Mike Vickers' Blog

March 20, 2013

An interesting two days in London

Filed under: Personal, Travel — derryvickers @ 9:23 pm

Every time we visit London to see the son there is something new despite the cash strapped UK economy.

The Shard – the tallest building in Western Europe – the view is literally 3 dimensional  – and still more new sky scrapper glass houses  being built.

The Tate Modern– two new exhibitions – Lichtenstein and A Bigger Splash.  The Lichtenstein was fully booked so we went to the Bigger Splash – the theme how art has developed since Hockney and Pollock – dreadfully in the years 1960 – 70 in my opinion; may be just emerging to something that I may want to look at.
And the galleries were bursting with people – I read somewhere that Gallery gazing is the post-modern religion and if this was an example it looks to be true.

We also went to the Tate in Millbank – a much quieter affair – struggling for popularity with its new offspring the Tate Modern but to me much the preferable – nice exhibition of landscapes taking us up to the present – John Nash was included but not my favourite, his brother Paul – a pity.

We spent some time in Foyle’s Bookshop – last time, admittedly some years ago, it was very run down but not so any more – a wonderful transformation and I had forgotten how large it is once inside the front door.

And somewhere in between a visit to the Old Vic with a revival of Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy – not expecting much, seen it before years ago, but it turned out to be a wonderful evening with all the cast performing excellently .  The play has a serious theme of individual rights against the state – the Petition of Right – summed up by the defending barrister that Right rather than Justice was done ; but the play also has an underplay of comedy.  You tend to forget until you hear the words that Rattigan’s dialogue is excellent.  As one critic wrote – almost three hours and it just flew by.

But I come away wondering Is London still part of the UK.

March 11, 2013

American Master – a Portrait of John Adams

Filed under: Uncategorized — derryvickers @ 12:21 pm

A great profile of John Adams and his music on BBC4 on 11 March 2013.

The profile was accompanied with very effective visuals.

Adams started composing in the days of Serial Music, moves to minimalist but neither satisfies and he gets back to tonal music but he is a fan of Beethoven and it shows as does his American background.  The music is superb (post) modern music.

He reminds of a very favourite artist of mine, Paul Nash, who painted in the first half of the 20th century.  He was a landscape painter from the start but managed to go through a phase of surrealism and come out having synthesised surrealism into landscape painting – he was a war artist in both WW1 and WW2

The reminder is helped by the visuals to the TV programme and the paintings I know well of Paul Nash

Below for Harmonium by Adams and We are building a New World from WW1 and Nash






And Transmutation of Souls, commissioned as a requiem for 9/11 by Adams and Mansions of the Dead by Nash

JAdams911Mansions of the Dead 1932 by Paul Nash 1889-1946

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