Friday, July 17, 2009

National Portrait Gallery, London

Yesterday--after quite a few tiring transport delays, and still working on almost no sleep...ugh--I made it to the National Portrait Gallery. I have to say that finally standing in front of my first "live" Sargent portrait was a pretty great feeling! And even though there was glass covering the canvases, still you were allowed to get right up close to them, so that was cool. I'd long been curious about seeing in person the fact of lights being thicker and darks thinner, and Sargent's painterly strokes. In person the colors are so much more rich, especially the subtle colors, the grays and neutral browns and such.

The piece that stays in my mind most, though, from yesterday's visit, was a contemporary 9-canvas monochrome work (approx. 20" x 20" each?) called Akram Khan, by artist Darvish Fakhr. Sadly, I'd never heard of this artist. Glad I know of his work now! Sooo beautifully painted, I soaked in as much as I could and hated to leave it (yeah, uh, could I just borrow those to put on my living room wall at home?...thanks).

Also wonderful was the fact that the BP2009 exhibition (British annual portrait prize: awarded by Britain, but chosen from entries submitted from anywhere, by anyone, apparently) was on. (Did I mention that admission to Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery, and National Gallery is free?) I can't imagine a more wonderful thing to see than one of these BP shows, as an artist interested in contemporary portraiture.

Whew. After all those hours on my feet, I had to come back to the hotel and put my tootsies up.


Cathyann said...

Did I say yet, I envy you this trip???
How wonderful to get to see all the great ones, esp Sargent.
Checking in tomorrow. Have you seen any Euan Uglow works at the Tate, Jala?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it so egalitarian that museums of this caliber should be free?!
I recall staring at a Sargent painting in the Met in NY, thinking I'd remember the way he painted whites without using white.
I didn't.

How delicious to soak up fine art, not mind the rain because you took a brolly, and of course, at the end of the day to put up those paws.

Oh for heavens' sake, that Lynx muffin cupcake is the cutest thing ever ever ever.

Fernando Pena said...

Hola Jala, realmente tiene que ser un placer poder asistir a esta exposición, disfrútala que nosotros disfrutaremos de tus comentarios... y de las fotos de Lynx

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Jala, forgive me for not reading this post: I'm too busy squealing with delight over the most outstanding kitty pic. (:

Jala Pfaff said...

Cathyann - As far as I can tell, there are no Uglows to be seen at any of the museums!! This is terrible. Do you know of any??? Help!

Bonnie - I agree. With all of it. And I miss my cupcake fluffinmuffin!

Fernando - Gracias. Estoy disfrutando mucho. Y me alegro de que te guste Lynx. :)

Diane - Hee hee. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the blog...[cue Jaws theme music}

Laurel Daniel said...

Exhilerating!! So glad you are having a great time!! BTW - I just gave you the Bella Sinclair Award for "Friendship, Sisterhood, Sharing and Caring." Thank you for your constant encouragement to me! (Check it out on my blog and pass on to 6 or more others if you have time when you get home.)

L.Holm said...

am going to have to look up some of these wonderful artists you're mentioning.

another quick note: Your cat photos are superb and marketable too. You are a woman of many talents.