Frescoes, mosaics with plenty of other artefacts at the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum, including a gladiator graffito that I haven't seen before. The exhibition is laid out like a Roman villa with the finds on show in each room corresponding to the rooms in which the artefacts would have originated. This works really well as a grouping though makes progression through the exhibition a bit strained as this is inevitably a popular show. Three complete frescoes of entire walls are presented in a space similar to the original building in Pompeii, which gives a great sense of the geography and also makes sense of the mirroring of the imagery between the panels.
Three interesting exhibitions at Eastbourne’s Towner gallery, “The contemporary art museum for the South East”: Kelly Richardson: Legion, People and Portraits and the East Sussex Open 2013
Kelly Richardson’s latest video installations are the headline show: Legion is four video installations of nature settings which the artist has enhanced to give an other-world feel. The most eye-catching are a barren landscape with eerie (light blue) animated trees which move together in the wind before disappearing and regenerating in a seemingly random sequence. Although three of the four pieces aim for an immersive experience with large, projected displays and multi-channel sound, there’s a lack of development of the imagery and, once the shock of the unexpected has worn off, we found no particular emotional involvement or connection with the pieces. They are video but other than that, there’s not much apparent creative development since Roger Dean’s inspirational cover artwork in 1973 for “Tales from Topographic Oceans”, the album by Yes.
The Frac (Fonds régional d’art contemporain) are French regional centres of contemporary art. The Frac for the Paca (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) region has just re-opened in a building which has been refurbished under the supervision of the architect Kengo Kuma. Amongst a boulevard of commercial buildings, he has used glass tiles set at non-square angles to establish the difference of the Frac building. From right below it looks like the building has jaws, ready to snaffle up anything offered to its clutches... Inside, lots of white and grey, which colours the visitors echo with most visitors wearing black or cream!
M. C. Escher’s ants in an infinite loop, impossible staircases and tricks of perspective are the images that come to mind with the mention of the Dutch graphic artist’s name. A museum is established in his honour in Den Haag in the former Winter Palace of Queen Mother Emma of the Netherlands. Their collection includes prints of his famous images exhibited alongside representative images from throughout his career. The top floor is given over to rooms demonstrating illusions of perspective and vision - a potential kiddie-hell-hole, though me and my big-kid friend Wolf found it fun too.
Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
The National Maritime Museum is not the obvious venue for a major exhibition of this seminal photographer of American landscapes. This exhibition features more than a hundred original Ansel Adams prints, including three of the wall-sized prints which were produced for the American Trust Company Building in San Francisco. These three alone justify a visit to the exhibition, add the opportunity to see the detailed and dynamic original prints of some familiar images of Yosemite and this exhibition becomes a must-see despite the disappointment that it is not displayed in an "Art" venue.