Friday, August 19, 2011

The Kiss

I was in London recently and found myself having a couple of hours to spare before my journey home.  So I ran into the Tate Modern, one of my favourite places to visit. 

I love the enormous scale of the hall as you enter, the tiny people growing larger as you descend the slope.  There seems to still be a hum about the former power station, a kind of vibration, and I always get a tingle of excitement when I enter the vast space knowing the goodies that quietly reside there.

I was running out of time, so as always I thought Picasso!  Must see the Picassos!  I don't really know the layout and felt too stubborn to study the maps, so I ran about, turned a corner and saw this . . . .

Cue sharp intake of breath!  I've never seen it before.  Rodin's The Kiss.  The scale and beauty of it stopped me in my tracks and as I slowly circled it, my heart melted into a warm puddle.  Just beautiful. 

Now it turns out that Rodin himself found his work overly traditional, 'a large sculpted knick-knack' he said.  I love this.  I love it when an artist creates something, gives something to the world much bigger and more powerful than he intended, perhaps even more than he can see himself. 

Traditional techniques have been used, but there is nothing non-contemporary about the command this work has on the viewer.  To be able to create a piece of work that immediately transforms someone emotionally is so incredible, and is possibly what art is all about.  Although that concept can be discussed back and forth all day, and I only have myself to argue with!

I don't leave Smithy Gallery very often and was very glad to be back.  I am busy with the Gordon Wilson exhibition which is continuing as it started, and also organising the upcoming Sandy Murphy RSW RGI PAI exhibition. 

Nevertheless, I do allow my mind to drift from time to time, thinking about the Picassos and the 'knick-knack' that I almost missed.

Thanks for reading!


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