The Tate Modern

Today we walked to the Tate Modern. It is so nice to be on the south bank of The Thames in downtown London. Most things we like are within 2 miles from the apartment. It appears as if we will only use the tube a few times.

The Tate Modern is not my favorite art museum. Okay, I really have felt no compunction to return there since our inaugural visit in 2011. However, the current special exhibit is Sonia Delaunay and that was enough to visit the Tate Modern again. If you aren’t familiar with her work, look it up. She and her husband, Robert, were early abstractionists who invented a style they called simultanism. Their distinct use of colors and dynamic shapes in juxtaposition was meant to capture the energy of the 20th century. Robert died during WWII, but Sonia continued painting until her death in 1979 at the age of 94. They did not allow photos in the exhibit, but here are a few I snapped from the brochure.

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There were a few other works worth mentioning.

I was quite intrigued by Dorothea Tanning’s painting. This is a surrealism I can live with! She was able to communicate so much with gray. I think Howard Hansen, my drawing teacher, would like Zhang Enli’s series of bucket paintings. Simple portraits of common objects, but luscious in execution. Picasso is always interesting to me. His drawing is superb and figures are proportional even in abstract. Andre Masson took a Cezanne-like still life and added a surreal twist. I included the Miro because I liked it when I first saw it…pleasing colors and shapes. Very pleasant. However, when I read his detailed explanation of the meaning of each color and shape he lost me entirely. In my humble opinion a piece of art should not require a thesis to explain it. The piece either speaks to the viewer, or not. The artist should accept that and keep painting.

Finally we finished with refreshments on the patio.

IMG_0321Tomorrow is the Prudential Ride London. Much of downtown is closed to auto and bus traffic for the weekend. There are free cycle rides along the usually congested streets and a series of professional criterium races in central London tomorrow. On Sunday the London-Surrey 100 features an amateur race/ride 100 miles from downtown into the Surrey countryside and back. Also on Sunday some of the best professional riders in the world will compete in the London-Surrey Classic, a 200 kilometer route. For us this means a crowded weekend downtown, but no vehicles. We intend to do some drawing and painting.


About Paul

I'm retired, but working at painting, photography, and song writing. We like to travel and paint plein air in new places. Of course that's also where photography comes into the picture, so to speak. Sometimes I get inspired to write songs about the people and places we visit.
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3 Responses to The Tate Modern

  1. Jean-Paul Dumont says:

    Of course, you realize that many a great writer (more often poet) has been an outstanding painter. I am thinking of Victor Hugo to start with but there are others; I am thinking of Henri Michaux or René Char, and I am only fishing here only in the French box . I am saying this in reaction to your of receptivity to the marriage between words and pictures, as if they were isolated domains or should remain so. I object, but we can talk about it when you set foot on the continent! Meanwhile, enjoy the charms of perfid Albion.

  2. gwpj says:

    Thanks, Paul, for sharing the photos of the artwork, and the photo of Jean. Best to both of you.

  3. robin says:

    Thanks again for the wonderful pictures and explanations on the various styles of art. I just now realized that I have a variety of styles in my own humble house. So cool!! I also love the pictures of Jean’s smiling face–warms my heart to know all is well and she is enjoying life.

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