Coloured crepe, mochi and macarons, magnetic walls, portrait booths, sound rooms and mind maps, ombré balloons and selfie wind machines, spinning plinths, pie charts, dance floors, glitter walls, an alphabet… Magic.
All photos New York, Oct 2018.
A taster for the Royal Academy’s exhibition this spring on Charles I and his art collection, where I’ll be hoping for more Van Dykes like this one. Thank you Becca for flagging it up to me.
Lucinda Rogers’ gentrification exhibition at the House of illustration is a must see. Each piece documents the changing nature of life in Hackney and the changing communities. Striking, energetic, thought-provoking and top quality as ever.
Tove Jansson’s family portrait from the 1940s, one of many gems from the current Dulwich Picture Gallery show: the sea pictures, self-portraits, Alice in Wonderland illustrations…definitely waiting to go again.
Monsoon Rains, Monghyr, Bihar, 1967 by Raghubir Singh.
Wishing I could see the Met Breuer retrospective of Singh’s works, which is currently on, but condoning myself with a planned visit to the Science Museum’s show on Indian photography instead, which also looks cracking.
Like most cities, London sees September shift from pop-up restaurants and pop concerts to a parade of plays, operas, history exhibitions and weighty films to get you thinking after the summer break. Here’s my list of things I’ve seen and would recommend:
1. Aida at ENO: superb singing, including from the chorus, and most definitely a star in the form of this new Aida herself. Great sets – hats, masks and leopard skin a go-go – of the Hollywood musical kind and none the worse for that.
2. The girl from the north country – at the Old Vic and now sold out, but the cast recording is available online and well worth the price for some gutsy, gritty, beautiful performances.
3. Oslo, which is now transferring to the West End. I liked the political negotiation parts best rather than the drawing room marriage comedy, though despite the good cast in London, I wonder how I’d have felt if I’d seen Jennifer Ehle in New York.
4. The Scythians at the British Museum – wonderful gold pieces discovered in the 18th century frozen in the Siberian tundra, along with the remains of silk, cheese, pottery and wooden coffins. All the wrong postcards, but it doesn’t matter if you’ve been to actually see the show. Quite big, but can be done in an hour. The BM is on fire still after their American Dream show earlier this year.
The House of Illustration is very good at making me see artists I hadn’t heard of before (e.g. Linda Kitson), but who are very accomplished and had fascinating lives.
Jacqueline Ayer’s parents had moved from Jamaica to New York in the 1920s and Jacqueline grew up helping her father’s ad agency, the first aimed at African Americans.
Her observation for fabric and costume fed into her children’s’ illustrations when she moved to Bangkok in 1959, and after coming back to America in 1963 she founded a Thai textile line. I wish there’d been more room for her work with the Indisn government, her autobiography, and what was clearly a fascinating life, but I’d still recommend this to anybody.