“It better be good”, I said as I paid £12.50 for my Rothko ticket at The Tate Modern.
The young man looked at me in surprise.
“Just joking”, I said, ‘”After all, it’s only art.”
“You’re right about that”, he said, and smiled.
This is my first visit to the museum – apart from using the Ladies’ toilets during the River Tango Festivals.
I have seen Rothko’s work before. The paintings didn’t look like much just standing directly in front of them – but then I noticed the variations of the paintings as I moved around them. So I decided that I would play around like this and get the best angle.
I lasted 40 minutes in this fashion. Although I wasn’t crazy about most of the paintings, I did manage to amuse myself. Listening to other people talk about the work is always interesting too. The jury is still out on whether it was worth £12.50 though.
After that, I went to the 5th floor where they have a permanent collection called ‘States of Flux’- focusing on Cubism, Futurism, Vorticism and change and modernity’. I really loved this section – although I have seen better examples of Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Oldenberg and Rauschenberg when I lived in New York in the late 70’s – early 80’s.
It was about this time I fell madly in love with a Russian artist. I couldn’t have done that if I didn’t like his work. That is untrue – I fell in love with him first, and it helped I liked his work – after all, how can you tell your boyfriend that you love him but his work is not to your particular taste – to put it mildly. (I had once been dumped by a young man because I didn’t ‘get’ his poetry!)
We would go to many art openings together- see the same people – listen to the same old art jargon. People were so full of themselves and pretentious about art. I never got why people felt they needed to justify what they did in the name of art.
What amused me the most at The Tate Modern were the little plaques next to the paintings trying to explain what you were looking at. They went something along the lines of: The artist was trying to show the juxtaposition between the music that came out of the instrument and the instrument itself by defragmenting the instrument into several parts, blah, blah, blah and the green represented the other side of the fence, blah, blah. (Think of it being said in the style of Lloyd Grossman) Did the artist really say this or is this some PR hype?
I suppose that most people not used to looking at modern art might need some explanation of what they were looking at. Whether it will make them like it? – I’m not so sure about that.
I went into a room that was painted as a blackboard – with symmetrical vertical and horizontal chalk lines in various patterns. For me it was nothing too special, though if you stood in it long enough you could probably get dizzy. What impressed me was that someone actually drew these perfectly straight lines – meticulously and perfectly spaced apart. Art.
When I left The Tate the sun was going down and the sky was a kaleidoscope of colour. It was more beautiful and interesting than anything I saw in the museum. I was in awe. Nature has that effect on me sometimes. I love The Southbank at night – so I tried to take some photos. Some didn’t come out as well as I would have liked, but I think the colours are great. My bit of art. I think these are self-explanatory.