Inspirational Break…

No activity for just over a week on this news page, well that’s down to a little inspirational break. My good lady wife surprised me last week and told me at very short notice that she had a business meeting in Madrid and that she’d booked an extra flight for me to make it into a weekend visit for us. Marvelous. First of all though was two and a half days in London as Cheryl had to be in the office, so I took the time out to visit some galleries. There were and still are severel exhibitions that I needed to see before they close, so the first was the ‘Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’, I always make a point of visiting that one – it really is a show not to be missed for some great inspiration. I’ll actually have to submit to it myself one of these years. Yet again it didn’t disappoint. I also got to see the ‘Impressionists by the Sea’ exhibition just afterwards, it was okay, probably brilliant for those who love the Impressionist era, I used to when I started out in college, but more modern work is where my heart is these days. The following day I went to the National Portrait Gallery to see the ‘BP Portrait Award’, another one that I make a point of visiting every year, and another that I really should submit to before too long. Again, brilliant stuff.

The following day we travelled off to Madrid on a 4pm flight, arriving just in time for dinner and god it was hot. Not that I was complaining. The following morning we got up and went to see a quite special little exhibition, it really was quite small, but just large enough to command a reasonable amount of time – ‘Van Gogh, The Last Landscapes’ at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. It concentrated specifically on the final two months of his life. In that time he painted just over 70 canases and made several drawings. It really was interesting to see quite a few of these works together in one place. We then took a look through the Permanent Collection of the Gallery which was to be honest relativily bland, it housed many works by a lot of big names, but my opinion is that they were not the best examples from these artists.

On Sunday we just took a day exploring and wandering, then on Monday Cheryl had to attend her meeting all day so this was the day that I was looking forward to the most (no offence intended, but Cheryl bless her, she doesn’t like to take as much time as me in galleries.) One of my favourite artists ever, whom I never get bored of no matter how many years go by is/was Pablo Picasso and one of the first paintings that I can ever remeber being completely transfixed by as a small boy was ‘Guernica’. It is a painting that I have always wanted to see and at last my time had come. ‘Guernica’ is housed in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the vast majority of the Permanent Collection is based around the work. I left the hotel at 11am and was in, after queueing for around 5 minutes, at 11:30am. Immediately I checked to see where the painting was hung and made my way there as I guessed that the majority of people would be there to see it. I was right, but it really was incredible and held my complete attention for over half an hour. No reproduction that I have ever seen has done it any justice at all. It’s simply haunting and really gives a sense of the pain and anguish that the Spanish Civil War obviously forced onto the innocent people of the small town in Northern Spain. The whole of the second floor is built up of several studies and etchings by Picasso for the painting along with other works by the Master, so it was then back to the beginning and I then followed through room by room. Miro, Dali and Juan Gris also take up a lot of space. The 4th floor is built of late 20th Century artworks from around the globe. All in all one of the best Modern Art galleries that I have ever visited and there have been a few around the world that’s for sure. Also in the same museum I saw exhibitions by new American artist Amy Cutler, a Retrospective of the works of Spanish artist Luis Gordillo and a simply brilliant exhibition of the paintigns and graphic works of Le Corbusier from the ‘Heidi Weber Museum and Collection’. Obviously we all know about his work as an Architect and also as a designer of furniture, and although I had seen a limited amount of his artistic works I was quite amazed at the amount of time that Le Corbusier spent painting and Printmaking. A top, top show. I eventually walked out of the Museum at 5:15pm absolutely knackered but what a day – brilliant stuff.

I eventually got home at 4pm yesterday after a quite along train journey – Cheryl had more meetings in London so I couldn’t drive back, which takes us up to now. See the next posting for todays activities…

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