Letter from London

On a recent trip to London, I was overwhelmed by the art I saw, both old and very new. I’ll only mention two exhibitions of the many I saw and loved.

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Richard Tuttle at Tate Modern Turbine Hall

Richard Tuttle worked with his crew for six weeks to fill the huge Turbine Gallery of the Tate Modern with an immense piece made of fabric that was especially woven and dyed for him in India. It stretches along the ceiling, from end to end, pleated and folded over boat-hull-like wooden forms, with a vertical form in the middle. The red and yellow fabric changes hues as the light changes. For me, it’s powerful, awesome, beautiful -— and somehow reflective of our past century, with its history of cruelty and devastation, but also containing hope.

Richard Tuttle at the Whitechapel

Richard Tuttle at the Whitechapel

At the same time, Tuttle has another exhibition at the Whitechapel, with some older pieces and some new. I was thrilled to see some of the wire, rope, and cloth pieces he’d shown in the ‘70s at the Whitney. The title is “I Don’t Know,” and the theme of both shows is text/texture; Richard has written a poem for each piece as wall labels. These are lovely and mysterious, as is his work.



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Rembrandt — Lucretia 1664

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Rembrandt – Lucretia 1666

The National Gallery opened a show of late Rembrandts —- wow. The self-scrutiny in the portraits, the beauty and emotional intensity of these paintings, drawings and prints are astounding. The viewer is humbled to know that an artist whose life was unravelling in so many ways could produce such deeply moving works. There are two paintings of Lucretia that brought tears. Words fail to describe the power of these works. Intimacy—modern—insight—light. Life and death.



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Jasper Johns: Regrets

We visited with great pleasure 2 smaller museums: the wondrous Wallace Collection, with a newly restored large gallery, and the magical Courtauld, its collection enhanced by a marvelous roomful of the Jasper Johns: Regrets collection.



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Jane Hammond at Sims Reed

My last evening, a fine discovery: Jane Hammond’s terrific new work in a delightful gallery, Sims Reed, at 30 Bury Street (until Nov 14.) Flora Biddle

2 Responses to “Letter from London”

  1. Ben and I just canceled our plans to go to London next week but your comments inspire me to re-schedule so we don’t miss any of these marvelous exhibits. Thanks for sending.

  2. i love john’s regrets series. i have only seen in reproduction but it looks really beautiful.
    that photograph of freud on which the series is based is really amazing too.
    i had never heard of jane hammonds before your review but have looked her work up and it looks great. thanks for enlightening review.

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