Archive for October 3rd, 2007

Compton Verney – The Naked Portrait.

compton-vern-005-blog.jpgcompton-vern-006-blog.jpgcompton-vern-010-blog.jpgAnne and myself and Jane, Mike and Kathryn went to the opening of The Naked Portrait at the beautiful Compton Verney gallery by Warwick. It was such a good exhibition, so much to see and very well curated/selected, though I would have tried to have got a Ron Mueck for this show, would have been perfect. As ever these days I was increasingly interested in the photography, some great portraits by Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus and an incredible series of tightly edited large self portraits by an elderly photographer (Who’s name I made a special effort to remember but now I’m writing this I’ve completely forgotten)  , they were large close ups of his hands and knees and a very origionnal self portrait from the back with his head seemingly missing (bent downwards) and his hands sticking above his shoulders, almost like a rectangular Rothko composition. Just when you thought you had seen every possible posture for a portrait another fresh one comes along, this is why portraiture is so endlessly  fascinating, it’s about people, internal and external ,and thats all you need to keep you busy for a lifetime. Fantastic.

Anyway it was certainly value for money, I spent about an hour and a half looking around it and was ready to do it again once I’d finished. I love the way it is split up into 3 different rooms, feels like you are walking around someone’s house.The old classics were there, Freud, Bacon, Kossoff, I’m sure there was an Aurbach and some rather interesting contemporary New European photographers who’s pictures really did show up the differences in basic home comforts between new and old Europe. Again I love that idea of portraiture and domestic objects juxtaposed and working hand in hand.

 The pictures show the 5 of us mentioned earlier and me and Anne with our old friend and new (ish) director Kathleen Soriano. 

Make a visit to this excellent show it’s great and the venue is magical.

October 3rd, 2007


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