Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Went to London for some curry, Koons and Peyton

So Nina and I went off to London for the weekend to visit friends. First time in London and it was an excellent visit. Stopped by the Tate not to see the Futurism or Per Kirkeby exhibit ( I didn't want to pay, although I would have liked to see the Kirkeby show) so we took a gander at the collection displays. Highlights were Gerhard Richter's large abstracts and Joseph Bueys large sculptural works. These two pieces were impressive to say the least. Not sure if they worked so well together in the same room though.

Joseph Bueys, The Pack. 1969 (photo: Tate Modern)

Joseph Beuys installing "The Pack" in the Moderna
Museet, Stockholm, 1971. (photo: Lothar Wolleh)

Joseph Bueys, Lightning with Stag in its Glare.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

(photo: Erika Barahona-Ede )

Next stop was the Serpentine Gallery. Actually it wasn't the next stop, I'm jumping around here. Anyway we stopped into the Serpentine to catch Jeff Koons show. A master of the spectacle and the show didn't fail. A discussion between friends and I arose after I mentioned that Koons generally didn't paint his own paintings and those that did never received recognition for their contribution. ( aka hired help or more professionally titled, assistants) A common enough practice in many fields other than art but when it comes to artists, credibility seems to come into question. It seems the integrity of the artist who doesnt toil away at his or her own work is lessened when assistants are added. Artists work with ideas and concepts, application and rendering although obviously important are secondary. Regardless, an interesting discussion about accountability. I will have to talk to my team of assistants and see what they think. The Guardian has an interesting article about this very topic here.

Jeff Koons + nameless assistants, photo: Steve Pyke

So to end off we also had the opportunity to see Elizabeth Peyton's show at Whitechapel. Peyton is a good painter just not a great painter and I wonder if it were not for whom she painted and knew, would she be as famous? I have to say that I would be more interested in seeing a show by Canadian artist Constance Maconaghie and her washy and oft times gritty rendering than Peyton's paintings of privilege any day.

C. Maconaghie, Kitchen story 2'x3' Water colour on paper