Friday, 21 September 2012

Alex Katz - Give Me Tomorrow at Tate St Ives

Not much blogging again this month - Mainly because I've just started an Art and Design access course at Exeter College which is pretty much full-time. Nevertheless, I did attend Plainsong's penultimate gig at the David Hall, South Petherton last Friday - This was a great evening and I have some video which I'll post soon.

Meanwhile, this weekend is the final chance to see the Alex Katz Give Me Tomorrow exhibition at Tate St Ives. After the previous disappointing Simon Fujiwara exhibition Since 1982 (except for the excellent Alfred Wallis room) this show definitely should not be missed.

Alex Katz's wife, Ada

85 year-old Katz has produced a wealth of original and influential work during the past six decades. His work typically features his friends, his wife and his cool social circle, while his use of flat colour predates Pop Art, and his subjects are often portrayed using cinematic devices.

Alex Katz

In addition to the Give Me Tomorrow exhibition, the gallery is showing an interesting selection of works personally chosen by Katz from the Tate's collection, which range from Mondrian to Hodgkin.

At the same time, in the 'study room', there is a fascinating small exhibit showing photographs and other documents relating to the meeting of Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood with Alfred Wallis in St Ives in 1928. This, too, is well worth seeing.

If you are around St Ives this weekend and have not yet seen the Katz exhibition, I recommend that you take this final opportunity to see his work.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Fishstock, Brixham 2011 and Devon Open Studios

August has been a bit busy: A holiday in sunny Portugal and a number of gallery visits, combined with other time-consuming stuff, hasn't left much opportunity for blogging.

Art in Portugal

So no chance to write about Alex Katz at Tate St Ives, Peter Blake and Pop Music at the Pallant Gallery, or Raw Materials at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman and Laurence Weiner). In a nutshell, these were all good - although, for me, the Raw Materials exhibition was not quite as good as the line-up might suggest.

Raw Materials: Laurence Weiner

Fishstock Festival

But this post is really to alert you to the latest annual Fishstock Festival taking place at Brixham tomorrow 8 September (and to Devon Open Studios that also starts 8 September).

Fishstock 2011

The day-long Fishstock festival is held at the Fish Market in aid of the Fishermen's Mission - a charity supporting fisherman and their families. It is a slightly odd but enjoyable mixture of music, food, crafts, boats - and lots of fish. This year there are a dozen acts appearing on the main stage and a further eleven on the acoustic one. In addition there are over twenty outside stalls and over fifty inside ones showing local businesses, crafts and lots of food. There are also maritime displays and cookery demonstrations. Full details here (music) and here (stalls).

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Last year the weather was pretty good and everyone had a great time. Highlights for me included Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (appearing again this year) and the Roobs (favourites with the locals) who did a funky and well-selected set of tunes including Teenage Dirtbag, Need You Tonight, Poker Face and Where Is the Love?  

The Roobs

The Fisherman's Friends were the 'stars' of the show. I didn't know much about them previously but they were both funny and entertaining.  The weather looks good again this year, so hopefully it will be terrific day. Here are some more photos from 2011:

Fisherman's Friends

The inside stalls

Paddy's Whiskers

Folk dancers

Maggie Duffy & Mike Weed
And, of course, some Tahitian stuff

Devon Open Studios

Devon Open Studios runs from September 8 to 23. It is an opportunity to meet artists in their studios and, if you wish, to buy art direct from the creator. Some artists may demonstrate, give talks or give you a chance to have a go. The event guide is available here or you can pick up a copy at Devon and Somerset libraries, tourist information centres, major art venues, etc.