Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Two Tates and Four Exhibitions - The Second Two

The second two exhibitions were at Tate Modern on Bankside and were visited after the obligatory wander round the Christmas market that fills the forecourt of the gallery. The first was the exhibition of works by Alexander Calder, his wire creations and his lovely mobiles gently turning with any stray breeze. They brought many a moment of delight and childishness, along with great fun too! I'd happily have one of his mobiles hanging from my ceiling.

Some artists find something new and different, something that makes you smile with wonder and that's what Mr Calder managed to do. His delicate creations slowly turning with shadows on the walls and floor adding to the magic of the mobiles. With a few it was as much - if not more - fun to watch the shadows gradually changing, growing and receding than it was to watch the mobiles. But that doesn't matter, it's the total experience. And it's the same with his wire sculptures - they're not line drawings, they're 3D sculptures and great fun they are too. I particularly liked the wire faces that had to be looked at just right to see the full face otherwise they were a mass of mangled wires.

I think my favourite mobile was 'Snow Flurries', a group of round snowflakes of different sizes slowly rotating this was and that, very slowly, with shadows gradually changing. There was something really quite magical just standing there and staring at the mobile as it settled and then set off again. It's gentle and lovely and I can quite see that this mobile would bring the snow in the depths of winter since it mirrored a real flurry of white flakes. If it was real I'd catch some on my tongue.

The second exhibition was the much hyped 'The World Goes Pop' that aimed to show that pop art wasn't just a USA/UK phenomenon but took roots all over the world. That's a very worthy aim but sometimes worthy can go to far and tip into so-so. And that's what I felt, really, a great big 'so what?'.

I liked some of the pieces and they certainly chose one of the best for the poster to advertise the exhibition but it wasn't as busy as the Calder exhibition. There were some interesting exhibits but none of them really grabbed me, certainly not in the way that Calder's works did.

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