Friday morning and just catching you up before I head out for the day.
The Sculpture exhibition at the Royal Academy was really very good. I can see why some of its detractors didn’t like it – they must have been hoping for a more comprehensive exhibition, whereas this provided a selection modern British sculpture, focusing on development throughout the century but also influences on British sculptors. As such there was a whole gallery crammed with ancient sculptures on loan from the British Museum including a Moai from Easter Island. Highlights: I really liked Jacob Epstein’s Adam (a monumental piece) and Damien Hirst’s Let’s Eat Outside Today, which featured a BBQ and picnic table set up in an hermetically sealed glass case. The artist has introduced BBQ foods to maggots and then sealed it up – meaning hundreds of thousands of flies both alive and dead swarming in the case, eating all the rotting food.
Got all my supplies from Fortnums and dinner was alright but not the best I’ve had there. The set menu for the British Sculpture ticket holders was quite limited. Having said that, I probably could have told them and they would have given me another option.
Today I’m heading across town in several directions (though not all at the same time). I plan to start in south London at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (the world’s first purpose built art gallery) to see the Norman Rockwell retrospective. I then hope there will be time to head east to the Whitechapel Gallery where they are restaging the landmark 1956 exhibition This Is Tomorrow, which helped define postwar modernism and foreground British Pop Art. I know – oooooh!
I’m having pre-theatre dinner at Rowleys on Jermyn Street and then I am going to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to see The Rivals starring Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles, of To the Manor Born fame. The Rivals is an eighteenth century play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan famous for it character Mrs Malaprop (played by Penelope Keith). It is Mrs Malaprop’s unknowing mangling of the English language which defined malapropisms, where one word is replaced by a similar sounding word with a completely different meaning. Australians will be familiar with malapropisms in the form of Kath and Kim: “What pacifically does that entail?”, “Mum, I want to be effluent!”/”You are effluent Kim!”, and “I wanted a statue of little baby Jesus, not baby cheeses! Jesus!” etc.