Saturday 26 September 2015

What We Call Love Part 1

The exhibition "What We Call Love" opened recently at IMMA in Dublin. I braved monsoon-like weather and had to leave my house at 4.30 to catch a bus that took two hours to get into the city during rush hour. But it was worth it. The show was huge and encompassed all media with work by modern masters and contemporary international and Irish artists. Certainly love provides a wide topic for interpretation and exposition. In the first room of the exhibition it was love at first sight -- this tiny carving on lime wood, "Couple" is by Picasso.

Also in the first room, it was my pleasure to walk around this bronze construction by Alberto Giacometti. It's a complicated piece with clues to its original molding, but impossible to see welds (could it have been cast in one piece?). There is a lovely painting by Max Ernst on the wall behind the sculpture.

I was surprised by this Dali diptych, as I have never seen images of it before. Other Dali paintings that I've seen live have always surprised me by being a lot smaller than I expect; in this respect I was quite surprised at how comparatively large this piece is!

In one of the rooms there were quite a number of works by Marcel Duchamp with which I was unfamiliar. There were four small-scale bronze and mixed media sculptures in enclosed plinth cases, but there were also a series of etchings on Japanese vellum that were exquisite. The etchings were all "drawings" that referenced old master works. The picture here unfortunately does no justice to the work, but I didn't want to exclude Duchamp from the vicarious experience of the exhibition.

Brancusi's "Kiss" is iconic to me -- I am sure an image of this appears in every art history book I have ever seen, so it was great to see the real sculpture.

I am more familiar with Louise Bourgeois' large scale works so it was lovely to see the intimate pieces that were included in this exhibition. The embracing figures in the middle of this beaded mandala are soft sculptures. I will include more images of her work in another post about this exhibition.

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