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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Reasons to Smile in 2011

It seems that the end of the year is not just for one particular countdown (of which there is a very funny description at Spare Time Gone Awry), but of countdown lists, the top ten best T.V moments of 2010, the top ten news stories, blah, blah, blah. I have to admit to being a bit of a closet fan of these lists; neat and ordered. I used to make one every year, a summary of what I had done, films I had seen, countries I had visited etc. This year I don't feel like making one of these lists. I have had a very rich and full list of experiences, happinesses and achievements. However the year has not come to the best of ends and I'm not sure that recalling all of that happiness is a very useful activity. So here is a list of ten art things that I will be looking forward to in 2011. Feel free to mention the things I have missed.

1. Modern British Sculpture- Royal Academy of Arts (22nd January-7th April) This year at the Royal Academy I experienced a revelation; I had always dismissed sculpture because I didn't understand it and it didn't communicate with me. Then on the recommendation of my supervisor I went to Wild Thing and all of a sudden there was the sculpture of Eric Gill, Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska speaking to me of the sensuality of stone, of its fleshly corporeality. I don't doubt that the Royal Academy will bring another challenging and astounding exhibition and offer another revelation.
'The exhibition will take a fresh approach, replacing the traditional survey with a provocative set of juxtapositions that will challenge the viewer to make new connections and break the mould of old conceptions.'

2. Shadow Catchers Symposium (4th Feb, V&A)- Yes I loved the exhibition so much I booked myself a space on the symposium like the giant art geek that I am. The artists will be speaking and so will Marina Warner (a slight and distant hero of mine). This feels like the future of photography.

3. Venice Biennale- This is a huge event and perhaps I will be there. Art, Cinema, Architecture, Dance, Music and Theatre, where else would you want to be over the summer?

4. Eric Gill: Public and Private Art, British Museum (10th February- August 7th)- I love Eric Gill and believe he deserves appreciation. My dissertation won't be finished yet either, so I can count this trip as research!

5. Barcelona- Since I am going in a couple of looks like I will only catch the dregs of exhibitions from 2010 but this is an art city and will be a landmark of the year.

6. The Guggenheim New York- Because perhaps, just maybe, I might be here too.

7. Lucia Nogueira, Kettle's Yard (15th January-13th March)- It would be a crime to forget the treasures of exhibitions which will be occurring on my doorstep. More sculpture, Nogueira is involved with what seems to be a kind of reclamation, her work has been described as a process of 'taking things which are close to hand and imbuing them with malignancy and magic.' A lot of exciting things are happening for sculpture next year and Cambridge will be an important part of the exploration too.
'My way of thinking is very much from Brazil: my way of picking up objects comes from there too. It is something connected with childhood and also with the Brazilian psyche. Our way of thinking is not as linear as it is in Europe ... In art you obviously have a background in art history that is very rich. We don't have that in Brazil at all ... We just do everything in a very empirical way, even art.' Nogueira

8. Henry Gaudier-Brzeska Sculptures, Kettle's Yard Talks (10th February)- the influence of Wild Thing stretches far. Brzeska has his own attic of work in the Kettle's Yard house and I am looking forward to hearing the enigmatic curator Sebastiano Barassi talk.

9. Ian Hamilton Finlay's Little Sparta- This year I discovered Finlay's garden, his contained sculpted world, just as the season was ending. I did not have time to organise a trip to Edinburgh (it would have had to coincide with the Pope's visit) and missed the dying autumn moments of the garden. When the season opens again this year I will use it as an excuse to make a trip up to the beautiful city of Edinburgh and engineer a visit to my friends in St.Andrews. The thought of the garden makes me a little feverish with excitement.

10. Future Beauty- 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, Barbican- This is a postponed trip from 2010, my friend Ralph and I are going to make a trip, it will put Chinese Vogue in to an Eastern context and give us the perfect opportunity to reminisce.


  1. aw you plugged me! The favour shall be returned. x

  2. also i love this entry x

  3. I WANT TO GO TO THE GUGGENHEIM!! D: love the architecture!

  4. great list Francesca! yes the venice bienale is on my "perhaps" too. thanks for introducing yourself this year! i moved my blog on over to (soon to be posted on earthworksnearyou). happy 2011!

  5. Hello Francesca! I am glad you stopped by my blog and like my art! Super post here, I was supposed to attend the Venice Biennale however that is still up in the air..If it happens for me I hope we can touch base in person.

  6. The architecture in the Guggenheim, the Venice Biennale, if all of these things are possible it will certainly be a brilliant year!