Friday, June 06, 2008

" Looking At Klimt in Liverpool"


Lots of Klimt's work is missing. You could be disappointed; so said a neighbour to my husband and me as we set off to Tate Liverpool today to see Gustav Klimt's new exhibition.

Klimt's work, this neighbour said, is treasured; it needs to be kept safe and much of it is fragile: therefore it must not travel. It must stay cared for and guarded in a permanent place, e.g. in Vienna or New York. Tate L'pool , she said, has well over 200 pieces in this exhibition, but only a third are actually Klimt's.

"It's full of work by other people, said this neighbour "and you'll probably wish for a whole lot more of Gustav......"

OK, that's true. But WHAT we saw today was sheer delight. We saw Klimt paintings, of course ...we saw them close up and personal; Klimt's serene and lovely women, the passionate ones, the lovers, his patrons. We saw gloss, opulence, seduction, gorgeousness in colour and shape....and we glimpsed the essence of the man through the faces of his women, as well as through his glorious greens, oranges, golds... and the rest.

AND we saw, too, dazzling landscapes: colours to thrill, more subdued ones and we glimpsed how Klimt experimented with surface and texture and layering... and with rhythms that mirrored nature itself.

We also saw how Klimt influenced...and was influenced....through places he went and through the spirit of his times...and also through the work of other designers and artists, in their products and their thinking.

We saw fine furniture, simple with understated elegance....and we saw room designs captured forever in sepia photos (demanding us to stare into them with the most searching of eyes);we saw Viennese salons, patron's homes, fabulous architecture, things people used daily, little details of their lives...and with our imaginations stirred, we fully appreciated the vastly innovative mind of Klimt.... and these other talented people, seeing how ideas produced masterpieces which need ( as my neighbour said) to be deeply treasured...but also shared if possible, which the Tate Ex so skilfully does.

THIS is a wonderful and fabulous exhibition ( those adjectives are, for once, no exagerration)





16 Comments:

Blogger Zoë said...

Hello,

thank you for the kind comments you left on my blog, it is much appreciated.

I love Klimt's work too, among others, and saw some of his paintings last Easter in New York and Washington DC. Each had the ability to transfix you to the spot, and not want to move away; there was so much to take in as your eyes roam the canvas. My favourite is 'The Three Ages of Woman'.

Best Wishes,

Zoë

6:05 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I have heard of Klimt ... must go look him up in Wikipedia ... thanks for the account - I think I'd rather talk to you about art than your neighbour!

11:02 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Have done a quick Google 'research' and as soon as I saw images of his work, I immediately recognised some very familiar works. Marvellous artist; it must've been a real treat to see the paintings.

11:05 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thank you for reminding me. This exhibition is now firmly on my 'to do' list.

x

9:37 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Zoe:
Yes, I'd love to go again but I think tkts sold like hot cakes....which reminds me, Tate L'pool has a very tasty caffff!

CB:
It WAS a treat. A good one!

Caroline:
You've got no excuses Caroline bearing in mind where you live (!) and I hope you can get a tkt. It's on ages yet so fingers X

11:43 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

OOOH lucky you! Seeing Klimt paintings in the original must have been amazing.

The only thing i can compare with was seeing an exhibition of Turner in the Melbourne gallery - how the paintings glowed on the walls!!

5:44 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Anne:
It's a wonderful feeling SUDDENLY seeing the real thing...when you've merely seen it in books, or on TVor whatever.
A friend has just been on a trip down the Nile; she's seen stuff she's longed to see for years....
AND her sheer delight when telling me all about it, was actually a delight to me ( the onlooker)!

10:30 pm  
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11:54 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

Love the Tate, took the kids there to a workshop on sculpture, loved it. have to get over there now!

3:49 pm  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks for stopping by "my place". I hope I have something interresting for you to read.
I've always been a fan of Paul Klee, as well. Glad the exhibit was well done. We were able to see the Johannes Vermeer exhibit in Washington, DC years ago...THAT was very special.
Blessings, E.

6:19 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

How enviable! I'm sure no reproductions can comapre to the originals.

Your neighbour sounds a bit of a drip!

4:03 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.
Just thinking: isn't it marvellous this worldwide sharing of everyday lives...
Other generations would find it impossible to believe: e.g. my great grandmother working at her loom in Lancashire OR my grandfather grooming horses in Germany at the start of the 20th century, with not even a telephone for easy contact..
Aplopogies,I'm babbbbling and today is a busy one..

8:01 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Really got to go now! You make it sound fantastic! (and wonderful and fabulous...:-)

8:54 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Clare:
Yes, it was.
The Tate itself ia a treat to visit..the cafe, shop etc, and of course the whole Albert Dock area.
I've visited Liverpool more often lately; although much building work still unfinished, there's a more optimistic feel to the city, eg the new L'pool One shopping centre, courtesy of the Duke of Westminster(!)....although having said all that, I watched Alexi Sayle's TV programme about the city last night and I take on board his comments re poor housing etc...also the fact that one of the richest most powerful football clubs in the world ( L'pool FC) is situated in one of the most deprived areas in Europe....
when we went to McCartney gig 3 wks ago, we queued for ages in the Anfield streets and this was plain to see...

9:58 am  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Oh, I am envious. It was such a joy once to go to museums and stand in the presence of paintings I'd only seen as smudgy reproductions, if at all. But the woods are a delight as well if they don't all burn up; we are in the middle of wildfires in Northern California, smoke choking the sky. Makes for very pretty sunrise and sunsets.

4:00 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Jarvenpa:
You have your own fabulous natural gallery...lovely.

12:06 pm  

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