Saturday, December 17, 2016

Just Looking

I spend an awful lot of time on these trips abroad just looking at things, these things falling into three broad categories: splendid views of various landscapes/cityscapes; items on sale (which I hardly ever buy), ranging from the egregiously expensive to cheap schlock; actual bits of art, usually in galleries. We managed aspects of all three yesterday, slowly taking in the Portobello Road up to Notting Hill, then heading for the river around Tower Bridge (again), and spending a couple of hours doing two floors of the Tate Modern.

Our trip to the Tate Modern was our second London gallery, having had a look in the National Gallery on our first full day here. I must say I much prefer the modern stuff. It's embarrassing to admit it but put me in front of a Titian and I've got no idea what I'm supposed to make of it all. Monumental yes, but in the dull sense for this viewer. On the other hand I could spend hours just sitting in a room of Rothkos just feeling happily overwhelmed - especially if that room happens to contain the murals from the Seagram Restaurant commission. Bliss - the dark variety.

The problem presented by the Tate Modern is the wonderful fact that there's too much of it. Two floors was one too many in my case.

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