Jane wanted me to reflect on the Alexander Calder at the Tate Modern and the Frank Auerbach show at the Tate Britan that I recently viewed on Saturday 23.1.16 in london. Write a short summary of what I had experienced looking at their work.
How are my methods similar and different to theirs?
Calder: I noticed how much space there was. How the work was displayed, there was so much space in and around the pieces. There was great use of space for us as the audience to walk around and really made the pieces stand out. It really made me think of how the use of space is so important. I’ve realised how much space is important for my work in the studio. You have to compromise because of the lack of space.
I liked the fact that some of his work was hanging and some was on the wall. He had some bottles on a big, low plinth and there was sound connected to the piece. You could hear the sound of the bottles. The pieces were mainly made from wire of different colours and some was thick and some wasn’t so thick. The ones on the wall were sculptural, they weren’t flat, they reminded me of Kurt Schwitter’s work which is all about things that are collected and displaying them in boxes on the wall.
His work intrigued me and impressed me. It was large scale, nothing was tiny. His use of colour gave a playful feel to the exhibition, it was almost childlike because anyone could have connected to the pieces because of the use of mostly bright colours. The layers and the patterns in the wire reminded me of how I draw and how when I use wire I create layers. It was almost like he’d drawn with the wire.
Auerbach: Looking up close and seeing how much texture was on the canvas and how much paint he hadleft on the canvas. I got as close to the pictures as I could, the texture made me want to touch them. They all had a glossy shine to them – I guess the sun can reflect really well against that shininess and make it glisten. The glossiness made the texture look even more effective.
Some of the pieces were the same place and they were important to him, like Primrose Hill so they featured quite a lot. They had an abstract quality to them which creates a mysterious feel and makes the viewer look more closely. He layered and mixed his colours to create different tones, focussing on bright primary and secondary colours, which reminded of me of when I experiment with ink. His use of bright colours really interests me; it gives off a bold energy. I want my work to give off a bold energy, not to exhaust people but to connect them to my work. Auerbach’s work gives off a bold energy which connects me to his work.
Two of his paintings and a drawing I saw below at The Tate Britain.