RWA Autumn Show, Gerhard Richter and the Degas

My drawing Soundscape IV won the Excellence in Drawing Prize at the Royal West of England Academy Autumn Show yesterday which was a very nice surprise.  The exhibition of 508 works, selected from a submission of over 2000, is on at the RWA in Bristol until December 31st.  There seemed to be  more abstract work this year and the hanging of the works seemed more thoughtful. I also heard this week that I have been offered another residency at The Cill Rialaig Project in Kerry for next May so I will be going back to somewhere I really love.

I spent last week in London and managed to get to both the Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern and the Degas at the Royal Academy.  I enjoyed both but definitely want to go back and spend more time at the Richter.  I also want to look again at Tacita Dean’s work Film, the new Unilever series work in the Turbine Hall, without small and tall children running around and waving their arms in front of it to make shadows.  I had forgotten it was half term!

I queued in the rain for forty minutes to see the Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement but the security staff came out with huge RA umbrellas for those people who hadn’t though to bring their own.  Nice touch!  It was wonderful to see some of the paintings of dancers which I had only ever seen in reproduction.  In one room the centrepiece was his renowned Little Dancer aged 14 circled by all the preparatory drawings he did for it, hung at the appropriate position from which he would have drawn  them as he  moved around the model making observations.  A lot was made of Degas’ connection with and use of photography and the moving image with a whole room of Muybridge films some of which I suspect were shown at the recent show at Tate Britain.  However some of the early films of dancers were mesmerising.

Degas Little Dancer aged 14 years

I had been to the Richter the day before and when I first walked in took my glasses off twice to clean them before remembering how destabilising his paintings are!!  But I loved the show, works I hadn’t seen before including a lot of his gray paintings.  The Cage series I had seen before but it was good to revisit them.

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2 Responses to “RWA Autumn Show, Gerhard Richter and the Degas”

  1. Rosie Scribblah Says:

    Well done, lovely drawing. I’m going to see the Richter show this week

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