Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Please Frieze Me

I spent the weekend at the Frieze Arts Fair in London. To be more accurate, I spent twenty arid minutes of the weekend at the Frieze Modern Art Fair in London and the rest of the weekend at Frieze Masters at the further end of Regent's Park.

I took a lot of pictures. I took them because there are so many things you see at Frieze Masters that you will probably never see again - not all of them are earth shaking works of art, but mostly they are intriguing and inspire imaginative thought or further research at least. It is that which makes me love Frieze Masters. It is a kind of annual cabinet of curiosities, and you never know what you are going to see there.

Sadly, you always know - at least I always do - that whatever I'm going to see, however much I fall in love with it, I'm not going to be able to afford it.

This year, I actually took so many pictures that I will have to make quite a few blog posts to fit them all in. Today, I will just include the pictures I took of a series of gouaches on paper made by Richard Hamilton around 1944-46 and shown by Alan Cristea Gallery. They were designed to illustrate the children's rhyme that goes "Tinker, tailor, soldier ...", and each is signed, "Richard Hamilton, 116 Abbey Road, NW6".

They are not enormously startling and groundbreaking, but they appealed to me. The way the rich man is framed through what I imagine to be the window of a Bentley struck me as clever, the way everything is very simple but then you get the knitting details on the sailor's jersey carefully filled in, the perspective in the thief one, all the materials stacked up behind the tailor, the rather debonaire stance of the blind man, hinting that possibly he isn't quite as blind as all that - just possibly - all these things give the pictures charm, I think:

If you find these unappealing, you may prefer the exquisite detail of the illuminated manuscripts. There were marvels there. If you would like to see them, let me know and I will show you another time

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