A few London Exhibitions

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Took a weekend trip to London. Here’s a quick round up of the exhibitions I went to. All the exhibitions have an entrance fee except where I’ve said it’s free.

Useful + Beautiful

At the Geffrye Museum – a small, single room exhibition including some interesting furnishings created in the last few years.

My first visit to the Geffrye Museum so I also spent some time in the permanent exhibition on British furnishing down the ages.


At Tate Modern. A rare instance of me largely preferring the pictures I’d seen of these works in books as they are less polished when seen at full size.

A Chronicle of Interventions

Now finished At Tate Modern. A free exhibition of art relating to US intervention in South America.

Dream, Draw, Work – Architectural Drawings by Norman Shaw RA

A free exhibition at the Royal Academy of architectural drawings by Norman Shaw. I’m a sucker for a good architectural drawing and even though this exhibition is only two rooms it took me as long to go round as some of the bigger ones.

Radical Geometry

Also at the Royal Academy. Up quite a few steps so take the lift unless you’re feeling energetic! Modern Art from South America with a geometric theme. Maybe a bit on the small side but some really nice pieces on display and the end feeds back to the start so going round a few times isn’t a problem.

British Folk Art

At Tate Britain. A survey of British Folk Art. I found this somewhat unsatisfying. It raised questions about what should be classified as art and what should be shown as art but didn’t really address them. It also feels like it draws a line as though Folk Art stopped at some point in the past writing off art now and art in new media outside the establishment rather than embracing it as a continuation from thatching, shop signs and ships figureheads.

Kenneth Clark – Looking for Civilisation

At Tate Britain. This one fell a bit flat for me I suspect as I’m too young for Kenneth Clark’s landmark documentaries to have made him an important to me as to others.

Italian Fashion

At the V&A. One of this year’s blockbuster exhibitions – fortunately quiet on the Monday when I went. Not as interesting for me as Hollywood Costumes but still interesting.

William Kent

Now finished at the V&A. An interesting look at the work of architect and designer William Kent and his impact on Georgian Britain. The book to accompany the exhibition would need a specially engineered shelf and at £45 was a bit too pricy for my taste.

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

At the British Library. Looking at British comics especially as agents of opposition, satire and non-conformance in the UK. One of the British Library’s better exhibitions – I think they’re stronger on the ones that have something more than a set of books on display.

Making Colour

At the National Gallery. Each room takes a look at how a different colour is made now and was made in the past with works to illustrate. The art side was very well done but I’d like to have seen more on the science side – it would be great if you were starting from nothing but if you have a background in basic chemistry to A-level (at least when I did A-level) it might be a bit on the weak side.

Silent Exchange

Free at the National Theatre. Some really beautiful landscape photographs – I just wish I had the money to buy one of the pictures.

Design of the Year 2014

At the Design Museum. For me one of the annual exhibitions that always has something to stimulate me. I should write another post about this if I have time.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2014

Free at the Serpentine Gallery. Not my favourite of the Pavilions I’ve seen but this bloated, crashed millennium falcon is interesting. This one should get a post when I’ve edited my photos of the Pavilion.


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