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Posters and Brochures, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

The entrance display room to the Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee, displays advertising posters from the earliest liner eras up to the time when they were replaced by air travel.

My eye was mostly taken by classic Art Deco ones such as this for an Italian shipping line:-

Art Deco Poster, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

Not to mention the classic SS Normandie:-

SS Normandie poster

And the SS Empress of Britain:-

Empress of Britain Poster

This brochure is from the NYK line:-

Art Deco Brochure, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

These are pages illustrating the high life of ocean liner travel:-

Art Deco Brochure Illustrations, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

Finally and not Art Deco, the cover of a brochure for the QE2, whose first voyage down the Clyde to take her sea-trials we were all given a day off school to witness. Even then everyone knew there would never be such a ship built on the Clyde again:-

QE 2 Brochure, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

We visited the new V&A, Dundee, last week where the first exhibition was on Ocean Liners, with the sub-heading Speed and Style:-

Poster For Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

Exhibition Poster, V&A entrance behind:-

Ocean Liners Exhibition Poster & V&A, Dundee

This post only scratches the surface of what is a sumptuous exhibition which is mainly a feast of Art Deco style reflecting the ocean liner’s inter-wars heyday.

Brochure for French shipping line:-

Shipping Line Brochure, Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

United States Lines Brochure:-

United States Lines Brochure,  Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

It’s not exclusively Art Deco, though. This is a Louis XIV style door from a pre World War 1 French liner:-

Loius XIV Door. Ocean Liners Exhibition, V&A, Dundee

A similar Louis XIV style panel and chair:-

Loius XIV Door Panel and Chair

Wall panel from one of the Titanic’s sister ships, SS Olympic:-

Wall Panel from SS Olympic

The ultimate in streamlined ship design. Perhaps it was fortunate this was never built. Everything’s enclosed, there’s no deck where you could take the air. (It also looks a bit like a submarine):-

Streamlined Ship Model

Tower of Empire by Night, Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938

I haven’t done one of these 1938 Empire Exhibition posts for a while but these are two crackers.

On left the Tower of Empire by Night; a Brian Gerald art-drawn postcard by Valentine’s for the Empire Exhibition, Glasgow 1938.

On the right the South Cascade and Tower by Night, Empire Exhibition 1938: a colourised postcard of the Empire Exhibition, Glasgow, 1938.

Tower of Empire by Night
South Cascade and Tower by Night, Empire Exhibition 1938

The Tower at night must have been a wonderful sight.

Raqib Shaw: Reinventing the Old Masters

Also at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s Modern One (until 28th October) is the above titled exhibition featuring the work of Raqib Shaw.

Apparently he could not afford oil paints so started to use enamels. This gives his work the appearance of huge but intricately decorated ceramic tiles. Some of it is a bit “bling”y for me but the effect can be stunning and the detail is extraordinary particularly in the circular area of his reinvention of the Cranach. The reproductions here do not convey just how shiny his pictures are.

To do this must be so time consuming even if he does have assistants to help. I left wondering how on earth he could make a living doing this. Unless every (enamel? can you really call them paintings?) sells for tens of thousands of pounds.

Shaw speaks for himself here:-

Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools

On the upper floor at Modern One (the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) as part of the NOW exhibition is a series of art works by schoolchildren – the winning entries in the Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools.

Some of these are just about the best things in the gallery. See the highlights a lttle down the page in the link.

That lino cut by Lucy Clarke (Secondary 1-3) is very impressive and Lucy Cairns’s picture from the Primary 4-7 category could be an illustration from a particularly scary children’s book.

NOW at Modern One

Meanwhile over Edinburgh’s Belford Road from Modern Two; at the Modern One gallery of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is an exhibition called NOW which mainly features Jenny Saville. It’s on until 12th September.

Most of her paintings are larger-than-life-size portraits – or at least feature human figures.

Some of them verge on – or overstep the boundary of – grotesque:-

This one of what looks like a child is less so:-

The introductory video from the gallery website is below. The eyes of the child in the painting over the artist’s left shoulder are very well done.

Emil Nolde: Colour is Life

The art exhibition with the above title is on at ModernTwo (The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,) Edinburgh until 21/10/2018.

Nolde was born in a part of Germany that became Danish after a plebiscite in 1920 (though had presumably been Danish before the war of 1864) thought of himself as German yet retained Danish citizenship.

I noticed at the entrance that the gallery felt it had to emphasise it in no way endorsed Nolde’s anti-semitic views.

Despite those views and his membership of the Nazi party Nolde’s works were the single most withdrawn from museums by the Nazis (1,052 works) and the most represented in their Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst) Exhibition, which managed to draw huge crowds – some of whom were quite enthusiastic about the contents.

I found myself not knowing quite what to make of Colour is Life. Some of the paintings were undoubtedly grotesque like Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve after expulsion from the Garden of Eden

Paradise Lost Emil Nolde

and his Immaculate Conception (which I cannot find an example of to embed here) showing the mother of Jesus in an attitude of ecstasy as the Holy Spirit hovers nearby is in a similar style only more so.

Others are reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec posters, only more garish:-

On the other hand some of his pen and ink drawings reminded me of the Rembrandt ones in the exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery.

