Posts Tagged ‘Picasso’

Barocci at the National Gallery and Picasso at the Courtauld

May 17, 2013

Up in London this week delivering my work to Novella Baroni and Flavio Gianassi at the Baroni Gallery for the forthcoming  From Surface to Structure:  An exhibition of drawings and sculpture by six contemporary European artists. Drawings by Adrien-Angelo Bastien, Sandra Beccarelli, Dianne Kaufman and Fiona Robinson; sculpture by Matteo Baroni and Mark Beatie, Very exciting to see the space and meet three of the other artists in the show.


I spent the rest of the week in London and managed to see the Barocci Exhibition at the National Gallery and the Picasso show at the Courtauld.  Wonderful stuff!  Federico Barocci (c. 1533–1612) was an extremely accomplished draftsman as well as painter. Despite having studied Italian Renaissance painting when I did my BA I was not familiar with his work.  I found one or two of the portrait studies a bit saccharine, in particular the study for Mary Magdalene where the warm skin tones reminded me a bit of Renoir’s Girls at the piano.  The study, in the same row for the head of St John the Baptist has similarly rosy cheeks but the greenness of the skin tones suggests that maybe, like many Byzantine Madonnas, the colour has deteriorated over time.  It is painted in oil on paper lined with linen which puzzled me as a combination couldn’t work out which was the top surface.  The study for the head of Nicodemus which is also in this row of studies was very beautiful, startling in its strength, depth of emotion and modernity.  All these studies were for the Entombment of Christ 1576 – 82.


federico-barocci-head-of-nicodemus-for-the-entombment-national-gallery-of-art-washington-ngaFederico Barocci, Head of Nicodemus.

Lots of the drawings in the exhibition appeared to have been done from life and on cheap greenish paper which looked like modern sugar paper so it is interesting to think that Barocci never meant these works to be seen outside his studio and here they are on display in one of the most prestigious art museums in the world.  In the painting of St Francis receiving the Stigmata the drawings of the trees were wonderful, so full of life and movement and there were some framed studies of trees too which had a similar vibrancy and immediacy.

Next stop the Courtauld Gallery to see the Picasso exhibition.  I love the Courtauld exhibitions, usually just two rooms worth of the most astounding work and so you can really immerse yourself in the work without getting gallery/eye/foot-lag!  I saw the Child with a dove for the first time and there were many of the poignant introspective works from Picasso’s blue period.  The exhibition is on until May 26th so still time to go and see it.



From Picasso to Kuniyoshi with lots of drawing in between

June 24, 2009

The Illusions of Space show at the Brewhouse came down and the talk on the last saturday with the launch of the catalogue was good. I am really pleased with the catalogue since we finally got a decent shot of my big drawing which was heinously difficult to photograph. If any one would like a copy feel free to ask. The text and some images have just  been published in Art Cornwall, (click on the link in the sidebar). Before the show ended I went up to London to the National Gallery to see the Picasso show. I must remind myself never to take any notice of what reviewers say because it got a really bad press and it was wonderful. I got there just as it was opening so there were very few people in there for the first hour which was a bonus. There was lots of work which I hadn’t seen before and the connections that were made with other artist’s work were fascinating. I loved how the monumentality of Ingres’s portrait of Mme Moitessier is reflected in Picasso’s portraits of Marie Thérese Walter and had to rush over to the French rooms afterwards to look at it and my favourite Degas painting of a woman combing the red hair of another woman which Picasso used for another work. The Kuniyoshi was much harder work because I was completely unfamiliar with his work and it was rather a case of information overload and I just couldn’t take it all in. I did love his big A2 sketchbooks with fold out triptyches though. I think I might try that myself.

So back in the studio and I have today finished a big painting inspired by the Transition show at Exeter Castle. I have been working on it for weeks and it is the same dimensions as the drawings and so the same as the floor area of the prison cells, 180 x 120 cms. I have had real trouble with the paint drying too quickly in the heat and so had to put an extra layer of paint on it today to make it work. Its isn’t as smooth a finish as I had originally intended but given the subject matter I rather like the rawness of the finish.

Robinson F. 01 Veils of Memory

I have called it Veils of Memory which is a bit of a nod to ‘dropping from the veils of morning’ in Yeats poem, The Lake Isle of Inisfree which I love and which is about solitude.

Details below

Robinson F. 02 Detail 1

Robinson F. 03 Detail 2

Robinson F. 04 Detail 3