Snippets From The Torygraph

There were a couple of art items in yesterday’s Daily Torygraph. In the Obits section (my sister is worried because I look at the obituaries and thinks I need to ‘get a life’) there was a piece about the death of Australian artist, Jeffery Smart. His is not a name with which I am familiar but I did like his painting “The Cahill Expressway” from 1962 which, as the obituary says, was influenced by Hopper.

The snippets I want to share are firstly Smart’s opinion of Picasso: “He was captain of the ship and he wrecked the ship – over-talented, and his attitude to art was arrogant. He had, I think, a bad influence on painting in the 20th century,” and secondly his view about art galleries (he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Italy’s great galleries): “It does lift your standards. You can’t see them through books and reproductions; you must see the real works.”

The other article was a review of the new Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery. As a tight Yorkshireman, I particularly liked one quote: “These works [by Metsu and Thomas de Keyser] are very familiar from the permanent collection, as are the National’s two Vermeers. The Kenwood painting can be seen any day of the year, again without payment, while the Royal Collection painting is frequently lent to exhibitions and hardly a revelation… Seven pounds isn’t excessive in terms of current exhibition prices, but feels steep for a small number of paintings most of which can generally by seen free.”

This reminds me of the room at the Royal Academy Manet exhibition which I reviewed earlier in the year. It contained just one painting “Music in the Tuileries Gardens”. There was a huge crowd round it even though it normally lives a mile away in the National Gallery where it can be seen for free.

Today had a review of the new Lowry exhibition at the Tate. There was a gem of a line in it. “Tate’s retrospective [is] one of the exhibitions of the year, a show that anyone interested in British art should try to see – even if, like me, you hate every single moment you spend in it.” I can’t remember being recommended to see an exhibition by a critic who has hated it before.

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About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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13 Responses to Snippets From The Torygraph

  1. Red Hen says:

    I love that Smart version of Hopper. Hadn`t heard of him but your pic immediately caught my eye. We`re really lucky here in Ireland in that there is a wealth of art open to the public for free. Three terrific galleries within spitting distance of the centre of Dublin-National Gallery, Hugh Lane Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. There is a charge for the really big travelling exhibitions in the National but that`s it. And, if I recall correctly, there`s at least one Vermeer and Metsu there for free viewing.

  2. It is one of my intentions to see all the Vermeers in the world. We were in Dublin a few years ago and we walked past the National Gallery without going in as I didn’t realise at that time about the Vermeer inside. Still it gives me an excuse to go back.

  3. seascapesaus says:

    Another chuckle today (thanks John). Nice also to see your nod to Jeffrey Smart, an Adelaide boy. He left home long ago (for Italy) but had a large retrospective here last year “Master of Stillness.” Piero della Francesca was one of his heroes, obviously not (the later) Picasso.

  4. coastalcrone says:

    Thanks for exposing me to this artist. (I read the obits also.)

  5. ms6282 says:

    I have to agree about the Vermeer and Co exhibition. I called in to the NG during my recent short trip to London while I had a few hours to while away waiting for the first cheap train back home (and I’m not a Yorkshireman!) I had particularly wanted to see the Vermeers and the Metsus and other similar paintings. I saw both of the NG’s Vermeers and the Kenwood House Guitarist which they have on loan while the house is being renovated. So I think it’s a bit cheeky that I’d have to pay if I decided I wanted to see them when I’m down in London mid August.

  6. Pingback: London 3 – And Finally…..! | notes to the milkman

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