Thursday, 25 March 2010

Art for the Day : St Ives

We've been to see the Dexter Dalwood exhibition at the Tate St. Ives. Living in Cornwall, friends assume that I - "go there often". But it's no good. I just don't like the Tate St. Ives.
Once I enter the chunky, cupola-ed building, there seem to be more walkways, lobbies and stairs than "Art". Up, down, and around and around and whither shall I wander? I find the exhibition spaces are an anticlimax.
And now they have "alarmed" the space in front of the art! I found this out when I squeezed past a couple in order to get to an alcove where two smaller paintings had been hung - and a bell started ringing. The frosty faced attendant informed that I had stepped "too close" to the artwork. It appeared that the grey line running around the edge of the floor, about a metre from the walls, was not a decorative feature. It was the frontier zone. This embargo does not of course apply to the curatorial staff who whizz about, blithely triggering the alarm to highlight their discussions.
All I can say is to beware of really popular shows in high season. You'll be coralled in the centre of each exhibition space and be clambering on to the central seating (if there is any) just to get a glimpse of the work.
But when you've managed that - you can climb to the top of the building and go into the overheated "cafe" and pay a healthy price for a perfectly ordinary sandwich - and know that you have done it all for ART.
I just love that Tate experience.

Go and see the Dexter Dalwood. It's on til May 3rd and makes a change from the usual.

What made my day, happily, was looking round "The House of Fairy Tales" at Millennium Contemporary. Sadly it finishes in a couple of days. But it's packed full of mysterious and rather dark gems of imagination: drawings, sculpture, paintings and prints - including 2 by the wonderful Paula Rego.

Now I am going to put my feet up and watch rubbish on the telly, cos I'm such a pleb.

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