Sunday, April 20, 2008

Muñoz, Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia and Me

I had been meaning to go to the Tate Modern to see the Juan Muñoz retrospective since it started and then the other week, I realised that it was very nearly finished and I still hadn't been. So today I had to motivate myself into leaving the house on what was a rather grey day and get down to the Tate Modern, which is a bit of a trek with Sunday transport.

There was a combined ticket offer for both the Muñoz exhibition and the Duchamp, Man Ray and Picabia exhibition, so I saw both.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Juan Muñoz is my favourite sculptor (although I can't really think of many more than five sculptors off the top of my head)

  • Some of his work was disturbing, some of it I found soothing, perhaps because it reminds me of home

  • Sometimes seeing work in a gallery isn't the best place for it. I first came across Muñoz's work as a set of his work on the beach in my hometown, and in contrast to that, where the weather, seagulls and public are free to interact with the pieces, sometimes the gallery's restrictive environment didn't feel right.

  • My favourite pieces were "Many Times" (pictured above) and "The Prompter".

  • I didn't like the work of Duchamp before and I still don't. It irritates me.

  • I don't mind a bit of May Ray and Picabia's stuff wasn't bad either

  • I would have been quite tempted by the May Ray Chess Set in the gift shop if either a) I could play chess or b) I thought the OH knew who May Ray was.

  • Overall, the gallery was far too crowded so I didn't look at much of the permanent collections except;

  • Cornelia Parker's "Thirty Pieces of Silver" which was quite stunning

  • In theory, I'm in favour of the major galleries being free but in practice, it leds to overcrowding and people coming with no interest in art whatsoever, namely;

  • Toddlers. The Under-3s tend not to be interested in modern art in my experience. They may like drawing, but they've usually not much time for the surrealism, modernism or any other isms. Yet, there were hundreds of them, mainly being dragged round reluctantly by mothers or in one case, lay spread out in the middle of a gallery surrounded by craft materials and toys, but still miserable. I'm all for introducing children to art but does everything have to be tailored to suit them? They've got swings and ice cream.


Hotter Than... said...

Sounds like you enjoyed yourself!.

I saw the exhibition a little while ago and really enjoyed it.

thoughts running through my head.... said...