His depiction of the sails in one of his paintings of junks looked like Japanese calligraphy. I’m not sure I’ve found the exact match, the original image of the one below is apparently copyright so this is only a thumbnail:-

Junks with Full Sails

This is a more colourful version of a similar subject:-

Junks (Red) Emil Nolde

The introductory video from the exhibition’s web page is also on YouTube:-

Rembrandt Exhibition, Edinburgh

The latest exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland, Princes Street, Edinburgh – Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master features quite a lot of paintings by the artist as well as many prints made from his etchings/engravings, along with other artworks by those who were influenced by him.

Of the two perhaps most famous of the paintings featured I found Belshazzar’s Feast to be somewhat overblown. (In the flesh it is a bit brighter than it seems here.) :-

Rembrandt: Belshazzar's Feast

The Mill is more restrained but an imagined Dutch scene I’d have thought. That promontory is just a bit too high, though the picture seems to have inspired many other artists.

Rembrandt: The Mill

His portraits, though, are stunning. Among those whose representations I could find on the net – these may disappear after the exhibition ends – are:-

An Old Woman Reading – originally thought to be a portrait of the artist’s mother:-

Rembrandt: An Old Woman Reading

and Girl at a Window which is said on the caption to be so lifelike that passers-by at Rembrandt’s studio would speak to its subject. (That seems a bit unlikely, why would the painting be near or in a window?)

Rembrandt: Girl at a Window

Two pictures in the exhibition capture light very well. Rembrandt’s own Landscape with the Rest at the Flight into Egypt:-

Rembrandt: Rest at the Flight into Egypt

(The English artist Joshua Reynolds is on record as complaining that Rembrandt painted light rather than the objects which it reflects from. Each to his own.)

The Holy Family by Night – thought now to be school of Rembrandt rather than by the artist himself:-

The Holy Family by Night

An example of his etching is The Three Crosses (more properly Christ Crucified Between the Two Thieves):-

Rembrandt: The Three Crosses

I must confess I preferred his etchings of rural scenes such as The Three Trees to the religious ones as in Christ Presented to the People.

He was the first (or among the first) artist(s) to recognise the commercial possibilities of the limited edition, altering plates to make variorum prints. The popular title given to the one below reflects the price it is said to have achieved.

The Hundred Guilder Print:-

Rembrandt: The Hundred Guilder Print

One of the most interesting exhibits, in a glass case in one of the rooms, was an actual etched copper plate set alongside a print made from it.

An introductory video to the exhibition can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=141&v=F1pjZqg5fTM.

True to Life Exhibition at Modern Two, Edinburgh

A couple of weeks age we revisited the True to Life Exhibition at Modern Two, (Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art,) Edinburgh.

I’ve left this a bit late as the exhibition is only on for a few more days now. Its full title is True to Life, British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s.

I found this to be much more enjoyable than the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition recently finished at the Scottish National Gallery (see also here.)

The first picture in True to Life, though, David Jagger’s “Conscientious Objector”, would not have looked out of place at that Beyond Caravaggio exhibition. It exploits light in much the same way as those did. This is apparently a self-portrait:-

Conscientious Objector by David Jagger

“By the Hills” by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst features on the True to Life Exhibition catalogue cover though for me it’s a bit too sharply delineated. The artist was said to have used lipstick to paint the lips here:-

By the Hills by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

Another such too sharp picture was Meredith Frampton’s “A Game of Patience”:-

A Game of Patience by Meredith Frampton

As with the David Jagger painting above Edward Baird’s “Dan Cross” also looks as if it could leap off the canvas. I feel as if I know this person:-

Dan Cross by Edward Baird

Keith Henderson’s The Harbour Crowd is another fine example of the capture of light. As I recall this painting was one of the exhibits in the Palace of Arts at the Empire Exhibition, Scotland, 1938. There was a black and white reproduction in the relevant souvenir booklet.

The Harbour Crowd by Keith Henderson

Some of the paintings in “True to Life” stretched the definition of realist somewhat.

Though it does contain figures (including the artist) “The Deluge” by Winifred Knights seemed to me to be at least influenced by Vorticism:-

The Deluge by Winifred Knights

Nora Russell by John Downton captures the impatient aspect of the early adolescent schoolgirl very well. I get the impression she didn’t really want to be painted:-

Nora Russell by John Downton

From the River Douro, Porto

Concrete tower. This was just beyond the Ponte de São João. It looks a bit like an aircraft control tower but there wasn’t an airport nearby:-

Concrete Tower, Porto

Multi-chimneyed building:-

Multi-chimneyed Building Porto

River bank Church. Note tiles on gable end facing the river:-

River Bank Church, Porto

River boats, buildings and Igreja de Santa Clara Church on hill crest:-

Buildings and Church, Porto

Igreja de Santa Clara Church on centre-left of photo:-

Igreja de Santa Clara Church, Porto

Port warehouses and old style boats:

Buildings 27 Warehouses + boats

On the hill here can be seen a dome that we were told by the river-tour guide was the only building left from an Exhibition that had been held in Porto:-

Exhibition Dome, Porto again

Buildings 25 Dome

Beyond the Arrábida Bridge before we had to turn back we got a view of the mouth of the river Douro as it meets the Atlantic:-

Mouth of River Douro, near Porto

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