Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Our next stop, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Click into the images for captions on the works (you may need to click the post title first if you’re not seeing this directly on the website). No doubt I’ll look like Duane Hansen’s tourist in a few years.


Bruges’ Groeninge Museum was excellent. Laid out in a somewhat traditional chronological fashion, century by century, it offered laminated placards in every room with explanations for most of the artworks so you didn’t need to bend over to read ill-placed, scantily illuminated placards and block other visitors’ view. Of course, as I’ve been doing in almost every museum we’ve visited, I found the mirrors tto photograph myself in.

Click on the pictures to see them all full-sized (if you’re seeing this in email you may need to click the post title first to make this work).

Grayson Perry at Victoria Milo

These large tapestries, Posh Cloths, by Grayson Perry at Victoria Milo, in London were eye-opening. I think the designs are made on a computer using graphics software, then translated to looms that weave the actual tapestry. Note the way text is woven into the images, especially in the map-like tapestries below. A definite inspiration for the text-based work I want to do on inequality. Click into any of the groups of images to see all the pictures in that group enlarged.

Soundsuit detail

Jepson Center, Savannah, Georgia

Very interesting construction from Nick Cave.

“Cave’s soundsuits can operate as a second skin, meant to conceal race, gender, and class, thereby protecting and transforming one’s identity in an attempt to eliminate prejudices.”

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Art Institute of Chicago

Here we see Barbara Kruger using my own technique – they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, though I doubt she’s ever seen my work.

Shopping for an Art Experience

Barbara Kruger’s massive retrospective, Thinking of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You, was truly impressive, though I’m not sure if it’s as brilliant as it first seems in the final analysis. It’s a clever commentary on contemporary, surveillance capitalism, social media and much else that ails contemporary society. But, as the pictures above, of people capturing images of it on their phones may suggest, it’s not clear that it’s having the desired effect on viewers.

Click any image to see them all enlarged (on full browsers).

Benny Andrews

Saturday before Christmas we went to see Benny Andrews: Portraits, A Real Person Before the Eyes at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. These are very very powerful, strong images, created with paint on canvas and painted cloth and other materials (gesso?) that give them real depth. Well worth putting on a mask and making an appointment to go see.

More Bisa Butler: Portraits

As mentioned in the previous 2 posts, the Bisa Butler: Portraits exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art through October 4th is absolutely must see. These pictures don’t fully do justice to the incredible power and visual impact of the works in person. They leap off the wall and shake you. Click any image to see them all enlarged. I remembered some of the titles and hope I didn’t get any of them wrong. There is an explanatory placard next to each quilt providing useful information about the history of the image and the materials and processes used. Just look at the bright contrasty colors with which the faces are constructed!

Click any image to see them all bigger.

Bisa Butler

A couple of weeks ago we went to see the Bisa Butler exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art which is open to limited numbers with tickets reserved in advance. It will move to Chicago in October. If you can get tickets RUN, don’t walk to see this. The work is incredible and I’ll be posting some of my snapshots over the next few posts.

There’s material on the museum web site and videos that will provide more insight into her working methods and materials. While the work is very quilty, it also has a painted quality, remarkable use of color and contrast. The pieces are drawn from photographs of the black experience and are just unbelievably powerful both aesthetically and as social commentary.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take a focused picture of the first piece which opens the exhibition but it will give you some idea of how she uses archival photographs (in this case from 1940s Chicago) to create her art. Click any image to see them all full sized.

Heavy Metal

Warehouse District, St Petersburg, Florida

We were planning on joining an Art Walk starting in the Warehouse District about a week and a half ago. By the time we got there it had been cancelled, the trolley garaged and the galleries shuttered. We found these compacted cubes of metal outside one of the warehouses of studios.

A couple more from Duncan McClellan

St Petersburg, Florida

I couldn’t find any placards to identify these, the top image is a set of glass globes from their students; the bottom one is a close-up of a metal sculpture in the gardens.

(These pictures were shot over a week ago – everything’s shut now and we’re complying with attempts to halt the spread of Covid-19 by not going out except for necessities).