Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I can't Hear from all the Screaming in the Gallery


When: 26/12/2010

Where: Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris

There are many ways to spend Boxing Day: lounging in front of the TV, filling up on leftovers, the sales etc. However, though I can do all of those things I'd much rather be expanding my mind and my experience of the world with an art exhibition, so here goes. It was a cold and icy day yet the queue for the gallery was stretching round the block a little but moving fast. Once in and warmed up it was time to start and thankfully although busy there was enough space for contemplation. The exhibition started with early works. If paintings played music, shouted and screamed then you were in heaven. For a moment you found yourself in early '80s New York, Hip Hop, noisy Subway trains, rubbish and people shouting and screaming. For me this was one of the best parts of the exhibition and I found it very stimulating.

The next section of the exhibition concentrated on diagrams, notes and plans. I found these complemented the main pieces extremely well. The notes and diagrams helped you to see the order and meticulous planning involved in the various pieces as well as pick up on the meaning behind the recurring themes. I spent a lot of time looking at all the details and found it incredibly worthwhile.

The final section of work consisted of some of Basquiat's final pieces including a collaboration with Andy Warhol. I did not enjoy any of the work in the final section. The noise had gone from the art and it had been replaced with the quiet of the gallery and the flatness of a magazine cover. Instead I could feel the clink of the champagne glasses. I just didn't get it anymore. Sadly Basquiat died young so we never got to see where he could have ended up with his work and talent which is a terrible shame.

In addition to the Basquiat exhibition there was also a short exhibition of Larry Clark's photos. Although the man has his critics the photos were on the whole very beautiful and still looked and felt as current as ever. Clark really catches the vulnerability of youth along with its confidence and innocence both in his films and photography and this exhibition was no different. It felt like looking through the glossy urban fashion magazines of my late teens and all the emotions that came with those times. In all I had a fantastic Boxing Day beating a combination of bad TV and the family walk many times over.