Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

Postby jasperjoffe » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:43 pm

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/metamorphosis-titian-2012

this is an excellent and enjoyable show, I much preferred the art to the costumes. Interesting to see a Shawcross vitrine, vs Ofili Painting, vs Wallinger peepshow. The Shawcross vitrine was spellbinding, if raising questions of cheesiness, but the robot arm lighting the antler is magical. Wallinger's peepshow (reminding me of the Kienholz show also at The Nat) was sexy in the way spying on a naked woman going about her toilet (not on it) in a box is, if you are a hetero man, I guess, but might work for others. All the galleries are dark, and there was a strong frisson of perv as people queued to peep. It is highly effective and brings you back to the reality versus illusion (of paintings) question in your head, and you can compare some of the greatest of the fakers, titian next door.

And then finally Ofili, a brave and good artist, to be hailed for abandoning his trademarks and trying to make big paintings which work without a whole load of mannerisms. There is a lot of Matisse in these, they aren't that sexy or stunning, drowsy stained paint, queasy colours, flattened space, his elegant drawing underpinning them. He is outshone in the dark galleries by the other artists working with stuff, the easier option but more successful here. A good competition. Isn't there a greek myth about this?
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Re: Metamorphosis: Titian 2012

Postby CAP » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:20 am

The idea that Diana and Achteon is about voyeurism is simply wrong to start with. Achteon happens upon Diana innocently, and before he can retreat or apologise he's turned into a stag. Moral: Ignorance, innocence are no excuse. The Gods brook no exceptions, concessions, punish harshly.

Wallinger is stupid and sensationalist and the National Gallery deserves a clip around the ear for this cynical exploitation of Titian. And I don't want to sound like Artwatch but frankly I was appalled at the state of the Scottish Titian - i.e. looking like pale ghosts of Titian. :(
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