End August 2021
I started this blog with the idea that I would talk about what I’m working on. That’s why I’ve shown you one of my recent paintings. However, I just returned from my least favourite of the Tate Galleries, namely, Tate Modern. You would have thought that since they were starting from an enormous and virtually blank canvas when the redundant power station was acquired, that it might have turned into a wonderful space for showing art. As it is, everything about it gets in the way of enjoying the art. The new addition, the Blavatnik building, is even worse than the earlier effort in the old power station.
I shouldn’t spend time complaining about the building. What I decided I should talk about is the Rodin exhibition that is on at the moment. It’s just a shame that his sculptures have to be seen in the context of the Tate Modern structure. With a little effort you can ignore the surroundings and concentrate on his plaster pieces casts made from the clay in which he originally worked.
We are used to seeing the bronze cast pieces such as The Thinker but the white plaster seems to allow you to get much closer to the actual process of modelling in clay. The marks, the pressure of the fingers as he worked and twisted the clay and pressed it into place or scraped it away is clearly evident.
He said of himself that he began as an artisan. He needed to understand the technical as well as the aesthetic. It was this philosophy in the 19th Century that lead to the founding of the schools of arts and crafts in England. Craftsmanship was necessary for the artist to be able to bring the piece of art into being, from concept to finished object. Without the craft, the artisanship, the concept might be there but the artist would be incapable of completing it satisfactorily.
If you get nothing else from this show you can’t be unaware of how prolific Rodin was. The number of individual body parts he modelled is extraordinary. Hundreds of fingers, hands, parts of torso’s, Games played putting large heads next to smaller bodies. These pieces were his sketchbooks. Not that he didn’t draw as well; he did, combining graphite with watercolour.
All in all it is a very worthwhile exhibition. I recommend it. The exhibition is called The Making of Rodin and continues at Tate Modern until 21st November 2021.
I’ll end with something about me. I have joined the world of Instagram. You’ll find the images under the name of @andrewaaronsart. I have chosen to show how a painting progresses over a number of weeks from its earliest manifestation to the completed painting.
Also I’m going to be having a solo exhibition of new paintings in September 2022. It will be at the J/M Gallery on Portobello Road, London. Details of the private view will follow.
Prior to that, the wonderful online Galleria Balmain is having a “real” exhibition at 188 Shoreditch High Street London E1 6HU. I will be showing paintings along with other Galleria Balmain artists. The show will run from the 27th September this year until the 7th November.
Studio Again 11