarter train ride takes us from Manchester in the North West of England to the centre of London. Magic!)
We arrived with enough time to see the Picasso and Hardacre exhibitions. Now you’ve probably heard of one but not the other. But then one is a personal friend and the other isn’t.
Sarah Hardacre‘s show was at the Paul Stolper Gallery in Museum Street near the British Museum. It was great to see Sarah’s screenprints which I had seen pulled at Hot Bed Press on the walls of a prestigious London gallery.
Burned By The Heat – Sarah Hardacre
Sarah produces collages from pictures in old “Gentlemen’s Magazines” combining them with photographs of 1960s Salford. She then processes these to make screenprints. The titles come from the text accompanying the photographs in the original magazines.
My favourite in the show was “Who Cares?”
Who Cares? – Sarah Hardacre
The exhibition finished on June 2nd and Sarah had suggested we popped in at 4 pm on the last day to see if we could pick up any bargains, but I don’t think the art market works quite the same way as Tesco.
We then trotted off to the British Museum who were showing the one hundred prints making up the Vollard Suite for the first time. According to his entry in Wikipedia: “Ambroise Vollard (3 July 1866, Saint-Denis, La Réunion – 21 July 1939 in Versailles, France) is regarded as one of the most important dealers in French contemporary art at the beginning of the twentieth century. He is credited with providing exposure and emotional support to numerous notable and unknown artists, including Paul Cézanne, Aristide Maillol, Renoir, Louis Valtat, Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Georges Rouault, Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh. He is also well-known as an avid art collector and publisher… Much has been made of his physical appearance and countenance, grimly described as a “large, gruff, boorish fellow” with “downcast eyes…””
I intend talking about the Vollard Suite itself in another post but the first thing I saw at the entrance was a print from the Suite of Ambroise Vollard himself. Next to it was a quote from Picasso which said:
“The most beautiful woman who ever lived never had her portrait painted, drawn or engraved [more often] than Vollard – by Cezanne, Renoir, Rouault, Bonnard, Forain, almost everybody … He had the vanity of a woman, that man.”
This caused me to surf round the Interweb thingy looking for images of Vollard by the above artists. Firstly, the Vollard Suite itself ends with three images of Vollard by Picasso. Here is one of them:
But Picasso did other portraits of him (Vollard was never keen on Cubism, incidentally), the first being from 1910 and the second from 1938:
Here are two by Cezanne:
Here are two by Renoir:
Here are two by Bonnard which, like Picasso’s 1938 portrait, shows Vollard with his cat:
Finally a sketch by Dufy – not his usual bright fauve colours:
There are probably many more portraits out there in the aether. There was an exhibition in Chicago in 2007 called “Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde”. However, I believe there were only one or two portraits of Vollard in the exhibition. It would be interesting to get as many portraits as possible together in one place so the different treatment of the same subject could be compared.