Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Great Escape

Today we had a grand adventure! It was really the last available window of opportunity to go and see the Picasso & Matisse Exhibition at Nunnington Hall so we went. We first planned to go at the beginning of September when it started, but we have had to postpone and postpone again up until today. This morning I was rather crap but when I eventually came round I felt brighter than I had since the beginning of last week. Then today I finally got a reply from my e-mailed request for information and learnt that the Exhibition was on the top floor. Then [...] fell asleep after lunch so it wasn't looking hopeful. However, he woke up a bit and we decided to go for it anyway, although this delay meant we didn't arrive until a quarter past four and they close up at five.

The trip there was rather fantastic. The brilliant purple has all but gone out of the heather but now the moor is like the hide of some enormous animal, with patches of russet where the purple was and patches of tawny where the green was. And then there's the trees of course... It was a fairly sunny afternoon and everything looked glorious. I always think that if I should ever start believing in God again it will happen in the autumn, because you really couldn't design it more beautifully; the way that bits of the trees change colour at different rates and the red and golden colours that different trees turn are more various (and yet miraculously co-ordinating) than all the greens of summer. Plus all the textures; softness and roughness and brittleness. And this at a time when everything is dying.

Anyway, the National Trust staff were excellent. The National Trust ladies had a long involved discussion about which flight of stairs we ought take. Somebody joined us to make the journey up the stairs with a chair (a normal chair, not the wheelchair). I managed okay, a flight at a time with rests in between, I can do that just about. We then had fun moving said chair from vantage point to vantage point around the exhibition.

The Exhibition (of lithographs and etchings) was just great. It might not have been all that good, but I was really terribly excited to be there, to be out, to be doing something I had wanted to do and had pretty much given up on doing. I was surprised to find the Matisse more powerful than the Picasso, although I much prefer Picasso’s actual paintings over Matisse's. There is equal doses of humour and anxiety in Picasso’s work and as a woman, I kind of pity his confusion. He seems to suffer for it.

Matisse drew some beautiful women, but women as human beings. Beautiful, sensual, stylised human beings, but human beings nevertheless. But some of the lithograph portraits in this exhibition, however simplistic, were alive. It really was as if the energy of these people – Matisse and his subjects - was just radiating from the walls. I am not very articulate on the subject of art so I’m going to shut up now.

In other news I am teething. I assumed, as you would in my advanced years, that I had finished growing teeth long ago. But no, I've got another one coming up now and it's quite irritating. Hopefully it will sort itself out as I don't have a dentist.

Probably back into the shit tomorrow, but today I am okay and I got to see this exhibition which I imagine will keep me buzzing for some time.


marmiteboy said...

My job sometimes takes me to lawyers chambers, (no I'm not a car thief) and on one occassion I had to go to see a lawyer in The Temple. In the meeting room (which was quite an ordinary side room, comfortable but ordinary) were six, yes that's six, original Matisse lithographs that had been donated by a senior partner. Now I don't know how much these things are but I doubt they are more expensive than the posters in Athena poster shops.

Someone, I feel, is earning too much money.

pete said...

Hi Goldfish,

I read that Nunnington Hall was once home to the doctor of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I.

I was did the Dr. get down to Hampton Court for Palace calls?