Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Turner Contemporary Margate, lies damned lies and statistics

I haven’t visited the Turner Contemporary for about three weeks so the sketch of Rodin’s The Kiss from my last visit will have to do to illustrate this post, hopefully I will get back there soon and hopefully get the hand into a more apposite position to complement the rest of the exhibition. I am no Marcel Duchamp so I may fail in this endeavour.

Feedback about the current exhibition from customers in my bookshop is not entirely positive, however there is a new commission that opened last week on the promenade outside the gallery, not protestors this time.

What we have this time is; Sinema Amnesia, Mark Wallinger, as I am sure everyone won’t remember this I thought I ought to mention it. Here is the link http://www.turnercontemporary.org/exhibitions/new-commissions-mark-wallinger-and-lindsay-seers as you see this will allow you to admire yesterday’s view.

Now on the one hand I have reservations about the popularity of contemporary art while on the other there are the gallery’s statistics, which suggest that the interest is considerable.

We have had four main exhibitions at the gallery so far, the first one (Conrad Shawcross, Daniel Buren, Ellen Harvey, James Webb, Russell Crotty and JWM Turner) I wasn’t that keen on. The next one the youf one with artists too numerous to mention that I enjoyed very much. The next one Turner and the Elements, that I wasn’t that keen on, too much of a jumble of his works for me, this is always a bit of a difficult one as saying anything negative about JWMT tends to be frowned upon. Then the current exhibition which is not really my bag baby, but then I’ve only visited it twice so it may grow on me and there is something about it that is inspirational that I haven’t really nailed down yet, perhaps something to do with the tentativeness of Emin’s work. Whatever it is I felt like painting after the two occasions that I visited it so it may be that I just don’t understand it.

Anyway this leads me on to the business over the statistics, taking an interest in the “Summer commissions at Turner Contemporary - Mark Wallinger / Lindsay Seers” video embedded in the page on their site, link above, I watched it as I assume most people with an interest in what the art the gallery has commissioned (and we have paid for) following the video through to its statistics though I was surprised how few people had watched it.
I am not sure what this is significant of but will probably ramble on a bit when I have looked at some other stuff, I do for instance subscribe to the Tate videos and will need to check the statistics there.
I guess we all want and need the gallery to continue successfully and part of this is that there is a continued interest in what the gallery are doing, I am a bit concerned that there is a disconnection between what the gallery does and any views the public may have.

Still on the local art gallery theme the Monkey Cage gallery at the Westciff boating pool in Ramsgate is moving off to Whitstable, which isn’t good news for Ramsgate

The Belgian Café has an exhibition of paintings by the modern impressionist Anthony Giles, click on the link for his website http://anthonygiles.vpweb.co.uk/ he also has two pictures on The Great Wall of Ramsgate.

I do wonder how many people come to Thanet to view The Turner Contemporary and wind up actually enjoying The Great Wall of Ramsgate much more.

All I can do really is look though my sketch book and give you one of the sketches I did when I was in there last Thursday.    

When it comes to The Turner Contemporary, I think I will say “Give me Tomorrow” well September really, I am quite looking forward to Alex Katz, but then I suppose I would be.  


  1. I know a lot of modern art is a con but I'm always happy to give it a go and usually find something that takes my eye. All Emin seems to have done here though is to put a few squiggles together of a mildly erotic nature and bunged them up on the wall. I can honestly say I have found more interest in looking at a wall full of children's paintings - if that's art someone will have to explain it to me. I was in and out in ten minutes - most unusual for me.
    No wonder it encouraged you to paint - no doubt thinking you can do so much better!!

  2. Yet my "Naked in Thanet" blog gets around 2000 views per week (8,363 over the last month). Goes to show that REAL art is appreciated by the masses! ; )

  3. Denplan it’s a tricky one, the inspiration one, the only exhibition that The Turner Contemporary has held that didn’t seem to make me want to paint and draw more than usual was Turner and the Elephants.

    The most inspiring being the Youf one, and frankly the diversity in that exhibition meant that some of the watercolours and drawings were much more difficult for me to have a go at reproducing than the Turner watercolours and drawings, you have to appreciate I don’t do other mediums. I came to the conclusion that this was a problem to do with the way the Turner exhibition was hung rather than anything wrong with Turner. An example of this was the Turner Watercolour and pencil drawing of the lighthouse on the end of Ramsgate harbour, in preparation for this Turner got into a rowing boat and did preliminary sketches, which had they been hung next to the final picture that was intended for display and publication would have made sense. As it was the thing was surrounded by sketches of other places. I am first to admit that this was a travelling exhibition and therefore the content not the gallery’s fault.

    With the Emin thing, her sketches do have some quality to them, I have bought a tube of blue gouache she uses and if I get a chance I will go over there and have a go at copying some of them, always a good indicator.

    Peter as you can see from the counter, so do I and as this relates to videos embedded in some of their website’s main pages it does concern me, although I am not quite sure what the evident lack of viewings is significant of.

    If I embed a new and interesting video in this blog it isn’t unusual for it to get several hundred viewings in the first week.

  4. The Belgian Cafe ex is Anthony Giles. A wonderful painter in my opinion. Couple of his works are on TGWR.

  5. http://anthonygiles.vpweb.co.uk/

  6. Thanks for that Yogi, I guess commenting on a post about erotic art puts you in the Q-cum-bear bracket, I enjoyed Anthony Giles’s website during my lunch break and have made the necessary modifications to the blog post.


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